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Southern Co. operates 76 power plants with more than 12,000 craft workers, many of them contractors, rotating among different plants as needed. Until recently, it kept records on worker certifications, training, drug tests, background checks and other information at each plant. When a worker switched plants, it was often easier to redo tests and training rather than chase down information at another plant. But that approach was costly and annoyed workers.
Last year, Southern centralized all the worker information with a Web application that provides a central repository of worker data. Now, workers can easily move from plant to plant, using technology like hand scanners to gain entry. The system will save the company $5.8 million over 4.5 years in labor and drug-testing costs. It's also being sold to other utilities.
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.