Copperleaf hosted its inaugural Celtic AIPM Forum where guest speakers from Northern Ireland Water, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, and Irish Rail discussed challenges and opportunities related to Asset Investment Planning and Management (AIPM).
Utility and infrastructure providers in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland are regulated by a single, multi-sector, regulatory body within each country. This relationship between utility and regulator is different from most jurisdictions where regulation is segregated by industry sector—resulting in a unique and complex stakeholder environment.
Challenges and Opportunities in a Multi-regulated Environment
The Forum kicked off with a panel discussion featuring experts from the water, electricity, and rail industries. Speakers highlighted several challenges and opportunities for improvement, including:
- High levels of scrutiny and involvement from varied stakeholders throughout the planning process, including regulators, government departments, industry, and customers
- Changing customer needs and increasing expectations
- The impact of fluctuations in yearly funding on long-term planning cycles
- The need to consider a broad set of factors, such as environmental and societal changes
What Does This Mean for Asset Managers?
As the operating environment continues to change, ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option for infrastructure companies navigating these challenges. Decision making is becoming increasingly complex and there is a growing need to take into account both short-term and long-term value. As priorities and funding change, utilities need to be able to pivot and react based on data-driven decisions.
The discussion, which expanded to include participants from Irish Water, Scottish Water, Scottish and Southern Energy Networks, Gas Networks Ireland, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, emphasized the importance of establishing a common understanding of value for more transparent and objective decision making. Participants also discussed the benefits of being able to quickly generate multiple what-if scenarios to explore different strategies and decide on the best course of action.
Conor Toal, Sales Manager for Copperleaf in Northern Europe, commented, “A really interesting thing arising from these discussions is how central a role these companies play in enabling big societal transitions and how deeply they feel that responsibility. Embarking on an asset management journey—while still providing safe, high-quality service to customers—requires a balancing act between agility and strategic planning. Fortunately, the Copperleaf Decision Analytics suite is already enabling this type of evidence-based decision making in similar organisations globally.”
One Size Does Not Fit All
Edward Clark, Technical Sales Manager for Copperleaf in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), demonstrated how Copperleaf’s value-based decision-making approach can help address these challenges. He also introduced Performance Prediction—one of the latest innovations in the Copperleaf Product Suite. The launch of this new capability is timely, as we've learned how unpredictable events, such as a pandemic, can have disastrous consequences on plans. Uncertainty, such as labour shortages and material delays, can severely impact project schedules and costs and greatly affect the performance of portfolios in the short and medium term. Performance Prediction ensures organisations can create plans that deliver the expected outcomes and help them adapt to unpredictable changes once the plan is being executed.
A really interesting thing arising from these discussions is how central a role these companies play in enabling big societal transitions and how deeply they feel that responsibility.
Edward highlighted a variety of different approaches Copperleaf clients have undertaken to implement AIPM solutions—illustrating that ‘one size does not fit all’ as different circumstances can (and should) be taken into account when embarking on an asset management journey.
If you’d like to be informed about future events in your area, or would like to speak to one of our product experts, please reach out to us.
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