Market Overview

Planning for Safety in the Transmission and Distribution Industry

Karl Miller, Executive Manager, Kenny Construction Company, a solution provider company at the marcus evans Transmission & Distribution Summit 2012, discusses the key challenges facing the industry today and provides advice on how these fences can be overcome.

New York, NY, Nov 1, 2012 - (ACN Newswire) - The power transmission and distribution industry is facing the need to find answers to major material lead times, a limited qualified workforce, and a greater need to provide visibility to on-hand inventory levels for capital projects. Karl Miller, Executive Manager, Kenny Construction Company, highlights these concerns in our conversation below.

From a solution provider company at the upcoming marcus evans Transmission & Distribution Summit 2012, in Dallas, Texas, November 12-14, Miller comments on the imperative importance for safety to prevent work injuries, but also to attract a new labor force to replace the aging one.

- What are some of the major challenges that face the transmission and distribution industry today?

Lately we are seeing lead times on critical components like steel poles are increasing due to the current and projected amount of work in the market place. One way that manufacturers should look to increase production and decrease lead times is expanding or building new facilities and adding extra work shifts to decrease the time it takes to get products out of the door. Education of the customer base (utilities) is critical to managing the expectations and planning considerations for the projects. Many times procurement planning timelines are constructed in a vacuum, and therefore is unrealistic when let out for bid. Another possible solution is the creation of Master Service Agreements that allow for both the vendor and the customer to plan on a quarterly/annual basis and allow for flexibility at the project level. These two methods can help reduce customer misunderstandings and allow for the reservation of fabrication slots which will in turn allow for better planning timelines for projects.

Conservative designs in engineering are bringing up costs. Engineers should find a balance between optimized and conservative designs. Program managers need to help customers understand these costs before engineers start formulating their ideas.

The industry is facing a shortage of qualified individuals. Safety and quality must continuously be emphasized as a core value, so that a lack of experience does not amount to injuries on the job.

- What procedures should be considered to better manage materials?

Traditionally, line companies have not had accurate material inventory records because there have not been external factors which forced an accurate accounting method. In today's market, the scarcity of supply for critical and common components has forced each project to procure materials in a smaller time span on the projects, which therefore increases the need to accurate and transparent materials tracking. This job should be done by individuals who take pride in solely being responsible for materials, and see the importance of materials before they are needed. A software system, transparent for all to see, would reduce the amount of human error and lift the fog of confusion that normally surrounds inventory levels on capital projects.

As the industry becomes even busier, the holes in the current process will come into light and the importance of tracking materials will play a larger role in the completion of construction projects.

- How can the balance between experienced resources and risk profile be achieved?

As the industry is so active at the moment, experienced individuals are very sought after. Having experienced people in the team reduces risk. Splitting the work pie up into pieces, and having numerous companies working on the job instead of just one, distributes the risk. If one company does not provide the work needed, the whole project will not be ruined.

- Why do you consider safety of workers as paramount?

Safety is in everything we do because we work in an inherently dangerous business. The lack of planning on construction means that we are not fulfilling our responsibilities as engineers and managers. Planning the work better reduces risk and having a secure environment for workers eliminates the chance of losing someone on the job. No amount of investment or money can make up for that.

About the Transmission & Distribution Summit 2012

This unique forum will take place at The Westin Stonebriar, Dallas, Texas, November 12-14, 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on transmission development, electric utility systems maintenance methodology and how to efficiently manage a critical infrastructure audit. For more information please send an email to or visit the event website at

marcus evans group - environment/utilities/ energy -

The Energy Network - marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional trends and breakthrough innovations.
- LinkedIn:
- YouTube:
- Twitter:
- SlideShare:
Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About Kenny Construction Company

For over 85 years, KENNY has committed to providing clients with solid project performance and management. KENNY is recognized as a national leader among electrical power contractors, and has evolved into an industry-leading rehabilitation contractor utilizing cutting-edge trenchless and underground construction technologies and processes. Today, KENNY is uniquely positioned as a leader with a reputation for excellence, innovation, and safety unmatched in the construction industry.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world's leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit

- Twitter:
- YouTube:
- SlideShare:

Source: marcus evans Summits

Maria Gregoriou
Journalist, marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: +357 22 849 400

Copyright 2012 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

View Comments and Join the Discussion!