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Published by:
Vlerick Business School (2017)
14 pages
Data source:
Field research


To tackle a global challenge of climate change, an overall reduction of energy consumption is of utmost importance for all the actors in the energy landscape. Each stage of the energy supply chain - from generation and transmission, to distribution and consumption - includes measures to contribute to sustainable development. It is believed that the introduction of smart meters into the energy sector helps customers better manage their energy consumption patterns, and thus save energy. Bearing in mind that the smart metering market is only emerging and does not perform as well as proven technologies do, Distribution System Operators (DSOs) should still learn how to benefit from the changing environment. Hence, small- or medium-sized DSOs are searching for alternative solutions to ensure the stability of electricity and gas smart meter installation. To reach this goal, utility experts are concentrating their efforts on adapting their sourcing strategies, given an immature smart metering market. The companies aim to create a win-win situation with their suppliers, provide a value-driven collaboration, and increase their attractiveness in the long-term perspective. Meanwhile, the 'smart metering' roll-out tends to reevaluate utilities' project management strategies. The project aims to minimise management control and incorporate more trust in, and collaboration with, suppliers by relying on their level of expertise. A more agile approach towards procurement and project management would build more reliable relationships with suppliers, which would encourage partnerships. Therefore, to ameliorate their market positions and become equal partners with their suppliers in negotiations, maximising the market offers could become a solution for small- or medium-sized DSOs.


Distribution system operator; Smart meters; Sourcing; Strategy; Best-value approach; Agile management; Total cost of ownership; Smart metering market; Supply chain; Energy
37.401.233 MWh of electricity; 66.161.329 MWh of gas; 6 million people

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