EMA collaborates with utilities to deliver high-value solutions that address their complex challenges.
Successful utility operations means more than just meeting regulatory compliance rules. Modern utilities are tasked with operating and maintaining increasingly complex collection, treatment, and distribution systems with limited operations and maintenance staffs. EMA has worked with water utilities for more than 40 years, leveraging technology towards a more effective and efficient operating environment.
SCADA, Laboratory, and Maintenance Management systems all generate significant amounts of data, vital to the management of a modern Water utility.
Our focus on compliance and performance management will consolidate and leverage the right data, presented in the right format, to meet regulatory reporting requirements as well as management and operational level Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Energy costs comprise the second or third highest percentage of total utility operational costs. Investments in energy efficiency, demand reduction, and energy management can yield tangible and significant reductions in the cost of operations and attractive returns on investments.
EMA approaches energy management from a holistic perspective, including energy cost-down planning, process optimization, energy efficiency, demand response, comprehensive energy monitoring systems, energy analytics, distributed generation and storage system planning and design, and energy/water intelligent water systems.
Today’s operations and maintenance staff should not be tied to a control room or maintenance shop.
Leveraging mobile technology will allow operators and maintenance teams to access SCADA and O&M information where and when they need it. We design mobile workforce solutions that deliver information effectively and securely.
Process Control and SCADA systems are the central technology focus of plant operations. To be effective, these systems must be reliable, secure, and operationally focused.
EMA can design, configure, and commission state of the art control systems to serve the needs of modern collections, treatment, and distribution systems.
Investments in SCADA systems require careful planning, and not just technology planning. SCADA system planning also must consider how the system will be used and maintained.
Our approach to planning spans Operations, Practices, and Technology (OPT), and provides a clear roadmap for a successful system implementation or upgrade.
Are you fully leveraging your SCADA system? Advances in instrumentation and process control techniques can allow operations staff to be more efficient in the face of tightening regulatory limits and workforce constraints. EMA’s team of process control specialists can help optimize your system.
EMA’s Customer Service Practice brings deep industry knowledge and strong technical expertise to meter-to-cash cycle projects such as Customer Information Systems (CIS) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) projects. We help our clients transform to a more customer-centric model. With a focus on customer engagement and meter-to-cash cycle efficiency gains, the CS Practice works with utilities to optimize processes and improve customer service operations through our unique “OPT” project approach. We recognize that a successful project must consider the Organization, Practices and Technology by providing organizational change management expertise, business process redesign, and functional and technical support.
EMA understands the challenges associated with implementing Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technologies. EMA has successfully worked with water utilities to implement, manage, and integrate AMI/AMR technologies. Leveraging data analytics, EMA assists utilities with maximizing information related to metering and consumption data.
We understand the value of AMI/AMR data goes well beyond the meter read, providing utilities with valuable opportunities to improve meter-to-cash business processes.
The rapid advance of the digital age means that customer expectations have never been higher for the water utility. Utility customer service leaders are faced with the need to create and manage a multi-channel contact center that supports customer interaction through phone, email, text, social media, chat, and in-person.
EMA has a proven record of working with utilities to optimize contact center operations. We understand the critical contact center Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and are able to review available data to identify gaps such as inefficient contact center processes, staffing rations, and technology issues.
We assist utilities with replacing or upgrading their Customer Information Systems (CIS). EMA is the utilities’ trusted advisor for these important projects. We are knowledgeable on the CIS vendor offerings, yet we are vendor neutral. Services include requirements gathering, RFP development, vendor selection, contract negotiation and implementation support.
We help the utility through the entire journey, from initial needs assessment to successful implementation of systems that transform their business and help achieve their long-term goals.
Customer expectations are changing and today’s customers expect more immediacy, increased choices for interaction, and greater access to information.
We assist our utility clients with meeting increased customer expectations through process design that puts focus on the customer experience. Improving and increasing the number of customer self-service options is desired to empower customers by providing the information and tools to achieve outcomes themselves.
Physical assets represent the foundation of every utility. Effective, holistic management of assets is a focal point that impacts customer satisfaction, reliability, regulatory compliance, and capital spending. By improving processes and technology, EMA can move you from anecdotal decisions about antiquated assets, to data-driven analysis that matches your strategic business objectives.
Asset Management Programs come in all shapes and sizes, levels of formality and maturity. EMA recognizes that one size cannot fit all, and works with utilities to develop programs that work for that specific utility’s needs.
It starts with understanding both the utility business and asset management. Let our expertise work for you to build a program that fits your goals and objectives.
Every utility’s approach to maintenance is slightly different, but the goal is the same: achieve longevity and reliability for the lowest total cost of ownership. EMA’s industry insights can transform your maintenance strategy.
Critical asset reliability is imperative to utility operations. From basic initiatives, to identifying asset criticality, to building mature Reliability Centered Maintenance programs, EMA’s industry leading-expertise will help you maximize your assets’ reliability.
The modern EAM System is business critical for utilities. It is the system of record for all information about your assets, and as such becomes the data source for analytics and decision making.
Implementing a world class system requires both an understanding of the technology, but also of the utility business and its drivers. EMA has experience with every major system, while focusing on Maximo and Cityworks, delivering successful implementations for utility clients.
For more than 40 years, EMA has provided practical approaches to effective utility management. As an industry leader in applied research, we regularly partner with progressive organizations to adopt the best practices in utility management. From competitive assessments to business process improvements, we can assist you in preparing, developing, and achieving your organization’s vision and strategy.
We bring leading practices to your utility as a basis for benchmarking that goes beyond just comparing metrics.
We have established results-oriented performance measures that leverage industry data to provide you meaningful comparisons, not just statistics.
Our Business Process Redesign approach provides multi-dimensional perspectives for organization, practices, and technology.
This integrated approach means your new processes satisfies all your requirements and can be implemented across the organization.
EMA led the industry in developing and applying competitive assessment methods and tools.
We can help your utility identify and prioritize your performance gaps and make changes to achieve new levels of performance.
We provide program management services for key business areas to consolidate and integrate multiple projects and initiatives to achieve your program goals.
Our experienced managers deliver successful results in your complex programs through effective communication and coordination with multiple parties.
We have helped many leading utilities develop strategic business plans and facilitated team-based initiatives to carry out those strategies.
EMA led Water Research Foundation sponsored projects to understand trends in “Forecasting the Future.” We’ve produced leading-practice research to bring world-class planning methods and tools to progressive utilities.
Using proven methods for analyzing work processes and resource requirements, we can help your workforce become more efficient and effective.
Our analysis tools help you see areas to shift, eliminate, combine, streamline, or redesign work for improved service delivery.
Technology and data play a role in all EMA services and projects. At the enterprise level we help utilities plan their technology roadmap to provide their staff with tools that streamline work processes and empower staff to continually improve utility performance. As technology tools are implemented, we help streamline and automate work processes.
We help utilities establish leading policies and procedures to mitigate risk posed by cybersecurity threats with a focus on their industrial control systems.
We work to educate and guide utility staff responsible for the overarching cybersecurity program and governance processes.
EMA has the expertise to select or develop data management systems that analyze billions of records. We provide time saving tools that automate compliance reporting and optimize water production and distribution processes.
We have implemented and developed Meter Analytics systems that have allowed utilities to reduce water loss and improve customer service.
We help utilities implement technologies and practices to measure and optimize performance in water operations, asset management, and customer service.
Our approach starts with establishing effective data management and reporting, then moves toward having a more real-time and predictive approach.
Starting from an organization’s strategic business plan, EMA works closely with utility leadership and staff to understand their current information technology situation and priorities. We look at how technology decisions are made (governance processes) and help utilities strengthen those policies and procedures.
We work closely with governance and business teams to select the technology options and develop implementation plans that best support and sustain strategic priorities.
We develop tailored implementation approaches that consider the technology tools and impacted work processes – while leveraging the skills and capacity of utility staff.
We help utilities select the technologies that best address their situation, including processes requiring the integration of multiple systems such as warehouse inventory and purchasing processes.
While knowledge is often most closely identified with individuals, utilities can take ownership of the bodies of knowledge they need their employees to be able to access to do their jobs successfully.
EMA works with utilities to catalog and characterize the knowledge needed for various types of roles and develop strategies to capture, store, and transfer critical knowledge among employees.
EMA works with utilities to define the critical leadership behaviors and competencies that align with their values. Based on these competencies, EMA helps utility leaders and future leaders to apply evaluation tools to understand their strengths and opportunities for improvement.
EMA also prepares and delivers customized leadership development programs to build capacity, offers ongoing support through coaching, and works with utilities to embed desired characteristics in job descriptions and performance assessments.
EMA helps utilities take a step back and rethink their organizations. Change is constant. Sometimes utilities want to take on new functions or new service areas, sometimes they recognize that they need new or different skills, and sometimes they are looking for opportunities to consolidate or increase efficiency.
We start with the individual utility goals and performance criteria, then assess their organization at the individual, work group and enterprise level to find gaps, redundancy, and opportunities for improvement. To redesign, we work with utilities to develop practical alternatives and implementation plans that overcome constraints and set realistic schedules. EMA also provides change management support during implementation to assist clients in successful transitions.
Experienced employees are retiring or leaving for other jobs as the economy recovers. EMA helps utilities identify positions and functions at risk and develop strategies to ensure continuity and reliable operations. We focus on understanding key roles and responsibilities and cataloguing the associated skills and experiences that the utility needs to sustain.
We look for fit between current positions and future needs so the utility can take advantage of opportunities to adapt. EMA also works with utilities to develop candidate pools for key positions and to customize candidate development programs to build on employees’ existing strengths.
At all levels and across all functions, utility employees are dealing with more complexity, more technology, and more responsibilities. EMA helps utilities assess how their employees are meeting their current needs and how well prepared they are to tackle the challenges they are likely to face in the future.
EMA’s deep experience working in all aspects of utilities means we understand the different types of knowledge, skills and abilities employees need to function successfully. Once needed competencies are defined, EMA works with utilities to identify or develop suitable training and experience programs.