The temperature outside is 30 degrees and the predicted weather for the next week will continue to drop below freezing. When Jane wakes up in the morning without any heat, she weighs her options and sets out to call the gas company to get her service reconnected. Jane is advised by the customer service representative that in order to get her service turned on she would need to pay her past due bill of $1,200. Upon the news, Jane advises that she has children in the home and demands the service to be reconnected. Once again, the customer service representative advises Jane that she would need to pay her past due amount.
Jane continues to explain her situation and that she is unable to pay the bill. Based on the date and Jane’s statement that she was unable to pay the bill, the customer service representative then offers a payment arrangement for 1/12 the balance, reconnection fees, and ? of the deposit in order to reconnect services. The amount Jane has to pay is $175. 00 to get services tuned on. Once Jane makes the payment, the gas company will be required to turn on services. Energy supplying organizations like Oneok have to abide by rules and regulations from the Kansas Corporation Commission.
These guidelines may not always be profitable or support a business outline, but they are necessary to abide by. Oneok’s organizational structure helps determine the responsibility for actions as it pertains to the utility company. Organizational Structure The organizational structure of Oneok is interesting because it is both functional and divisional. The organization is broke down into 5 divisional sections. The divisional sections are Texas Gas Service, Oklahoma Natural Gas, and Kansas Gas services; in addition the other two divisions are Oneok Energy and Oneok partners. The divisions are simply divided by their geographical locations.
To focus more clearly each of the divisions is broken down to be a functional organization. In regards to function the organizations structure the departments are grouped according to their function. For instance, within the customer service center there is a separation from billing, to customer service. In addition, engineering and other behind the scenes departments like human resources function separately as well. The organization is seen as divisional based on the separation from geographic areas. One other important aspect is the Kansas Gas services is a part of the Union, and the other divisions do not have union represented employees.
In order to make the organization a more cohesive unit it set out a strategic plan to Become One. Becoming One for the organization was to find a way for the divisions to share their best practices and become a solid unit, to Become One. In comparison, Westar energy has a clear cut hierarchy organizational structure. The organization is not divided into geographical areas. The hierarchy breakdown would be through functional management. The breakdown from the CEO to Vice Presidents, and the organization would move down from there.
This organization differs from Oneok because it is not divided based on geographical areas. Atmos Energy is a hierarchal organization that is divided by geographical areas. The organization provides a corporate governance guide that provides the managerial direction that the organization is to take. A key point in the guide is that the CEO and senior management are responsible for selecting members to implement and work within an effective organizational structure (Corporation, 2011). Organizational Functions The organizational structure of Oneok can be broke down into departments.
Each division has its own departments that are based on function. The human resources department is designed to aid employees with benefits that the organization offers. Each functional department is designed to focus on a specific function within the organization. The customer service department focuses on assisting customers with their service, responding to requests, and provides a positive experience to each customer. The billing department is responsible for the financial portion of providing customers service. They work to provide accurate bills, correct exceptions, and look to provide ervices such as automatic bank drafts, equal payment plans, or payment arrangements.
Engineering focuses on providing services to customers needing new service, or possible lines relocated for continuation of services. The dispatch department’s focus is to provide communication to the service people in the field. Since the departments are made into functional areas, if there is a problem, it is more likely to be identified. In addition a standard is easily maintained. The quality assurance of a customer service call will be easier to determine if all of the callers have been trained on the same standards.
By organizing the departments into functional areas, Oneok can focus on the needs of each department and carry through the needs of customers, employees, and the organization. With guidelines that the KCC puts in place for the utility companies to abide by the organizations must maintain some differences based on the states requirements. The geographical divisions allow the differences to be implemented without difficulty. Organizational Design The organizational design that Oneok utilized within the company focused on the needs and guidelines that the company required.
Initially, the organization was formed to be a traditional hierarchy. The organizational charting shows growth in the area. Since Oneok became a united organization it had to define what its focus was on and play to its strengths. As the organization attained companies, it was evident that the organizations were lacking in a common culture. To inspire an organizational culture the Becoming One campaign was implemented. Initially, each division set out to begin cooperating with training manuals. The focus on the training manuals was to develop a common set of terminology used within the industry.
Each division set out to build a reputation and gain customers trust. The common culture of Becoming One refocused the marketing department and allowed the opportunity for employees to work across divisions to bring about a shared culture and focus on the process of creating happy customers. By integrating the Becoming One program, top management found a way to have its divisions work together and create a complete and joint organization. The divisional departments are a necessity due to the type of service required and the geographical distance associated with division. Conclusion
Utility companies like Oneok are required to provide service to customers despite their ability to pay. With this regulation in place, organizations must be able to balance the needs of customers with the strategic plan of the organization. Customers like Jane, require service and despite their inability to pay, the organization must provide the same services for each individual. The organizational structure of Oneok allows the divisions to put in state guided regulations for each division. Oneok’s implementation of Becoming One focused on the organization working together and becoming a cohesive unit.
The structure of Oneok is designed to separate the areas geographically and also maintain the regulations deemed by each state. This allows each division to refocus its priorities and build a joint partnership with its divisional partners. For Oneok, the structure helps the organization define how its organization is managed. The locations of the divisions help determine the function for the organization and the design is made to bring a unity through all of the organizations and focus on Becoming One in the organization, One in the Community, and One in its field.