Itineris Customer: Lansing Board of Water and Light


Rapid growth presents both opportunities and challenges for municipal utilities. The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL), Michigan’s largest municipal electric utility, has succeeded in transforming challenges into opportunities by using innovative technology and proactive strategies to best serve the state’s capital city.

BWL provides electricity, water, and steam services to numerous commercial and industrial enterprises as well as three colleges. These customers have unique and complex requirements for metering and billing, such as dramatic swings in power consumption for large commercial enterprises and frequent moves for multi-tenant residences full of students.

Attracting new commercial and industrial interests to the city while also satisfying the needs of existing customers required a comprehensive, intelligent, and scalable customer information system (CIS).



Prior to 2018, BWL relied on an aging CIS platform, which led to several challenges:

  • 30-year-old, aged technology
  • Highly customized functionality with limited upgrades and support
  • Poor integration with other mission-critical utility solutions
  • Expensive to maintain

When faced with replacing the legacy system, BWL knew the project would impact all aspects of not only the employee experience but also the BWL customer experience—from billing to mobile work management, customer care to customer self-service. A daunting task.

After a formal evaluation of CIS solutions, in September of 2018, BWL chose the Itineris UMAX solutions to meet their existing customer needs and aid in managing new targeted commercial and industrial growth.

But the timing of the CIS replacement also posed challenges:

  • In March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height, and BWL personnel were working from home. The new CIS employee training would need to be conducted remotely, making it even more complex.

  • In addition to the CIS replacement, BWL was also simultaneously implementing several other major systems, including AMI, GIS, and ADMS.

  • Only one legacy CIS programmer remained on staff to assist with conversion to the new platform.


This CIS replacement was an opportunity to fundamentally redefine how BWL employees serve and interact with their customers.

Despite numerous challenges, the BWL and Itineris implementation teams completed cutover and go-live on June 1, 2021. The entire project was successfully conducted remotely—amid COVID—on schedule and on-budget, while meeting BWL’s high standard of quality. Since then, BWL has identified numerous operational efficiencies as a direct result of implementing the UMAX solution.

Today, BWL has access to:

  • Real-time data
  • Real-time reporting for actionable analytics
  • Real-time payments
  • Highly automated systems and business processes, all of which will save ratepayers money over time

Noteworthy UMAX CIS efficiencies

  • Automated move-ins, and move-outs via the UMAX customer self-service portal. This is especially useful for serving academic campuses with frequent student turnover

  • Elimination of manual billing
  • Improved customer communications via SMS messaging and emails
  • Automatic workflows
  • Field services/work order automation
  • Automated AMI/MDM meter reads and consumption insights
  • Fully automated collection calls and letters

BWL made the right choice with Itineris’ UMAX

They increased customer communication, satisfaction, and flexibility with real-time information, self-service options, and first-contact resolutions to meet their needs and expectations, while increasing employee job satisfaction through technology-enabled business process efficiencies.

UMAX offered BWL a secure and reliable cloud-based system that is easy to use and maintain, critical for BWL to quickly and effectively adopt industry best practices to support strategic city growth.

This CIS replacement has enabled BWL to achieve its vision of becoming a utility of the future.



(Customer Self-Service)

and climbing within the first year of availability



Convenient for customers and ensures on-time payments to BWL


service restoration

BWL customers can now restore their service within minutes of making an overdue payment, 24/7, 365.


project savings

Actual costs to implement UMAX ended up being nearly 10 percent under budget due to travel and process efficiencies.


Changed business processes

Once UMAX was implemented, BWL discarded numerous wasteful or superfluous business processes.

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