Seize an emotional connection with your customers.
While water infrastructure remains mostly hidden, water utilities should not be. The public must understand the vital role these utilities play in the survival and prosperity of the communities they serve.
In 2010, DC Water launched a nationally-renowned rebranding campaign with the primary objective of seizing an emotional connection with its customers. Billions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades and increasingly expensive regulatory mandates loomed, with revenues down from declining water consumption. DC Water had to re-establish its presence and credibility with the customer base as rates have doubled in the last decade and continue to outpace inflation. DC Water’s experience is a model for how utilities can transform the perceptions of the communities they serve – from a buried, passive, reactionary (only call in times of emergency) model to a visible, proactive and engaged partner in the community.
Blue Drop can lend its expertise in several different areas:
- Articulating a tactical communications vision and plan for your utility with a road map to implementation
- Conducting community outreach, including using social media, to creatively and quickly connect with your customers
- Identifying ways to become more embedded in your local community
- Breaking down organizational silos and aligning stakeholders across different departments to ensure you are responding in real time with one voice to customers’ needs.
- Leveraging the communication tool kits that DC Water has successfully implemented for you to deploy in your local community.
Learn how to build and sustain the next generation of leaders.
Upon taking the helm of then-DC WASA in 2009, George Hawkins inherited a financially sound and operationally functional agency. But the water and sewer utility serving the nation’s capital had much work to do on its relationships with elected stakeholders and the public.
In the years since, Hawkins built DC Water into a responsive and dynamic enterprise known around the world as a leader in its field.
Through Blue Drop, Hawkins and his top leadership team can bring you guidance on how to:
- Find leaders in unexpected places, attract them to your utility and keep them performing
- Inspire your workforce to rally behind your mission of public health and environmental protection
- Get support from regulators and political leaders for your key initiatives
Increase safety and security while reducing costs by effectively managing your fleet
A large and specialized fleet of vehicles is essential to running any utility’s daily operations. These fleets represent a large investment of capital dollars and they are expensive to operate and maintain. However, utilities do not always track or measure fleet performance, which results in low asset utilization and higher costs while not always having the right vehicles for the job.
With over 600 vehicles equipped with the latest technology, including Wave and GeoTab, DC Water’s Department of Fleet Management is an industry leader in this space. Blue Drop is leveraging this expertise to offer Custom Fleet Solutions to improve the safety and security of your fleet operations, while minimizing total cost of ownership.
Some of these custom fleet operations can include:
- Acquisition and Disposal: Conduct a fleet rightsizing study to evaluate fleet composition, fleet age, heavy equipment and availability of fleet. Implement strategic sourcing techniques and maximize residual value of vehicles.
- Program Management: Pay attention to core operating practices involving maintenance and repair, fuel management, parts management and inventory control through benchmarking, key performance indicators, and dashboard analytics
- Seamless integration of fleet technology: Recommend best technology solutions to optimize fleet operations, including mobile applications, mobile support services, network interfaces, and operations platform.
Emergency management / Security services
Develop emergency response plans supported by tools and programs to protect your critical infrastructure
DC Water is trusted every day to operate and protect one of the most critical infrastructure systems in the nation’s capital – the water and wastewater system. The utility has been recognized for its security program and excellence in its emergency response capabilities. Emergency management is essential to reduce vulnerability to hazards including fire, hazardous materials, natural disasters, and the threat of terrorist attacks. While there is currently no standards practices in the US for Water security and emergency response, DC Water has developed world class practices in both of these areas that it can use to advice other utilities through Blue Drop.
Some of our best practices include:
- Coordinate emergency planning, training and exercise
- Implement the national incident management system
- Coordinate emergency response
- Collaborate with partner agencies for critical infrastructure preparedness funding
- Deploy Tools and programs
- COMMAND-Pro™ incident command software
- Automated Critical Asset Management System
- Emergency Liaison Officer program
- Vulnerability Study
- Site Assessment