INASEP (the “Inter-Municipal Public Services of Namur Province”) was established in 1978. Its business operations primarily involve water supply and treatment as well as managing technical equipment belonging to the province’s municipalities and other public partners. It serves 38 municipalities in Namur province, all linked to the same water treatment facilities along with the neighboring municipalities of Chimay and Ramillies for its research branch.
INASEP’s business operations include: - Drinking water distribution to over 36,000 customers
- Wastewater management for over 400,000 people
- An accredited water testing laboratory
- A technical research facility specializing in water and wastewater treatment
- A research center for partners: regional highways departments and urban planning as well as construction techniques, renovations and energy retrofit for municipal and regional buildings.
Previously, the research center for partners made use of no planning tool and established no real schedule for its activities.
Then, on one hand, the research center started receiving an increasing number of requests from partners in the region’s municipalities with the stipulation that services be provided on time, and on the other, the municipalities’ requests start most often all coming in all at once at certain points in the year.
Finally, these requests called for a certain level of flexibility.
INASEP considered different planning tools. But none would allow them to manage the high number of projects that INASEP faced. “Given the volume of projects, PlanningForce’s automatic scheduling engine was a must-have if we wanted to optimize our resource utilization. With other tools, the scheduling engine is the user!” said Mr. de Sutter, the research center’s director.
As in the case of other implementations, we began with phase one, focusing on processes.
In fact, since no scheduling had ever been generated and used, some changes and adaptations had to be made within the organization, based on the model developed in collaboration with PlanningForce.
Given the rather high number of users in many different departments, a degree of harmonization with respect to how the projects were described was introduced so as to cover the needs of users at different hierarchical levels and to provide PlanningForce with information that would be both relevant and sufficiently detailed.
In order to meet INASEP’s needs, some adaptations were made to the software. “Since PlanningForce had written the software, they were able to modify the tools in order to meet the specific needs of INASEP.”
After this phase, lasting six months, the project entered the production phase, which was itself divided into two sub-phases:
- the first involved those in charge of services and project managers
- the second involved team leaders and the resources in different departments
Today, all projects and requests are input to PlanningForce. A timetable covering several years showing all the projects is then very easy to generate.
“Thanks to PlanningForce, it is possible to see the exact impact on different resources and therefore to be able to identify where there is some availability and the positions where there will be a need for reinforcements in coming years.”
A certain rhythm has been established thanks to PlanningForce. Previously, resources had no visibility with respect to future tasks. Today, there is visibility both with respect to tasks currently in progress and those to come. They are therefore much more conscious of the impact that a delay in the accomplishment of their tasks can have.
“PlanningForce serves to develop realistic scheduling and as a communications tool.” It is used during meetings and discussions with partners in order to objectively point out the impact of a new request on scheduling. Schedules in the form of graphs are sent out to partners.
|Number of drinking water customers||36,000|
|Number of wastewater treatment customers||400,000|