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Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility

AWWU develops third-generation IT Master Plan

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Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility serves over 247,000 residents and employs 287 men and women. With an annual budget of approximately $86 million, AWWU ensures that quality, state of the art water and wastewater systems operate efficiently around the clock, 365 days a year.

Issue

AWWU has a long-term commitment to embrace continual improvement throughout every aspect of its organization. For over 10 years, the Utility has directed significant capital and employee driven enhancements to update its information systems. In 2005, AWWU identified a need to get data out of their various business and operational systems to enable better decisional support.

Solution

Westin had already assisted AWWU in creating Information Technology Master Plans in 1995 and in 2000 to guide the Utility’s technology investments and projects plans related to: 

  • SCADA and SCADA communications
  • LAN/WAN networking with a fiber-based backbone
  • Utility-wide messaging and workflow management
  • Maintenance management, including work management and materials management
  • Geographical information and land management
  • Capital Improvement Project (CIP) coordination and tracking
  • Customer billing and customer service
  • Financial analysis and planning

In 2005 AWWU contracted with Westin to guide them through development of their third-generation, Information Technology Master Plan and position the Utility to leverage information systems to improve utility-wide business processes and decision making.

Through collaborative workshops and detailed interviews, the needs of AWWU’s eight divisions were identified, defined and prioritized. A Strategic Design Concept was developed, along with estimates of individual project costs and staffing requirements. Throughout a six-year plan considering priorities and dependencies, Westin engaged AWWU’s upper management to obtain perspectives and commitments to these long-range IT objectives.

Outcome

AWWU accepted the 2005 plan and has moved forward to implement all of the projects in the plan. One of the first projects implemented included integrating GIS and MAXIMO and streamlining the business practices of both systems. AWWU retained Westin to assist in program management of this integration.

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