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Pinnacle West (PNW) and the Center of Process Excellence

            Denny Brown, the CIO of Pinnacle West (PNW), was a major change agent for the company over the years. He successfully oversaw the integration of many process changes over the years that he was employed by the company. Starting in 2000 when he got back from IBM, his customers started to demand products at lower prices and delivery costs. The business, based in Phoenix for over 120 years, was a primary power generating for not only Arizona, but for the entire United States. Brown made several of the company-wide process changes that were necessary to keep the company moving forward with low enough costs through the devastating recession and fast-paced critical industry.
             Starting in 2001, Brown created the Center for Process Excellence, an 8-person team whose goal was to standardize the process transformation knowledge gained within the organization to aid in redesigning them to save time and costs. Each person was trained to find unnecessary or costly procedures and to try to solve the problem by eliminating or automating them. By figuring out so many processes, the CPE had a large database of information and bought a modeling tool to quickly discern and solve problematic areas of the business.
             In 2004 a fire broke out at a division of PNW, resulting in the plant being rebuilt. It was deemed that the maintenance aspects of the power station had to be changed to proactively be prepared for problems, not just reactive (as 80% of work orders were before the change; inefficient). In order to become proactive about the maintenance resources and save money, the change agents developed several metrics and systems that would assist their planning the work. They even came up with process metrics that would provide a high level description of processes through system that would turn them into tasks for the maintenance team. By 2007, this group was meeting all reliability metrics consistently due to the new process management systems.

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