The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is the largest state public power organization in the US. The Authority also seeks to become the nation’s first fully digital public power utility. This ambitious goal is a foundational pillar of the organization’s VISION2030 strategic plan, created to support New York State’s aggressive initiatives addressing climate change. VISION2030 provides a roadmap for transforming the state’s energy infrastructure to a clean, reliable, resilient and affordable system over the next decade.
To support its digital transformation, NYPA unified its asset management system on the IBM® Maximo® offering, a market-leading system for enterprise asset management (EAM).
“We deliver the right information, to the right people, at the right time, with the right technology to support informed decision-making for our asset management system,” says Len Caputo, Director of Asset Information at NYPA. “Our IBM Maximo platform is a big piece of that.”
NYPA also opened the first-of-its-kind, digitized power asset monitoring and diagnostic center—the Integrated Smart Operations Center (iSOC)—at its headquarters in White Plains, New York. And NYPA was the first electric utility in North America to earn the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 55001 certification, the global benchmark for superior asset management.
“Attaining ISO 55001 certification was a significant accomplishment for all of us here at NYPA,” says Brian Liu, NYPA’s Director of Asset Strategy. “It is something that we are extremely proud of.”
NYPA already used several Maximo solutions—including the Assets, Inventory, Planning, Preventive Maintenance and Work Order modules—to help manage its generation and transmission operations. It also tightly integrated these modules with its SAP ERP and other core applications. The system provided NYPA with a comprehensive view of approximately 60,000 power generation and transmission assets, their conditions and locations, and associated work processes, helping ensure optimal planning, control, audit and compliance.
Drives better asset investment decisions with real-time visibility into ~1,600 fleet assets
Assists with NYPA’s clean energy goals to decarbonize New York State
Supports NYPA’s goal to be the nation’s first fully digital electrical utility
However, the Fleet Department still used separate, standalone software for fleet management, preventing cross-organizational visibility into vehicle information. NYPA has a myriad of vehicles, including bucket and other trucks for utility linework, heavy equipment such as cranes for plant maintenance, and cars, including electric vehicles, for business use. Whether planning ahead or quickly responding to unexpected work, employees across the organization needed uniform, real-time visibility into vehicle status and history, such as which vehicles are available for jobs, and which are already in use or in the shop.
To ensure business continuity and efficiency—and keep customers satisfied—NYPA leaders prioritized the department’s fleet management migration onto the Maximo solution.
NYPA turned to IBM Business Partner Starboard Consulting, LLC to help integrate the IBM Maximo for Transportation module. The Authority enjoys a long-standing relationship with Starboard, which currently provides NYPA with comprehensive Maximo support and enhancements. Recent work includes a major upgrade to Maximo Asset Management version 7.6 software and expanding the solution footprint across the organization.
Caputo and his team appreciate the Starboard consultants’ in-depth understanding of NYPA operations and their outstanding customer service. “As we often say, we like to maximize our use of Maximo,” says Caputo. “Starboard has been front and center in helping us move that along, both from a technology standpoint, as well as understanding how Maximo can best support our business.”
Lani Trotter, Functional Analyst at Starboard, took the lead on the Maximo for Transportation project. “NYPA is a focused, dedicated Maximo user, and over time its asset management practices have been formed and implemented within the Maximo framework,” she explains. “It was time to bring Fleet data, practices and processes onto the system.”
The Starboard team worked onsite at NYPA to help define the solution requirements and begin development. However, during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization put the project on hold to prioritize employee health and safety. When the project started back up, stakeholders met virtually and worked cohesively to ensure a smooth transition from the old to the new system.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay, we utilized the time we had to extend our UAT [user acceptance testing], and more testing was conducted to ensure a smooth transition to implement Maximo,” says Raihana Azad, Asset Information Analyst at NYPA and also Project Manager for this implementation.
“This was a great effort by everyone involved. The Starboard team, as well as NYPA’s Asset Information, Information Technology and Fleet groups all worked together to ensure success,” says George Perry, Technical Training Instructor at NYPA and a member of the Maximo Utility Working Group and Northeast Maximo User Group management teams.
Working with Trotter, Perry organized the solution training and change management for NYPA’s 2,300 employees, including in-depth instruction for mechanics and other fleet staff. The endeavor required continuous adaption to the organization’s needs. Perry and Trotter had to ensure that training adhered to COVID-19 safety guidelines while also accommodating seasonal operations. The field crew responsible for breaking ice on the Niagara River, for example, was unavailable for several weeks. In the end, Trotter delivered most of the training online, with Perry and Brian Everetts, NYPA’s Fleet System Analyst, conducting some onsite sessions.
Now, employees who need to reserve a vehicle for a job or schedule repair work no longer need to call the Fleet Department to inquire about availability but instead can view real-time information online. “Cross-enterprise visibility into when and where equipment is staged, its repair status, and when it needs preventive maintenance, is key to planning. Equipment availability is key to our success,” says Perry.
Employees can also easily view a vehicle’s entire chronological history on a single screen, including its preventive maintenance record and associated costs. “Sound asset management requires us to look at the whole-life costs of our assets to determine future investments. Visibility through the Maximo platform really helps us through that process,” says Caputo.
With use of the Maximo for Transportation solution, the Fleet Department can help ensure optimal management of approximately 1,600 NYPA vehicles. Using this central source can help reduce operational downtime and cuts costs while boosting worker productivity.
“We wanted to make sure that we implemented standardized business and data processes for the fleet department by using user roles, policies and procedures that have already been established at NYPA’s Maximo enterprise level. We leveraged these as the fleet functions were brought over to Maximo,” says Azad.
This can help NYPA drive customer satisfaction and even help attract new companies to New York State. “The more efficient we can become, the better we can serve our customers,” says Caputo.
By integrating fleet management into NYPA’s shared EAM system, the Asset Information Group can also effectively advance NYPA’s VISION2030 strategy, which includes digitization. In addition, it can more easily identify opportunities for continuous process improvement set forth under ISO 55001.
Caputo and his team have received positive feedback on the transition from those in the Fleet Department as well as senior management. “This would have been a significant implementation at any time. The fact that it was completed during the pandemic is a true testament to Starboard, our Asset Information team and everyone else who worked on the project,” Caputo comments.
New York Power Authority (NYPA) (link resides outside of ibm.com) is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit nypa.gov (link resides outside of ibm.com).
Based in Longwood, Florida, in the US, IBM Business Partner Starboard (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a technology consultancy and system integrator specializing in IBM Maximo solutions. A leader in asset management, Starboard brings industry knowledge, technical expertise, and a proven approach to helping solve real-world problems. Starboard customers include utility, transportation, and government organizations.
To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.
Make paper-based processes a thing of the past
Mobilizing asset management to improve efficiency
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