Itron News

Maintaining Focus Together: An Update on Itron, Our Customers and COVID-19

 Update on Itron
Dear Customers and Partners,

The utility industry is built on the reputation of consistently being there for our communities, especially in the most critical times. The work that we collectively do every day is essential as we keep the world’s critical infrastructure operational, ensuring the “lights stay on”, “home temperatures are comfortable,” “cities are bright,” and “clean water flows.” We thank you for your dedication and hard work to serve communities around the globe during these uncertain times.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Itron remains committed to delivering the highest level of support and service to our customers and partners while balancing employee safety and adhering to local and country-level mandates. Itron takes our role in enabling essential services seriously, and our teams are working tirelessly to fulfill this duty.

As I discussed in my last blog, we established a coronavirus crisis management team in January to determine policies and measures to protect employees and ensure customer success. The following is an update on the steps we are taking to achieve these objectives.

Keeping Employees Safe
From before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our highest priority has been clear: the health, safety and support of our employees and the people in the communities we serve. Our concern for our employees goes beyond the virus. Our employees are our greatest asset.

With the goal of continuing operations while balancing employee safety, we have instituted safety trainings, established additional cleanings per shift, made sanitizer readily available within our facilities and provided appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to manufacturing employees. We are utilizing social distancing in all locations, including within production lines, wherever possible. We are actively encouraging any employee who is not feeling well to stay home by extending sick leave benefits as needed.

We also instituted a global “Work from Home” policy for all employees that can productively do so, and we will continue this approach as long as local conditions require. In addition, business travel and gatherings have been gated since late January.

Ensuring Customer Success
In almost all regions across the globe, the work that Itron does is considered an essential service as we provide critical infrastructure solutions. The continued operation of Itron’s facilities, supply chain and contract manufacturers are important pieces to enabling our customers to reliably deliver energy and water during and after this pandemic.

In adherence with local government mandates, Itron did place production holds at some of our manufacturing facilities, mainly in Western Europe. We are now restarting production, following strict protocols to ramp up our operations in a thoughtful manner, adhering to government mandates, ensuring employee health and safety, and visibility into demand and supporting supply.

Our dedicated COVID-19 material management team has been in place since January and continues to actively work to assess and mitigate any risks to our global supply chain. We are also working to mitigate impacts to our global logistics networks.

Itron’s operating systems are built to be operated remotely for prolonged periods or during disaster events, such as this. Our Outcomes team continues to remotely monitor, support and perform services for our customers with more than 64 million endpoints under management, and our service teams are fully staffed and equipped to work from home.

We understand that during this unique time there is no business as usual. We are committed to supporting our customers and sharing information and potential delivery impacts as we work through this difficult situation.

The Road Ahead
It is clear many challenges remain, but the need to increase the resiliency and reliability of critical infrastructure only grows in the future. Utilities are seeking ways to increase operational insights and improve cost efficiency. With the COVID-19 event, data analytics for grid forecasting and management, as well as solutions to reduce risks to utility and city field personnel, have increased in importance.

We have also seen examples of customers using our technology during this pandemic to monitor for constant power to residences that are known to have high-risk consumers with life-support equipment. And in other cases, using hourly data from our systems to find water leaks in vacant buildings. This type of innovation is only the beginning.

Now, more than ever, Itron is supporting our customers to solidify the foundational elements of society, which requires a robust and resilient grid for the secure delivery of energy and water. Itron is dedicated to creating a more resourceful world and partnering with our customers to improve the quality of life, enhance safety and promote the well-being of people around the globe.

By maintaining focus on what really matters – our teams, our customers and our community – we will come through this crisis together.

Tom Deitrich