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Operations & Maintenance: Who Has the Best Margin?

Operations & Maintenance
Fortnightly Magazine - October 2004

a bell curve for all utilities across one benchmark's results for a single year. In Figure 3, Idaho Power is highlighted on the left and Tucson Electric on the right.

All 100 utilities in this benchmark were rated with the same methodology for 2002. For the vast majority of these utilities, the changes in performance for this benchmark were small between the two years-generally staying within 10 percent to 15 percent of their original percentile slot.

As a final example, for any one of the benchmarks, we can chart the performance of utilities across time. Again staying with our two example utilities, the results for Distribution O&M on overhead lines, benchmarked to Total Distribution Overhead Plant in Service for each year, are shown in Figure 5.

The consistency in relative standings of these two utilities across the above three views of the study's results provides confidence in the methodology employed for this benchmarking study. Results such as these can assist utilities in determining where to focus efforts to improve business processes, as well as identifying where the greatest competitive advantage can be gained in any prospective upgrades of legacy enterprise software systems. In addition, utilities on an M&A path can study the results of their own benchmarks alongside benchmarks of the corresponding business units of acquisition candidates to determine the optimal M&A candidate based on complementarities in the operating performance of the two company's various business units.

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