Business process modernization

Streamlining emissions R&D with a new process workflow


As part of SoCalGas’ commitment to sustainability and safety, the company established its ESP group. Its responsibilities include developing strategies to reduce methane emissions in compliance with California Senate Bill 1371, but a lack of communication channels has limited their effectiveness. With the help of Over J consultants, the ESP group is now streamlining collaboration between its research and development (R&D) and execution departments to accelerate progress toward the company’s sustainability goals. 


Our team has long partnered with SoCalGas to modernize its technology, implement new digital processes and optimize existing workflows. So when the company’s ESP group faced difficulties completing sustainability projects on time, they reached out to Over J to leverage our consultants’ business process improvement and information technology expertise.

As the largest distributor of natural gas utilities in Southern California, SoCalGas takes a forward-thinking approach to sustainability and safety across all its operations. In light of California’s Senate Bill 1371, the company needed an ongoing initiative to eliminate 40% of its methane emissions by 2030.

SoCalGas decided to take a proactive approach, establishing its ESP group to research and test standards for reducing methane emissions in compliance with the 26 best practices outlined in SB1371. Currently, a project is initiated with the R&D department, which then identifies feasible solutions for reducing emissions, which are then handed off to the ESP execution department.

In recent months, the various teams in the ESP group struggled to consistently establish deadlines, ensure budget allocation for critical work or prepare projects for execution.

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To deliver custom solutions for these kinds of operational challenges, the Over J team always starts by analyzing the underlying factors. In this case, our consultants started by conducting a gap analysis to understand and map the current workflow for projects managed within the ESP group.

Our team identified the primary pain points our clients were experiencing during project handoff between the R&D and execution departments: although the R&D department ultimately determined whether a project required execution, the execution department needed advanced notice for handoff to proceed uninterrupted.

Budget requests, scheduling, procurement and other critical tasks needed to be completed before the actual execution of a new emission reduction method. To complete all these elements of the project, the execution department also required detailed project specifications at handoff.

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With the execution department’s needs in mind, we proposed a workflow that would increase communication between the two departments and ensure projects were scope and completed successfully. This solution would allow execution teams to receive regular updates about the status of ongoing R&D projects.

What's next?

The new workflow our consultants designed would ensure the R&D and execution departments communicate regularly about the current list of projects and their scheduled implementation dates. Then, when projects are ready for handoff, the execution department would be able to send requests for additional details, such as the scope of work, budget or other requirements. 

Our team is currently working with SoCalGas to strategize how we can implement an automated version of this process using Microsoft PowerApps, Sharepoint, spreadsheets and project intake forms. 

As with all our clients, we’re focused on developing innovative solutions that ensure continued success. That’s the advantage of working with Over J – you gain a partner with the skill and vision to reimagine how your organization operates.


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