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# OPERATIONS STRATEGY CASE STUDY

ON
FLORIDA POWER LIGHT QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
Submitted by:-

Soumen Sen: ePGP-03-174
Supriya Anant Chaugule: ePGP-03-089
Vikas B Nair: ePGP-03-189

Submitted to:-
Dr. Sanjay Jharkharia
CASE BACKGROUND
FLORIDA POWER LIGHT (FPL), Floridas largest utility company, which provided
electricity to two-thirds of the states population, in 1981 was in the process
of developing a countrywide Quality development program with an
objective to provide Reliable Electric Service to all its customers & become
the best managed electric utility in United States.

The purpose of this case study is to study in detail the activities of the FPL
quality team in the St. Augustine, FL district & understand & interpret the
challenges faced by FPL, using a problem solving mechanism known as the
Quality Improvement Story. The QI Story includes seven specific steps:
1. Reason for Improvement
2. Current Situation
3. Analysis
4. Countermeasures
5. Results
6. Standardization
7. Future Plans
Question 1
AS A MEMBER OF THE TASK TEAM, WHICH PART OF THE EQUATION(FREQUENCY
OR DURATION) WOULD YOU ARGUE SHOULD BE WORKED ON FIRST? WHY?
WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS DECISION?
Frequency = Sum of (Each Outage x No. of customers affected) per year
Total no. of Customers

Duration = Total Outage minutes
No. of outages per year

Service Unavailability Index (SUI) = Frequency x Duration --------- Equation

In the above Equation, the Frequency parameter should be worked on first,
which gives the Average number of Outages per customer per year. If, in the
Frequency parameter, the no. of Outages per year decreases, then the sum
total of the no. of customers per year decreases, which in turn can
drastically reduce the SUI.
Question 1
In case of Duration Parameter, as the total no. of Outages per year decreases,
the total outage minutes also decreases, which means both the numerator
& the denominator decreases, but to what extent is unknown for now.

As such, the Frequency parameter should be worked on first.

Information required to calculate the Frequency parameter are:
No. of customers affected each outage
Total no. of outages per year
Total no. of customers for FPL
Question 2
WHERE WOULD YOU START ON THE DATA PROBLEM? WHAT DATA DO YOU
NEED?
The Data needed are as below:
List of Distribution or feeder lines
Chart of distribution lines serving localitywise
No. of customers in each locality
Outages extent/effect on no. of localities
Time for which service was disrupted
Total no. of outages per year
Total no. of customers of FPL
Cause for the outage
Time taken for repair

Question 2
Of all the above data, to start with & to estimate the Average no. of outages per
customer per year, we would need:-
No. of customers affected each outage
Total no. of outages per year
Total no. of customers for FPL

Question 3
WHAT WOULD YOU DO NOW? BE SPECIFIC IN TERMS OF WHAT YOU IN BOB
SMITHS SHOES WOULD DO? WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE THE MAJOR
OBSTACLE?
Having discovered that the procedure of reporting customer interruptions was
not within control & the data in hand was in correct/incomplete in many
cases, the job in hand now is very critical in nature.
All earlier SIRs should be corrected to the maiximum extent as possible to
get right data on hand to work on.
Immediately, a new reporting system needs to be formulated, which would
reduce the chances of making any error. A new software which would have
options for rechecking of data entered, including attaching the scanned copy
of the SIR along with the soft copy report is recommended.
Incomplete entries should not be accepted by the software, thereby forcing
the reporting personnels to enter complete data.

Question 3
Person reporting the SIR should put his name in the copy for the purpose of
accountability in future. This would give a sense of responsibility to the
person reporting the SIR.
A companywide training on the new software, the importance of correct
information & the need to maintain quality data should be stressed on.

PROBABLE MAJOR OBSTACLES :-

Change management within the organisation
Collection of incomplete data in earlier SIRs/Correction of SIRs
Inculcating the sense & the need of quality management within FPL
employees
Modification of the SIR procedure & software development & training

Question 4
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CAUSE OF THE SERVICE INTERRUPTION FOR
THE TEAM TO CONSIDER? WHAT DATA IS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS
DETERMINATION?
If we go by the data as per Exhibit 5 Number of SIRS by cause, lightning with
22 no. of occurrences seems to be the most vital factor behind the
electricity service interruption, however as per Exhibit 6, which gives the
Average no. of interruptions per customer against failure types, shows
vehicle (approx. 27% of total causes)to be the major cause for the service
disruptions.

As our measure is Service Unavailability Index, which takes into account the
Average no. of outages per customer per year, we would go with the Cause
factor Vehicle as our primary reason for service disruptions. This would
help to keep customer inconvenience as the main focus of all the analysis.

Question 5
DRAW A CAUSE & EFFECT DIAGRAM, USING THE BLANK DIAGRAM IN EXHIBIT 8

Question 6
COMPARE EXHIBIT 9 WITH YOUR PREVIOUSLY DRAWN CAUSE & EFFECT
DIAGRAM. HOW DID YOU DO? WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR ANY
DIFFERENCES? WHAT DOES THIS TELL YOU ABOUT THE USE OF THIS
TECHNIQUE?
Comparing Exhibit 9 with previously drawn Cause & Effect Analysis, we find it to
be almost the same when all the 13 SIRs were analyzed using the vehicle
related data.
However it is good to see no machinery related failure happening leading to
vehicle and as such service disruption.
Going by the data, the Poles placement, the road contour & man related issues
seem to draw the most attention, which needs to be addressed to reduce
service disruptions.
The cause & effect analysis is certainly a powerful tool to determine the root
cause of problems and helps to focus on the problem areas in a systematic
way.

Question 7
GIVEN THAT THE ROOT CAUSE (OF VEHICLE RELATED ACCIDENTS)- POLES ON
THE OUTSIDE OF CURVES HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, GENERATE LIST OF POSSIBLE
COUNTER MEASURES THAT WOULD LESSEN ITS IMPACT ON SERVICE
INTERRUPTIONS
Possible Counter Measures to address the root cause of Vehicle related accidents
- POLES ON THE OUTSIDE OF CURVES :-
Educating residents of Florida on the possibility of accidents & its impact on
FPL & its services
Repositioning of poles having the greatest chance to get hit by vehicles
Speed limit to be imposed on roads which are narrow & has poles outside of