Kankakee Valley REMC, a nonprofit rural utilities membership cooperative
Build a reliable fiber optic ring to network all substations
- Supplied 400 miles of outside plant fiber optics
- Refined bill of materials
- Provided staging and kitting services
- Kept project on track to be completed mid-2021
- Minimized material costs by consolidating material list and securing special pricing
- Achieved cost savings without compromising quality or service
- Fortified infrastructure to support further broadband development
Kankakee Valley REMC (KV) is a member-owned Touchstone Energy cooperative that delivers power to more than 18,000 residential and commercial member-consumers with 21,000 meters serving seven rural counties in northwestern Indiana. As a cooperative owned by member consumers, KV has a responsibility to make smart financial decisions. As such, they wanted to future-proof their technology by creating a reliable fiber ring connecting their office and substations. The ring would allow them to improve reliability by moving information faster and more efficiently, as well as being able to quickly spot and fix potential problems and identify outage locations. It would also allow them to identify opportunities to leverage their infrastructure to support further broadband development in their communities.
To design and secure routes for the fiber ring, KV hired Yates Engineering Services, an Indiana-based firm that specializes in FTTH, RUS design, SMART grid consulting and construction services. Once the engineering firm had finished the design, KV began looking for a partner to help with the construction phase of the project. WESCO and Anixter offered a team of sales, management and engineering experts that offered advice and expertise on fiber design, BOM development and the benefits of order consolidation. Once KV realized the value-added services that WESCO and Anixter brought to the table, they selected us for the project.
Using the existing CAD drawings from the engineering firmt, WESCO and Anixter stepped in to aid both KV and Yates Engineering in what turned out to be a project requiring 400 miles of outside plant fiber optics. The WESCO and Anixter team used the drawings to define a list of materials and organized and categorized them in such a way that the list was ultimately reduced to a fraction of what was originally proposed.
The existing infrastructure determined the build, using a combination of strand, lash and ADSS cable construction. In addition to supplying the bulk fiber for the project, WESCO and Anixter are also supplying the cabinets, terminations, duct and all OSP plant materials, as well as providing supply chain services, including staging and kitting, to streamline the project’s implementation.
Partnering with WESCO and Anixter helped KV effectively address the challenges in their supply chain. Josh Pepple, director of operations for KV, stated, “The partnerships we have established with WESCO, Anixter and Yates Engineering Services have simplified the management of our fiber ring deployment. Through these partnerships, we have realized savings for our membership through direct purchase of materials, while avoiding the need to bring in additional resources to manage the procurement process.”
WESCO and Anixter served as an extension of KV’s supply chain team, significantly increasing resources available to oversee their supply chain. Scott Sears, CEO of KV, said, “Innovation and community are fundamental to our mission at Kankakee Valley REMC. When preparing for this project, it was key that we focused on being fiscally responsible and good stewards in the community. We are encouraged that through a partnership with WESCO, Anixter and Yates, this can be achieved. This is a unique opportunity for our cooperative that will result in cost savings without compromising quality or service.”
For more information on WESCO and Anixter’s fiber and supply chain solutions, visit WESCO.com.