Manitoba Hydro is one of the largest energy utilities in Canada, serving 573,438 electric and 279,268 natural gas customers throughout the province. Manitoba Hydro is a leader in many areas of asset management and decision making, and I’m pleased to share a case study that describes how the company adopted the Copperleaf® Decision Analytics Solution in one line of business back in 2011, and entrusted Copperleaf to help them build a robust framework for valuing investment decisions across the entire corporation. Manitoba Hydro is the first client to implement our software enterprise-wide, and I believe this is quite an achievement by both companies!
A Brief History
Manitoba Hydro’s journey began in 2010 when they started looking for a system to produce a long-term asset sustainment plan. Manitoba Hydro had built their own in-house investment tools, but found that they were not able to produce an optimal and defendable plan through a repeatable process; a lot of manual work was required. Thus, Manitoba Hydro began to search for a tool specialized in solving the capital plan problem they were facing.
In 2010, Copperleaf was awarded a contract for the “Supply and Implementation of an Asset Investment Planning System”. In 2011, the Copperleaf solution was successfully implemented in the Generation Operations group and a 20-year asset sustainment plan was produced the following year. This was a major success for Manitoba Hydro as it was the first plan that was based on a scientific approach—based on the condition and risk associated with its generation assets. It allowed Manitoba Hydro to understand and plan for asset replacements over 20 years, and thus significantly improve the reliability and availability of the asset base.
In addition to a long-term plan, Manitoba Hydro benefited from a number of Copperleaf features that were tailored to support automation of business processes, as well as integration with financial and EAM systems (financial and asset SAP modules). In 2014, the Customer Service and Distribution (CS&D) operating group joined Generation Operations in using Copperleaf for their planning needs. It was another successful implementation that demonstrated how two quite different groups could benefit from using the same system.
Evidence-Based, Enterprise-Wide Decision Making
In 2016, the corporate-wide implementation expanded to the rest of the organization, including the CS&D sustainment/operations group, gas distribution, transmission, IT, finance, fleet, facilities, corporate security, and HR. This was a challenging series of projects that unified and standardized corporate planning processes and the use of the Copperleaf solution across the entire organization. It also had a great influence on overall asset management and decision-making strategy. The corporate-wide roll out occurred throughout 2017, with every go live meeting targets related to scope, timing, and budget.
Leadership in Many Areas
- First enterprise-wide implementation of the Copperleaf solution and the Copperleaf Value Framework:
The Value Framework spans the entire Manitoba Hydro organization. This facilitates comparison of dissimilar investments across all business units.
- Change management and harmonization of business processes:
A large, diverse organization with varying business objectives and operational risks now follows a consistent set of capital portfolio management processes.
- Business process automation is achieved through sophisticated electronic workflows that:
- Gather approvals
- Integrate with SAP
- Integrate with SharePoint
- Produce approval documents
- Replace e-forms (a series of questions can be asked in the workflow)
- Best-in-class asset management governance:
Manitoba Hydro has established a mature governance body that oversees the evolution of the value framework and ensures uniform use of the Copperleaf solution across all lines of business.
The Copperleaf system is integrated with multiple SAP modules (e.g. investments, assets, portfolio, HR modules) and other third-party systems, such as gas sales systems and fleet systems.
A Bright Future
Manitoba Hydro continues to build upon the successes over the past 7+ years and Copperleaf is excited to continue to support them on this journey. As the company perfects its use of the Copperleaf solution and the Copperleaf Value Framework, I am confident Manitoba Hydro will be recognized as a leader in asset management and decision-making in North America and beyond.
For me personally, this project has been a fantastic learning experience and I can honestly say that I consider myself lucky to work with such a thought-leading organization and fantastic people. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and look forward to seeing what’s next!
To learn more about this project, download our case study.