In utility industries, the significance of robust management systems, processes, and controls cannot be understated, particularly for very large utility companies serving millions of customers. These companies are responsible for providing essential services like electricity, water, and gas to a massive customer base.
Optimal resource utilisation, adherence and controls to uphold stringent regulatory standards and service reliability are critical to maintain and grow customer satisfaction. As the demands of millions of customers continue to grow, investing in comprehensive management systems and stringent controls becomes indispensable for large utility companies to excel in delivering exceptional service and driving sustainable growth.
The Client, a major national electricity utility company in Southeast Asia, had recorded losses and its image was tarnished because of supply reliability problems and inefficiencies in customer management. The asked Renoir to analyse the situation and implement solutions that would drive real results fast.
ANALYSIS & PROJECT APPROACH
Renoir carried out an Analysis that identified the following issues:
- Breakdowns: The supply network and maintenance systems were not adequate to provide satisfactory levels of supply reliability.
- Project Work In Progress: There were too many concurrent infrastructure projects.
- Debtors: There was a substantial debtor problem.
- Non-Technical Losses: A substantial amount of money was being lost from theft and faulty meter readings.
- Lack of relevant information: Affected decision making, particularly at middle management level.
- A lack of accountability/ownership: particularly at supervisory level
Following a one week, off-site, task force training programme, the project team, comprising 8 Renoir staff and 60 task force employees, set about tackling these issues, having committed to the following targets:
- 25% Reduction in breakdowns.
- 15% Reduction in WIP.
- 15% Reduction in non-technical losses
- 15% Reduction in debtors
“I like the ‘discipline’ that the systems and processes that you (Renoir) have put in place has achieved. People now know exactly what it is they have to achieve, and how they should go about achieving this.”
GM Customer Service
The Renoir methodology implemented new Management Control Systems, process and controls. Goals, KPIs and results were set and were transparent and available to all employees. Full adoption of the changes were achieved by the behavioural auditing processes which taught, guided and coached employees in the new ways of working in their roles. This was a key success factor, because the average employee tenure was high, and the prior working culture was deeply engrained in the organisation.
This helped the company achieve considerable operational and financial benefits and played an important part in helping the company reach record profits in subsequent years. With direct financial benefits from the project of £15m and an ROI of nearly 7:1, the project was acknowledged as a resounding success.
Beside the considerable tangible benefits that were achieved, the culture had changed towards a results-oriented performance driven workforce. The 60 employees who had been seconded to the project team, learned new methodologies first-hand to define and develop systems and processes to achieve tangible and sustainable results. These employees now form the core of the new Strategic Unit (Distribution).
“ The culture of staff is evolving to become results focused, performance indicator driven, and action orientated. Wherever you go within the company people are talking about their KPI’s, their targets, their Management Control Systems (MCS) and their Action logs. This is a new company. ”
A company veteran employee
In conclusion, while the corporate results achieved through the implementation of robust management systems, processes, and controls are undeniably impressive, it is crucial to recognise that true success goes beyond mere numbers.
The case study of this national electricity utility company highlights that these tangible benefits were founded in a fundamental shift in organisational culture. By fostering a results-focused, performance-driven mindset and empowering employees to take ownership of their roles, the company experienced not only financial gains but also a deeper cultural transformation.
This culture shift creates a sustainable foundation for continued success, ensuring that the positive changes driven by the implemented systems and processes endure in the long run. Ultimately, the realisation that business results stand on the shoulders of successful cultural change is key to driving lasting and meaningful impact in large companies.