Comprehensive Assessment and Utility Enterprise Initiative

Working hand-in-hand with the City of Tulsa’s water utility to craft a national leader in performance and asset management.

The challenge

The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, like most Utilities in the United States, is faced with steadily rising costs and aging assets. It wanted a comprehensive evaluation of how it was performing and both explore and pursue opportunities how to become a higher performing utility.

The solution
We were the prime contractor for the first phase of this project, a $3.5-milliontop-to-bottom evaluation of the governance, operations, capital program, andlong-term business strategy for the water and sewer systems. The assessment included a comprehensive financial evaluation of public-private partnership (P3) alternatives, evaluation of the governance and regulatory structure, management systems, key business processes, operations and maintenance efficiency, capital needs, rates modeling, and its potential valueunder various privatization scenarios. Alternative strategies examined ranged from aggressive improvement and implementation of comprehensive reforms such as rate structure, business processes, asset management, information technology (IT), etc. to wholesale outsourcing via a long-term lease.

The Tulsa Utility Enterprise Initiative is the $6-million second phase of the program in which we implemented a utility governance information and reporting system; performance-based, terminable support service contracts; and a performance management system. Other services included developing service level and rate-mitigation strategic plan, an optimized budget that considers tradeoffs from ongoing maintenance vs. capital investment, and procuring and implementing of 21st-century asset management system. We are also developing frameworks and policy documents for business process optimization and reengineering, in addition to innovative guidance for long-term internalization of recommended improvements.

The results
Using IMG Rebel’s innovative Enterprise Value Model, coupled with water and wastewater optimization and maintenance improvements, the Utility is being structured to achieve significant long-term savings and reduced customer rates.