Tackling your OT procurement needs
August 27, 2022

Getting the system you need—without the stress you don’t.

Aging utility Operational Technology (OT) systems, the rise in renewables being interconnected to the grid, and the need for expanded functionality are driving many utilities to reach out for help when replacing or upgrading their mission-critical control center systems.

There are a lot of moving parts to an OT procurement, and to achieve their goals of getting the latest proven technologies in a cost-effective manner – without sacrificing their day-to-day operations – many utilities have begun working with experienced consultants. Having the support of a professional strategic procurement service provider makes a huge difference for many utilities because the effort of going it alone can sometimes feel overwhelming and the cost too high if it doesn’t go smoothly.

Whether you’re short-staffed or you’d just like to augment your staff with a partner who has the specific experience required to procure a new or upgrade an outdated system, PSC has the professionals with the expertise, market knowledge and vendor relationships to drive vendor alignment and risk reduction.

Recognizing that no two utilities are the same, here’s an overview of the OT procurement journey you can expect when working with PSC. We will always customize our process to meet your needs and lean into best practices we’ve discovered over our literally hundreds of years of combined system experience procuring, implementing and operating utility OT systems.

Identifying & realizing cost savings through strategic procurement

For outsourced procurement services to deliver the best results, it’s essential for utilities to treat procurement as a strategic process and provide the support and buy-in to ensure its success. Strategic procurement services are not simply outsourced RFx processes; the value added when partnering with an experienced resource can be immense. Some sources report that utilities can realize cost savings of up to 20%[i] when working with a strategic procurement partner.

At PSC, we’ll partner with you to identify your “holes and goals.” We’ll help determine your core requirements by conducting stakeholder interviews to home in on priorities. We’ll outline objectives and determine what metrics to track to ensure the ROI you’re expecting.

Gap analysis

If necessary, we’ll perform a gap analysis to compare your current system with the objectives and results you expect from a new system. We’ll work together with you to look at gaps in resources and potential process improvements to build a roadmap and fulfill your strategic goals.

Simply put, we’ll identify the current state of your system, compare it to your future system expectations and goals and then address the gaps between the two. Finally, we’ll outline requirements to close the gaps.

Building a roadmap and helping you get to your destination

Armed with all the information we’ve gathered, your internal experience and know-how and PSC’s expertise, we’ll develop a plan of action that almost always requires writing and issuing an RFx (RFI, RFP, RFQ, etc.).

Once proposals are received, we will review them in detail, using comprehensive and objective evaluation guidelines. We’ll apply a clear ranking system with criteria, weighting, and scoring recommendations.

Facilitating and managing the vendor demo process

After reviewing proposals and conducting any related vendor demos and interviews, we’ll tabulate and summarize scoring, and for proposals that rank similarly, consider holding interviews with shortlisted vendors to get a better feel for their offering.

Supporting your SOW and contract processes

Now it’s time to head into the final stretch of the RFx process. To reduce the risk of an RFx failing at the final step, we will support you in identifying any potential contractual issues and hiccups in advance.

PSC: End-to-end strategic procurement

If you don’t have the bandwidth or resources to take on a procurement project, we can help. At PSC, we have experienced teams and proven templates and workflows in place to support you throughout the procurement process. We offer procurement services for energy control systems including EMS, ADMS, and DERMS, and we deliver end-to-end services, from determining core requirements through contract management and finalization, including:

  • Requirements and gap analysis
  • Product/project roadmap alignment
  • System specifications and vendor request documents (RFI, RFP, RFQ, etc.)
  • Procurement process management and support
  • Vendor response evaluation and scoring
  • Vendor demo management
  • SOW engagement and contract negotiations

Learn more

Looking for a new OT system? PSC has the expertise and capabilities to make procurement easier. Contact us today to discuss your needs!

[i] https://www.bcg.com/industries/energy/power-utilities/what-strategic-procurement-can-do-for-utilities