What Drove Puget Sound Energy to Transform Its Warehouses

An upcoming regulatory change and meter replacement project were just two of the reasons why Puget Sound Energy began exploring new SAP products to add to its landscape.

The provider of electric and gas services across the Pacific Northwest had SAP ERP systems in place since 1998. But its warehouses were still using paper-based processes that its employees had been following for more than 20 years. The company’s technology team recognized this approach would no longer align with the current or future needs of the business. That included being able to batch manage materials that were regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), for example.

A Meter Update as a Catalyst for Change

Then there was that meter project, which required Puget Sound Energy to replace meters for approximately 850,000 of its 1.2 million electric customers. “We needed to track those meter transactions in real time so we could make sure that serialization data was staying in sync,” explained John Olson, Supervisor Central Stores. “Some of those meters were assemblies—meaning they are two pieces of material joined together. Each one had to be serialized and tracked separately for billing reasons and together for warehousing reasons.”

Building Data-Driven Warehouses

Olson’s colleague Murali Karra, who’s a technology advisor, realized that all of these changes were the company’s big opportunity to modernize its systems. They also aligned with the company’s business goals to enhance its approach to enterprise asset management (EAM). “Our warehouses needed the flexibility to effectively serve this new approach,” Karra said. “But we lacked data that allowed us to measure how we were using space.”

Karra and Olson shared details about their move to SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) with Ann Marie Gray, VP of content strategy and research at ASUG. They explained how they approached the project, why they selected the partner they worked with, and how they managed the significant change-management hurdles of updating processes that had been in place for more than 20 years. Their hard work has ultimately prepared the warehouse team at Puget Sound Energy to be proactive instead of reactive, which allows them to focus on the most rewarding aspects of their roles.

Download the complete interview with Murali Karra and John Olson from Puget Sound Energy by filling out this form: