The future starts with AI: AI, automation & robotics are safeguarding energy and utilities Industries – Q&A

Why does the Energy & Utilities future start with AI?

Big Zero Report 2022

While the Energy and Utilities industries may not seem like the most obvious places to look when it comes to artificial intelligence, automation, they are actually some of the biggest potential adopters of these technologies. With ageing infrastructure in need of continuous maintenance, high levels of customer churn and retention as well as high costs and manual processes in place, there’s plenty of opportunities here for AI, Automation, and Robotics to come in and streamline those old processes while cutting costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

 

Can Predictive Maintenance help Reduce Utility Operational Costs?

Low levels of predictive maintenance on existing infrastructure often led to higher operational business costs and lower customer retention rates. This is because unplanned downtime is causing service interruption or disruption by having to dig up roads, footpaths or the time taken to find aging assets within industrial complexes. Customers that aren’t getting a reliable service are more likely to switch providers and corporate investors start to get itchy feet when operating profits are low or energy costs are seen as being unsustainable. To increase customer retention, maintenance needs to be carefully measured, monitored, and completed with little or the ultimate goal of no adverse disruption to customers. Birlasoft believes there is a new era in a digitally led asset maintenance approach for energy and utility companies. The future of asset maintenance is prescriptive, leading to intelligent prognostics based digital architectures, which will help companies reduce costs, ensure equipment availability up-time, increase service reliability, and improve safety. Take a look here at some of the great work that they have undertaken.

 

Customer Churn and Customer Changing Provider is on the Rise, where does Automation fit in?

Smart businesses are taking note of customer churn and retention, as this winter could be a costly one for customers with their Energy providers. It’s a more pressing issue than ever before as customers grow more selective about where they spend their money. Churn is an issue that most businesses face at some point in time—it can occur for a few different reasons: price, poor customer service, poor product quality/reliability or lack of innovation are all things that can make customers unhappy enough to leave your business for good. There’s no question that turning lost customers into lifelong consumers is vital to your business’ success, so you should take any action possible to retain them. You need those repeat sales from settled customers! The first step toward reducing churn rates is identifying why exactly they occur—in many cases, it can be attributed to one specific problem within your business.  The industry needs to harness digital technologies based on the rapid changing customer demands and the need for real-time communication. The industry has many players, so the technologies, challenges and transformations are different for all players in the utility chain.

 

Is the New Industrial Curse of Utility Companies being Excessive Manual Processes?

Process costs can be defined as operations that have little or no automation. This leads to higher risks of inaccuracies or accidents because workers lack access to the correct procedures. Manual processes lead to human error which is costly in both time and money. For example, if it takes a B2B utilities sales rep 15 hours of manual labour to process data for 1 customer while an automated process takes only 5 minutes to do what 100 sales reps would take 15 hours each then there’s clearly a need for change. Furthermore, a lot of time is spent onboarding and classroom training new employees on things like how to fix aging equipment or read meters. Combine this with higher employee turnover rates (around 20% per year) that follow along with these manual processes and you have found a truly complex set of challenges to combat. Systems developed by the world’s leading data companies have shown how any business can overcome the process conundrum for example Augmented and Virtual Reality Headsets for reinforced learning guidance whilst on the job for faster problem resolution.

 

Does that Industrial Curse also Effect Management Decision Making?

For decisive management decision making you also have  Business IntelligenceTM For Utilities. Birlasoft can help deploy these technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis and presentation of business-critical information. It is done in a streamlined and truly user-friendly way that can work for teams on the ground, for managers looking for operation excellence and to executives who need to make imperative business decisions on a fast changing energy landscape.

 

Will We Start Seeing more Customer Service and Automated Support in Energy & Utilities?

Yes, customer support can be automated much more than other facets of this business sector. Machine learning technologies are increasingly making it possible to automate complex parts of customer support, such as troubleshooting software issues, finding the right person with the right skills more quickly, being able to reassure customers that action has been taken and tracking results or even analysing power grid usage habits. For example, Birlasoft is harnessing the power of data to overcome these challenges for suppliers worldwide.

 

What is the Current Trend with Automation in Utilities?

The industry is facing many challenges as it adapts to new regulations, pressures on profits and customer demands. Helping energy companies mitigate these risks is the key challenge.

I would also say that in the post pandemic period, IoT powered asset management is probably the biggest trend. IoT-based smart asset management is a step up from the traditional. It is what the traditional solutions did, plus a lot more. These new-age smart solutions transform workflows and processes into an integrated one, building a single strategic system. It adds intelligence with real-time data analysis, alerts, dynamic control of assets, and runs predictive maintenance on critical machines. Staff really need that real-time visibility to control these plants/machines and even machines like wind turbines, along with automated workflows it can make these Energy & Utility companies become more efficient.

Reducing the dependency on human intervention on mundane tasks is a step up for device efficiency. IoT can automate the end-to-end process and continuously share asset status, location, health, and other parameters with the centralized system. That helps with optimized repair and replacement, increasing the asset’s lifecycle by using predictive maintenance sensors to track data performance and prevents sudden machine failure.  A win/win for all, something that Birlasoft helps companies with is to implement and integrate IoT centric solutions to connect back to the rest of the business so making them operationally successful and reduces their running costs.

 

Contact and sales details

For more information please reach out to the Birlasoft team.

Website: https://www.birlasoft.com/

Energy: https://www.birlasoft.com/industries/energy-and-resources

Utilities: https://www.birlasoft.com/industries/utilities

Sales Contact Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/birlasoft/

Office: London Office, 4th Floor, 53-54 Grosvenor Street, London – W1K 3HU

Phone: +44 20 7319 5700

Email: [email protected]

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