Between the lines: A deeper look at Dawson PPD’s Strategic Plan

Shannon Peard, Manager of Finance and Administration

Shannon Peard, Manager of Finance and Administration

By Shannon Peard

Manager of Finance and Administration

Initiative #1 – Develop a long-term, comprehensive financial plan to include appropriate revenue levels supported by new rate plans, treasury management practices (cash) and performance metrics to ensure prudent financial management of the company.

Initiative #3 – Create a long-term plan to maintain and increase system reliability ensuring safety and affordability using appropriate means such as voltage suppression, self-healing network capability, etc.

Strategic Plans #1 and #3 are the core of what will continue to make Dawson PPD a great company for many years to come. They focus on financial stability and continued and increased system reliability. These initiatives are integral parts of what makes us, us. Virtually everything we do falls back on these items. Our customers want reliable and affordable power. These initiatives are at the heart of providing that service to them.

These two initiatives – while both are so important – often have competing agendas. Reliability is costly. Maintaining and upgrading the system is costly. Investing in new technology is costly.

But you know what’s even more costly? Not doing any of these items. Letting our system become outdated reduces reliability – causing us to fix it during inopportune times (think storms in the middle of the night) at higher costs – usually including overtime and temporary fixes that may have to be changed to permanent fixes later on.

Planning ahead lets us beef up parts of our system so we, hopefully, have less outages. Now, I’m not saying we won’t have storms causing outages – we just hope for less of these instances – and we think our plan is working.

Striking a balance between upgrading our system, building reserves and maintaining affordable rates is a complicated task, but it’s essential in running a successful District.

Having a strong financial position allows us to strategically decide what improvements are important for the District as a whole. We decide how and when we want to update and maintain items. A strong financial position lets us to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Robust financial planning allows us to save in good years so we have reserves for lean years. Long-term forecasts and appropriate budgeting help us achieve these goals.

The strategic initiatives formalize what we’ve already been doing. These goals have always been at our forefront. They detail ways we can improve and evaluate what we are doing.

The goal is to help us identify potential issues sooner than we may have otherwise. Planning ahead allows us to make deliberate decisions on improving system reliability at times when it makes the most financial sense. We will look at detailed metrics to see if we are meeting our goals or heading off track.

Our strategic plan is a three-year period, but these initiatives will live on and likely be in our next strategic plan as well. Improving and building on what we’re doing is key to safely providing you with reliable and affordable power – and we’re committed to the endeavor.

 

October 2020

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