What do mobile offices, customer reliability, and health screenings have in common?  

Each is part of a project successfully tackling DTE’s toughest challenges. The common denominators are creative thinking and innovation – the specialties of the DTE Innovation team.   

“We partner with groups across our company to find new ways to solve old problems,” said Diane Reterstorf, IT manager, who leads the team alongside colleague Richard Ramirez. “We take on big obstacles and provide focused attention, structure, and dedicated hands to find and map the missing pieces of our partners’ puzzle.”  

Formed in 2017, the DTE Innovation team delivers solutions up to six times faster to save millions, enable efficiencies, and build the foundation for outstanding customer service.  

The team uses new approaches to address complex business challenges and shorten the time it takes to deliver value.  

“Applying innovation to business challenges, and conducting hands-on experiments that are fast, strategic, and focused helps DTE makes better technology decisions,” Reterstorf said. 

Below are some examples:  

  • Helping provide the technology and access operational leaders need so they can spend more time out in the field with their teams serving our customers and communities.
  • Collaborating with the electric operations team to provide more reliable service for customers by using artificial intelligence to determine the cause of frequent and momentary outages and voltage drops. 
  • Keeping our communities safer by partnering with the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant to quickly launch an onsite access screening app that captures critical COVID-related health data.

“We partner with colleagues who are considering a new technology or dealing with a complex challenge,” Reterstorf said. “Innovation is an opportunity for everyone – we can all benefit from working safer and smarter. Very effective ideas often come from those who are closest to the work and can quickly identify challenges and gaps.”  

In subsequent posts, we’ll explore specific solutions that the Innovation team has developed. We look forward to sharing these stories and to your feedback, questions and ideas.  

If you’re a technology partner or corporation that would like to collaborate, or if you just have a question, please contact a member of the Innovation team at  dte_innovation@dteenergy.com.