Trends in the Utilities Industry: Supply Chain Management

supply chain trends in the utilities industry

Emerging trends in supply chain management are having a noticeable impact on both the private and utilities sectors as the complexity and availability of supply channels increase. Factors such as globalization, outsourcing and natural disasters are altering the business landscape and raising the pressure to stay up to date with new opportunities available in the marketplace. Failure to stay abreast of developments in supply chain management can result in loss of competitive advantage, and failure to secure new contracts or exploit new opportunities.


Globalization is transforming the business landscape in the private and utility industry, due to improvements in communications, production and transportation. It is having a profound impact on the way companies source their raw materials and components in the most cost effective manner. This has resulted in increased competition from suppliers around the world who can produce and deliver components of a high quality, at a lower cost and within a similar timeframe to local counterparts.

Integration & Automation

Manufacturing, distribution, delivery and payments are increasingly integrated and automated, providing quicker turn around and the capacity for rapid order filling. A single relationship with a partner such as a turnkey stocking distributor can provide outsourced procurement and logistics through one single contact.

Enhanced Specialization & Agility

Supply chain outsourcing enables companies, such as private sector and electrical utilities and their construction and engineering partners, to step back from their current business models and strip away the operations that are ancillary to their core competencies. This results in increased efficiency and quality of product and services, through enhanced specialization.

For companies operating in the private and electrical utilities sector, procurement outsourcing can be especially useful, as it reduces the need to store large volumes of components to deal with instances of outages or new installations. It also lessens the requirement to provide logistics capacity to transport the necessary components from a warehouse to the installation or repair site where they are required. Using the services of an outsourced procurement specialist enables private sector and electrical utilities companies to respond in a more agile manner to take advantage of opportunities and conduct repairs and maintenance.

Shortened Product Cycles & Innovation

Shortened product cycles and innovation are other areas that are changing the way utilities companies are managing their supply chains. With current advances in technology, such as the shift toward renewable energies like wind, solar and hydro energy, private sector and electrical utilities companies have to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment. Smart grids, smart meters and micro-generation also present new challenges and opportunities which must be met with changes to the technologies employed.

Much as globalization has increased the complexity of sources of components, shifts toward alternate sources of energy have increased the variety of technologies and equipment which is deployed for the generation and distribution of energy. Remaining up to date with all of the possible solutions which can be applied to network is an increasingly difficult task, and developing and maintaining relationships with each of these new suppliers can present an unwanted headache to private sector and electrical utilities companies.

New Opportunities

Transformations in the way supply chains operate represent both benefits and costs to private sector and electrical utilities companies. Capitalizing on new distribution methods, sources of equipment, and technological improvements can result in tremendous opportunities for growth and evolution of the industry. However, the large-scale conversion of infrastructure and methods of operation can pose threats to those who are not prepared for the coming shifts in the sector.

To find out how your private sector and electrical utilities company, engineering or construction firm can benefit from outsourced supply chain management, please call Domino Highvoltage at 1-866-887-8617 to set-up a meeting or discuss the opportunity further, or fill in your details here.

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