With service reliability as our cornerstone, we are continuously seeking to improve our processes and practices to give our customers the best possible experience. We are relying on our employees to help make that happen. They are the most knowledgeable about the work they perform to keep the lights on, have a good understanding of what customers want and often have ideas to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Whether planning work or helping the physical work force spend more time on their respective crafts and less time on tasks that interfere with that, we are committed to continuous improvement. This commitment allows us to focus on the right things at the right time. One example is the decision to streamline the morning process in our Columbus distribution district. The daily all-hands safety meeting was divided into smaller crew meetings. Stretching to prevent physical harm, such as strained backs, was moved to the field where it could be done as part of field prep work. We also improved the scheduling process so that job packages – tools and other items that line crews need for that day’s job – are ready to go in the morning. These changes enable our crews to get to their job sites earlier in the day and spend more productive time serving customers.
In our Transmission organization, process improvement and standardization efforts are also making a difference. In one case, a simple change in technology is transforming some of the work we do in the field. By supplying field employees with upgraded technology solutions, such as tablets and smart phones, we are able to eliminate the need for back-and-forth travel to office locations to receive and execute switching orders. Information is now transmitted in real time, expediting the work and trimming costs.