How Gainesville Regional Utilities Brought Its Best Practices to a New Acquisition

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) is the most comprehensive utility service provider in Florida, with operations that span electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunications. The utility company was beginning to transition to one shared SAP ERP system, and it had been managing its inventory system with best practices and processes in place.

A Data and Warehouse Cleanup

Then GRU acquired the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC), a local biomass facility. This acquisition was a valuable gain from a strategic standpoint, as the utility company would now own the facility it had been buying energy from for several years. Yet integrating the facility into GRU’s technology environment presented some hurdles. The new facility had yet another asset management system, messy data, and a disorganized warehouse with overstocking issues.

The easy part was changing the facility’s name to the Deerhaven Renewable Energy Station (DHR). The hard part for Supply Chain Manager Barrie Corp his team was the associated data validation and cleanup needed. There was no consistent data schema for adding inventory items and many of the material descriptions in the former system lacked basic information. Corp’s team had to do a full physical sweep of the warehouse.

Supported by strong teamwork and a great deal of heavy lifting, they were able to complete the entire process within nine months. By the end of the project, the team had verified data and part numbers for approximately 3,000 materials. “It was a pretty fast turnaround,” Corp said.

Barrie Corp described the utility company’s successful transition in detail to Ann Marie Gray, VP of content at ASUG. He explained how his team eventually merged in DHR’s inventory while bringing over GRU’s best-practice approaches to warehouse management.

You’ll hear stories about best practices from other leaders in the industry in San Diego on Oct. 21–23 at SAP for Utilities.

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