It’s a classic case of practicing what you preach: an organization can more successfully market and sell electric power resilience solutions to electric utilities if it is resilient itself. Better yet, instilling a pervasive culture of resilience in the organization supports successful engagement with electric utility clients on this topic. This blog post discusses this connection between internal resilience and client resilience, and suggests a few ways that can help organizations achieve this culture of resilience.
Differentiate from the Competition
Electric utilities have sought ways to enhance their resilience to extreme events for a long time. Yet, recent wildfires, increased incidence of extreme weather, and heightened concern about cybersecurity breaches have elevated utility interest in resilience solutions. This has created a competitive marketplace for providers of products and services that enhance electric power resilience. One way a resilience solution provider can differentiate themselves from the competition in this market is to become (or enhance their status as) a resilient company.
Analyze Your Company’s Business Resilience
Business resilience is not a new concept, and many organizations address it. But applying it aggressively as an adjunct to providing resilience solutions to clients is less widely practiced. Looking inward to examine the resilience of the organization’s business practices can yield valuable lessons. These lessons learned, in turn, can help organizations better understand the resilience needs that its clients (electric utilities) face.
An organization can examine the entire lifecycle of resilience – from preparation, hardening, and prevention, through detection and response, to recovery. They can then equate the challenges they identified in each phase and how they solved them, with the challenge and solution process at utilities.
For example, in the preparation phase, an equipment manufacturer (e.g., smart grid, underground distribution, or substation equipment) may identify supply chain vulnerabilities and seek ways to prepare in advance to address these. If the organization is wedded to one primary supplier, what happens if this supplier is no longer able to deliver quickly for any reason? The solution here may be to establish arrangements with additional suppliers – before an urgent need arises. Utilities face similar supply chain limitations. For example, rapid procurement of a replacement high-voltage transformer in the event of attack or flooding can be problematic if one manufacturer has a long backorder queue and another manufacturer cannot deliver due to local labor or other disruptions.