“Smart meters accelerating change”

Eandis is ready for the next leap forward

With the smart metering proof of concept and pilot phases completed, Eandis can take pride in the upcoming roll-out of an ambitious project that started way back in 2007. “The smart meter project has definitely accelerated change within Eandis,” says Jean-Pierre Hollevoet, Director Asset Management and Supply Chain at Eandis. “The research conducted by Professor Behzad Samii and his team was our compass for a number of important choices we had to make.” Two of these – and the journey towards them – have been detailed recently in two teaching cases: one on the smart meter sourcing strategy to pursue, and the other on the new business opportunities the new landscape holds for Eandis.

Eandis Chair team
From left to right: Olga Varganova (researcher, Vlerick Business School), Jean-Pierre Hollevoet (Director Asset Management and Supply Chain, Eandis) and Behzad Samii (Professor, Vlerick Business School)

What originally may have been perceived as a logical step-up in the technology of metering has proved to be the catalyst of change that has shaken Eandis – as well as other European DSOs – to its very foundations. “When we started discussing smart meters back in 2007, it was too early,” Jean-Pierre recalls. “The political world wasn’t ready. But we knew it was a course we had to pursue, which is why we committed to our first ‘Chair on resilient supply chains’ with Behzad back in 2010. We then renewed it in 2015.”

“Perfect fit”

Behzad Samii - Vlerick Business School“For Vlerick, the Chair was a perfect fit,” Behzad chimes in. “It tied in with supply chain management, one of our key research fields, and it covered one of our industry pillars: energy. Looking back on the smart meter research, from proof of concept to pilot and now to roll-out, we did more than just challenge an operational decision: we looked at how this technological innovation can strategically impact Eandis, from lifecycle physical asset management to customer segmentation for demand response applications. What’s more, it allowed us to prove how a supply-chain-management-driven company like Eandis can improve its triple bottom line by generating value not only for its own benefit but also for its customers and, eventually, for the planet as a whole.”

“We did more than just challenge an operational decision” Behzad Samii, Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management, Vlerick


Olga Varganova - Vlerick Business SchoolSustainability is what the research will revolve around in the next phase. Researcher Olga Varganova explains: “Smart meters provide us with detailed data on the energy use of households. One of the first insights we gained is that this data is invaluable to implement demand response measures, which in turn assist in flattening daytime electricity demand, leading to higher life expectancy of what are rather costly physical assets. This also warrants wider and smarter use of renewable energy sources that are more environmentally sustainable in the long run.”

“Smart meters help in maintaining higher life expectancy of physical assets” Olga Varganova, researcher

Aiming to become the biggest DSO in the Benelux

Jean-Pierre Hollevoet - EandisParallel to the research journey, Eandis is on the verge of a merger in the DSO market. Jean-Pierre: “Together with Infrax, we are heading towards one vehicle company that would become the biggest DSO in the Benelux. Eandis has become a data company with a holistic, customer-centric approach. That leap forward is the next logical step.”

“Eandis has moved from a DSO to a system operator and data manager” Jean-Pierre Hollevoet, Director Asset Management and Supply Chain at Eandis

6 teaching cases
The partnership with Eandis has also resulted in an enhanced learning experience in our programmes in Operations & Supply Chain Management. “Over the years, Eandis’s best practices have been used in six teaching cases,” Behzad explains. “Some emerged from extensive research, others from in-company projects at Eandis. The cases are a fascinating way to make real-life business problems tangible and serve as an excellent basis for discussion in the classroom.”


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