Transforming Wind Turbine Maintenance with Business Process Automation: A ClayWorks Case Study
A wind turbine manufacturer based in the Pacific Northwest designs manufactures and deploys wind turbines across Oregon and Washington states. The company faced significant challenges with the maintenance and management of these turbines, affecting its productivity and efficiency. One of the key issues it faced was new hire and employee retention. The manual process for turbine inspections, repairs, and updates took time and effort for maintenance workers, leading to high employee turnover and increased operational costs.
To overcome these challenges, the manufacturer leveraged Microsoft’s Power Platform to develop a series of apps for maintenance workers in the field. These apps allowed the workers to inspect the turbines, repair any damage, manage repair jobs, update documentation, and report critical issues seamlessly. The solution included SharePoint portals for easy document sharing and the positioning of virtual assistants and AI for enhanced productivity.
The manufacturer leveraged experts using the ClayWorks portfolio of services to help design and develop the apps and automations. The collaboration resulted in the successful implementation of the new system, which improved the efficiency of its operations, reduced employee turnover, and increased job satisfaction among maintenance workers.
The manufacturer faced several specific challenges related to maintenance and employee retention. First, the company needed help to keep up with the increasing demand for maintenance services as the number of wind turbines in operation grew. This led to repair delays and increased downtime, negatively impacting the company’s revenue and reputation. Additionally, the manual, paper-based system for tracking maintenance tasks and job progress was time-consuming and prone to errors, leading to inefficiencies and inaccuracies in reporting.
Secondly, the company struggled to keep skilled maintenance workers on staff due to the physically demanding nature of the job, long work hours, and remote locations of many of their wind turbines. This led to a high turnover rate and a shortage of experienced workers, making it even more challenging to keep up with the maintenance demands of the growing number of turbines.
These challenges had a significant impact on the business and its employees. The delays in repairs and increased downtime led to lost revenue and a decline in customer satisfaction, threatening the company’s bottom line. The manual, paper-based system for tracking maintenance tasks also led to inefficiencies and inaccuracies in reporting, which made it difficult for management to make informed decisions about resource allocation and future planning. The high turnover rate of skilled maintenance workers also created a sense of instability.
The Clayworks Solution
The solution developed for the company involved leveraging Microsoft Power Platform, SharePoint Portals, and Virtual Assistants/AI.
The Power Platform was used to develop a series of apps for maintenance workers in the field, which allowed them to easily inspect and repair turbines, manage repair jobs, update documentation, and report critical issues. These apps were designed with an intuitive user interface to streamline the maintenance process, enabling workers to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
In addition to the Power Platform apps, SharePoint Portals were also utilized to provide a centralized location for employees to access critical information and documents related to the maintenance and management of the turbines. This streamlined the communication and collaboration process between employees, reducing the risk of miscommunication or errors.
Finally, the solution included implementing Virtual Assistants/AI to automate routine tasks and provide workers with instant access to relevant information. This not only improved the efficiency of the maintenance process but also helped to address the issue of employee retention by reducing the burden of repetitive tasks on workers, enabling them to focus on more complex and engaging tasks.
By using the ClayWorks portfolio of services, we designed and developed a solution leveraging Microsoft Power Platform, SharePoint Portals, and Virtual Assistants/AI.
The design and development phase involved a series of workshops and consultations to identify its specific needs and requirements. The resulting solution consisted of a series of custom-built apps built using Microsoft Power Platform, which allowed for rapid development and deployment while ensuring the scalability and security of the solution.
The implementation of the solution involved integrating the custom-built apps into its existing infrastructure and operations. The SharePoint Portals provided a central location for workers to access and share information. At the same time, Virtual Assistants and AI technologies enabled workers to find the information they needed quickly and easily to perform their jobs. The solution was rolled out gradually, with training provided to all employees to ensure a smooth transition and adoption of the new technology. The implementation process was seamless, and it’s employees quickly embraced the solution.
After implementing the solution developed with Microsoft Power Platform, SharePoint Portals, and Virtual Assistants/AI, the company experienced significant improvements in maintenance efficiency and employee retention. The streamlined the maintenance process and allowed it to address any issues more quickly and effectively.
In addition, the solution helped the company improve its employee retention by providing better tools and resources for workers in the field. The apps and virtual assistants/AI also helped reduce the workload of maintenance workers, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks and avoid burnout. As a result, it saw decreased employee turnover and increased employee satisfaction.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) were tracked and analyzed throughout the implementation process to support the results achieved. KPIs such as maintenance turnaround time, repair job completion rates, and employee retention rates were monitored to ensure the solution had the desired impact. These KPIs showed significant improvements after implementing the solution, confirming the project’s success.
The project demonstrates the value of leveraging business process automation to address key challenges in the renewable energy industry. By implementing similar solutions, other companies in the industry can achieve comparable results and improve their operations.
This success story highlights the power of technology and automation to solve real-world problems in the renewable energy sector. We encourage other companies to explore these solutions and take advantage of the benefits they can offer.