With a new year upon us, now is the time to evaluate business plans. What worked? What didn't? What can be improved? If you are responsible for your company's business plan, then you should take this opportunity to firm up what's already in place. If you are a utility manager, you should do the same.
Business planning for utility managers can go beyond hitting revenue goals. A utility manager business plan can help maintain and restore electricity, water, and communication services quickly and efficiently. The following business planning tips can help utility managers learn how to create a business plan that makes their jobs easier.
Assign Roles and Responsibilities
Everyone on your team should have a preassigned role they fulfill. For example, someone tasked with scheduling should focus on that to keep projects operating smoothly. Handing out responsibilities can help solve serious problems like severe storm damage faster than instances when no one knows who is supposed to do what.
Utility managers have to keep every facet of their jobs organized. A poorly-run system can cause miscommunication and misunderstandings that adversely impact utility projects. These snags can upset customers as well as utility provider stakeholders.
You can organize your workflow by creating checklists that prioritize the most important work. You can facilitate access to project documents for your entire team and stakeholders. Having open lines of communication can also streamline your job and keep everything on track.
Bond with Your Team
You interact with your team every day. You have to know what each member is capable of and assign them suitable jobs. You should also get to know them to forge a bond of trust. They can be more willing to do what they are asked if they feel like they are more than a cog in the machinery.
Allow Room for Flexibility
Regardless of how organized you and your team are, unforeseen circumstances can threaten your project's success. Whether it's equipment malfunctions or severe weather events, these occurrences can delay your project for any length of time. As such, you should allow room in your plan for these instances. It can help you quickly adapt so you can complete your project in the face of adversity.
Safety is important no matter what year it is. Therefore, you should make it your goal to continually implement safety plans and training programs. An injured team member can delay a project and create other problems for you and your company. Costly claims and lawsuits can strike at the worst times, taxing a struggling company that simply wants to serve its customers to the best of its abilities. Safety must come first every year.
Incorporate Storm Response Procedures
Recent years have proven that severe storms can practically strike without warning or not as predicted. Utility managers have to be ready to activate a storm response plan when given the go-ahead. This plan can help them restore services quickly to affected areas. Storm response procedures should include all the details that go into staging an area for utility teams to meet and rest, where to obtain weather news, and each team's role. Existing measures can be the blueprint to safely and promptly restore services for every affected customer.
Look at Previous Plans for Guidance
If you get stuck creating a plan, then you should refer to older plans. These can be ones you drafted last year or the year before or ones other utility managers made. A sample can help you find points you have missed, bolstering your 2023 plan. Plus, you can evaluate your previous plans to see what needs improvement. You can add improvement efforts into your new plan to help make you and your team more effective during the next year.
Place a Hauling Company on Stand-By
A 2023 utility business plan should include procedures that dictate how utility poles and related equipment are delivered to job sites. Hiring an asset-based hauling company that specializes in self-loading can make the difference between restoring service sooner rather than later.
Blackwood Resources is a trusted partner within the utility industry. We own our hauling equipment and hire our drivers. We focus on self-loading, meaning our trucks have attached grapples that our drivers can use to load and unload poles and other utility equipment to and from the flatbed. This means utility project managers do not have to rent additional moving equipment or hire more workers. We aim to save managers time and money.
Contact us today before 2023 rolls around and you find yourself needing a hauling solution at the last second.