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Overcoming Workforce Challenges for a Large Energy Company

Historically, energy providers have operated primarily under a CAPEX model due to the high demand for services. However, as both consumers and businesses look to leverage cleaner and more efficient forms of energy production like solar, wind, and geothermal, energy businesses have been forced to become more efficient with their operating costs, production, and organizational structure. These challenges are further fueled by an aging workforce. With baby boomers holding the majority of blue-collar positions within energy organizations, a skills shortage continues to grow as large portions of the workforce move into retirement.

Faced with these challenges, a Kansas-based energy provider turned to Windsor Group to explore outsourcing as a possible solution. The company provides electricity to nearly 700,000 customers in East and East-Central Kansas, with energy centers that operate across roughly 35,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines. Responsible for a large majority of Kansas' energy production, they generate more than 7,000 megawatts of electricity.

The Challenge

Highly concerned about key resources nearing retirement and the impact of an aging workforce on operational capabilities, workflow, and production, the client engaged Windsor Group with a key outcome in mind. They were seeking an outsourced solution that would modernize their infrastructure environment and fulfill the responsibilities of their retiring workforce while minimizing disruption to their operations.


Although the company had previously considered outsourcing, there was still concern around cost, risk, and compliance. The client also struggled to determine which approach would cause the least amount of disruption: implementing a new solution prior to their critical resources retiring or continuing to invest in a cumbersome legacy system platform until those resources officially retired.

Engagement

Windsor Group worked closely with the energy client's leadership team to establish a clear baseline that outlined their existing capabilities, current cost structure, and supporting infrastructure dynamics. We then presented a selection of potential solutions that had been configured and priced-out in comparison to the client's current and future service requirements

Following an internal review where the client evaluated the cultural fit, technical design, and financial state of each potential solution, the company decided to pursue a more in-depth evaluation of the solution that best met their needs. Windsor Group worked closely with the client to perform the necessary due diligence and ensure that all specific requirements and concerns were addressed.

Results

Through our proven sourcing approach, the client was able to select an IT service provider and implement a new solution that seamlessly fulfilled the responsibilities of its critical customer billing system and transitioned away from its legacy systems. The client was also able to reduce costs while maintaining high availability and security compliance.

A partnership with Windsor Group allowed the energy company to alleviate their concerns of employing an outsourced solution. Our outcome-focused process helped ease the burden of evaluating potential IT services and ensured they achieved greater control over their workforce and operational challenges.

Insight

TMany businesses working within the energy and utility industries struggle with similar obstacles, amongst other challenges unique to their organization. With the ability to shift the daily management and responsibilities of non-strategic business initiatives to external service providers, outsourcing enables utility organizations to significantly lower IT costs while creating a more agile, efficient, and effective operation. Not only will this reduce the risks associated with an aging workforce, but it will also allow businesses to gain specialized expertise and place a greater emphasis on their core competencies.

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