Operational Excellence

What is operational excellence?

There is no industry standard definition of Operational Excellence. In the world of business management, it is described in terms of customer focus, continuous improvement, streamlining operations, maximizing efficiency and more.

To take this to the ground level of EV charging and energy management, we will define operational excellence as follows:

Operational excellence enables EV charging network operators to efficiently operate and grow their networks while reducing TCO and delivering a seamless charging experience to drivers.

Let’s examine the elements of that definition.

Operating and growing a charging network

To achieve operational excellence, network operators should monitor their networks 24/7 through intuitive visual dashboards. Their EV charging an energy management platform should provide comprehensive alert management to promote network stability and availability by applying auto-detection and self-healing algorithms to fix charger issues remotely and automatically to the greatest extent possible. Detailed logs with advanced capabilities should enable simple remote handling of issues that are not managed automatically. Even migrations should only incur minimal downtime to the network while ensuring complete and error-free transfer of data to a new platform.

New roaming partners should be onboarded rapidly whether through peer-to-peer integrations or through roaming hubs to give operators a quick time to market and a robust monthly settlement process. And to achieve operational excellence in the domain of billing, the operator’s EV charging and energy management platform should be extremely flexible enabling the operator to tailor plans and tariffs that will attract a wide variety of drivers, while supporting end-to-end payment processing and invoicing. APIs should enable integration with legacy billing systems and allow international expansion through support for multiple languages, currencies, and country-specific regulations.

 

To promote network growth, an operator must be able to work with as many OCPP-compliant charger models as possible, and to accommodate variations in charger-specific OCPP implementation, an operator should even be able to develop custom integrations with chargers that are not fully compliant. Operators should also use a variety of reports and analytics dashboards to surface insights on parameters in the network that need attention as well as optimal locations to expand their charger network.

Reducing TCO

Reducing TCO is another aspect of achieving operational excellence. By using an EV charging and energy management platform that fixes charger issues remotely and automatically, network operators can keep their costs down by preventing the need to send field technicians to repair chargers. Smart energy management, through dynamic load balancing and peak shaving also reduces TCO by enabling the operator to charge up to six times as many EVs at a site compared to unmanaged charging without the expense of upgrading electrical infrastructure. Leveraging Time of Use contracts to prioritize charging when rates are low also reduces energy costs.

Delivering a seamless charging experience

Delivering a seamless charging experience to drivers is the third element of achieving operational excellence for EV charging network operators, and this can be demonstrated by a high “first try charging” success rate. Using an effective mobile app and web portal, network operators can help drivers find an available, fully operational charger with the right connector, and easily make payment when charging is done, whether directly in the operator’s network, or through roaming integrations. The operator should be able to accept payment through most industry standard payment gateways, and then provide an invoice directly through the platform. Support for AutoCharge and Plug&Charge (ISO15118) make the charging experience even smoother when those are available.

How can operational excellence be achieved?

Operational excellence in EV charging and energy management can be achieved through a scalable, intelligent and integrated software platform that enables EV charging network operators to effectively manage their networks while reducing costs and providing drivers with an exceptional charging experience.

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