Trent Tscheuschler

Finalist
2014

Trent Tscheuschler, Powerco’s regional services manager, has developed a reputation as a `go to’ person colleagues can rely on to find solutions in times of need.

Trent is well known for his strong leadership and a technical background that helps him deal with problems on the ground. During the past five years he has held a number of key roles with the firm, including two secondments to help keep major projects on track.

In 2012 he was given the role of SAIDI Coordination Manager after a series of storms threatened to put the firm in breach of the Commerce Commission’s SAIDI threshold.

Trent drew on expertise from across the business to find ways to mitigate the SAIDI-overspend and ensure the annual works plan was kept on track. The company quickly changed tack, reviewing the scope of projects and finding alternative methodologies to complete the work without the need to shut the power down.

Powerco says the initiatives developed under Trent’s leadership remain ingrained with the business today. Teams were again able to quickly and seamlessly apply the same initiatives after a series of storms in mid-2013 threatened to take the firm down the path of another SAIDI breach.

Projects

Storms were not the only challenge during the 2013-14 financial year. Whilst attempting to complete the Annual Work Programme the company was tendering $240 million of faults and maintenance work, a project Trent was also intimately involved with.

The time and resources needed for that, coupled with the building of a new business process, the expansion of the team to transition to the new arrangements and the re-training involved, had the potential to de-rail the works programme.

Despite those challenges, Powerco says the work programme ended the year 5 per cent ahead of target. The percentage of work completed was also higher than the percentage of budget spent, showing the working was completed efficiently for both the company and its customers.

Trent’s information technology background has also proved valuable for Powerco.

In his first role with the Powerco Tenix Alliance, Trent was tasked with delivering a works management system for the business. His rejection of the existing vendor’s software as unsuitable saw the implementation halted and significant time and money saved.

He was also seconded from his role to rewrite the Powerco communications strategy for Operational Services. Powerco faced many challenges when defining a strategy for field communication. Through a number of workshops and a feasibility study, a high-level design was created to meet both current and future requirements of the communications network.

Powerco says the over-arching strategy Trent developed reflected the firm’s history while setting a vision to lift Powerco’s communication network. The strategy produced several intangible benefits, including improved quality of service and asset management in addition to the financial benefits.

SCADA

Trent’s IT and project management skills were again to the fore in the past year when the company was working to replace its SCADA system. That required the conversion of all SCADA sites from the existing data transmission protocol to DNP3 – an industry standard.

Powerco says the conversion in the western region proved more difficult than expected due to the complex nature of the network, the proliferation of differing devices and the range of internal and external resources needed to make the change.

Trent took on the already delayed project. The radio type was changed and the project methodology refined to reduce time needed on site. As a result, the project was completed within the original timetable and on budget.

Powerco says Trent has proved himself a popular leader and a hands-on manager who still allows his team to take initiative and responsibility for their work.

His past experience enables Trent to bring best practice in safety, maintenance and delivery of work programmes. His high personal expectations result in a drive for excellence within the business and have earned him respect from his team and peers.

The Young Energy Executive of the Year category is sponsored by ABB