Publications

2016 North American Customer Service Benchmarking Summary

In this post-recession era, customer service organizations in the electric and gas utility industry have been facing ongoing budget constraints coupled with an increased demand for higher levels of customer satisfaction. While these two demands may be difficult to align and balance, top performing companies in the First Quartile Consulting annual customer service benchmarking study have been able to do just that. To read more...

Modeling Storm Outages

Ken Buckstaff of First Quartile Consulting, along with Mike Beck, Seth Guikema, and Steven Quiring, published an article on “Storm Outage Modeling: Enhancing Utility Responsiveness” in Public Utilities Fortnightly that explores how advances in storm outage modeling might be used by utilities to prepare for and address the potential reliability impacts accompanying the growing number of major storms impacting electric infrastructure. The paper includes a discussion on storm outage model development, key modeling parameters, and how utilities might use a storm model to help prepare their response.

 

Benchmarking T&D Crew Size and Equipment Analysis

Tim Szybalski of 1QC published an article on the topic of T&D crew size and equipment in the July issue of PowerGrid International. The article provides insights into questions such as: what crew sizes do utilities typically employ for different types of jobs? What types of equipment are assigned to different job types? 1QC has surveyed utility crew productivity practices as part of its annual questionnaire for the past five years, and found that scheduling the right size crew for a job - part of the overall role played by the planning and scheduling function - is imperative to achieving productivity. We would love to hear from you and continue the discussion. Please contact us.

 

Benchmarking Storm Restoration: Superstorms call for superior responses

 

Fortnightly published an article on benchmarking storm restoration by Tim Szybalski and Dave Carter of 1QC. The article uses key findings from our Electric T&D benchmarking surveys to explore questions such as What is the frequency and average response times for different magnitudes of storms? What magnitude of storms should be benchmarked? We thank Jesse Medlock, Robert Jones, and Rocky Morris at Oncor for their contribution to this article. 

 

To learn more about how 1QC helps utilities to prepare, execute and review storm response activities, please visit this page or contact us.

 

Benchmarking PM Practices: Tracking changes in project management roles and outcomes

 

Tim Szybalski, of First Quartile Consulting (1QC) has summarized key findings from our annual Electric T&D benchmarking surveys related to the Project Manager (PM) role, staffing benchmarks, outcome measures, construction role, and software tools. The summary has been published at Fortnightly’s Spark. 1QC also conducts consulting projects to help utilities improve their project management processes. Our goal is to support utilities in considering the challenges and opportunities in project management to maximize benefits from these projects.

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