By Paul Hughes
Southern California Edison

Paul Grigaux has a busy agenda ahead as the newly hired director of SCE’s Shop Services and Instrumentation Division (SSID).

Grigaux oversees an expansive, 28-acre complex in Westminster, where more than 200 skilled craft personnel and technicians repair, test and calibrate power generation and transmission components—transformers, steam turbines, circuit breakers, motors and generators, measuring equipment and tools—for SCE and outside enterprises. SSID also provides a variety of engineering services and supplies heavy equipment, including cranes, for SCE- and third-party customers.

SSID Challenges

Some of SSID’s biggest challenges include ensuring maximum use of the facility by in-house customers and advancing use of the division’s excess capacity by third-party customers.

In addition to the “other operating revenue” that outside work provides for SCE, it also offers a way for craft personnel to stay nimble with their skills.

Another is that the shop is confronted with an aging work force—30 percent of whom are expected to retire in the next five years.

“We’re about to lose tremendous talent, and we need to be very aggressive and proactive in the knowledge transfer process,” Grigaux said, an accent from his native France clearly evident.

In response, SSID is developing a training and qualifications program to educate new employees.

Aside from coping with the loss of knowledgeable people, Grigaux also will identify ways to more efficiently use the SSID facility, evaluate how the division can be used for the betterment of all of SCE and ensure the facility is able to efficiently serve third-party customers.

In addition to the “other operating revenue” that outside work provides for SCE, it also offers a way for craft personnel to stay nimble with their skills. “If you go three months without doing any work, you tend to get rusty. It affects your performance, your motivation, and also your level of expertise, and therefore your productivity later on,” Grigaux said.

The History

Grigaux came to the U.S. as a teenager more than 20 years ago and received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cooper Union School of Engineering in New York. He later earned an MBA from New York University.

Through previous work experience on the East Coast, “I had known of this facility [SSID] and its capabilities. It’s a unique facility in the country,” Grigaux said.

Grigaux previously worked for a variety of companies on the East Coast. Among those positions was as a

field engineer for BOC Gases, where he specialized in supplying the food industry with liquid nitrogen, liquid carbon dioxide and other agents used to quickly freeze edibles, such as strawberries and seafood. After the company sent him to graduate school, he began working in the company’s Project Unity program, which is the equivalent of SCE’s Business Process Integration (BPI).

Jennifer E. Smith, Technical Services manager, said Grigaux is a personable director who takes a holistic view of SSID.

“He has an understanding that employee input is important in serving clients well,” she said.

“Engineers look at a project, the details, and are good at solving problems,” she said. “[Paul] values every employee’s opinion. He wants them to know their ideas are important and will be considered.  He also wants them to be clear about the direction SSID is taking and the guiding principles that will lead to success.”

Rajinder “Raj” Cheema, supervisor, Standards Lab, Shop Services and Instrumentation Division, said

Grigaux has been supportive of the work his department does. “He’s a strong proponent of SSID doing more business on behalf of SCE. He wants to see us grow in that area,” Cheema said.

Grigaux is upbeat about SSID. “The organization is hungry to move forward and grow. That’s a unanimous feeling here,” he said. “The people here really, really believe in SSID and have lots of ideas on how to better serve SCE’s needs.”