How to manage the metering selection process.
Ivo Steklac is the president and founder of Enspiria Solutions Inc. Andrew Trump is a senior consultant with Enspiria Solutions. Contact Steklac at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selection of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system is a complex process. It requires a competent team with a wide range of expertise and skills including business process, project management, finance, and information technology (IT). To navigate the challenging landscape of customers, regulators, and executive management, the team also needs adept marketing and political skills. The selection process takes considerable time, goes through distinct phases, and is subject to outside influences that will interrupt progress.
Furthermore, selection strategies range widely depending on company needs. Some utilities may issue a narrow solicitation for a specific technology, whereas other utilities may look more broadly at a full turnkey AMI solution that includes installation, system integration, project management, and a variety of contracting options. In any event, the selection process must address the following success factors to avoid the risks of poor choices, ruined budgets, and failed implementation:
• Formulate an effective AMI strategy;
• Include the right skill sets on the AMI team;
• Rigorously identify AMI benefits;
• Create a business case framework;
• Collect and consolidate AMI requirements;
• Evaluate business-structure options;
• Establish vendor selection criteria; and
• Consider a pilot or field test.