Increasing Profitability

As a leading provider of Metering Services for the major utility companies, our client was delivering a number of fixed term contracts to customers with very different demands.  Being able to demonstrate consistent performance against these current contracts would be critical in the competition for both their renewal and in winning new business. The client had the resources and capacity to deliver the service but was struggling to make the best use of them.  They ran the risk of failing to meet profitability targets and losing business.

Complaints from end consumers were high because 20% of their appointments were being cancelled. Utility companies were complaining because the service made them look inefficient. Shareholders were complaining over worries about the value of the company. The workforce was complaining because they were caught in the middle. 

Our task was to untangle this situation, to identify the wasted activity, streamline the processes towards greater profitability, and make the business self-sufficient for future growth.

Our Approach

The client had a field workforce of several hundred qualified engineers, a number of local depots, a central call centre and a significant back office operation planning and scheduling the work. Our approach would:

  • Transform processes and restructure the business to make best use of engineers
  • Increase levels of ownership and accountability
  • Demonstrate significant and early return on our client’s investment

We carried out scoping and diagnostic to understand the current and required levels of performance. We then developed an approach that would tackle the required changes in a structured way to ensure sustained improvement.  We developed a detailed Future State Design for the core processes tackling the issues of: streamlining capacity planning, work scheduling, job completion and billing.  We developed new ways of working and a new organisation structure to implement the new processes involving redefining roles and interfaces; creating integrated field and back office teams; retraining engineers to increase flexibility, minimize travelling time and improve customer service; and introducing new management and leadership practices. Working with line managers and team members in the development, adoption and refinement of the new ways of working; we ensured practicality and buy-in.

Client Benefits

  • For the shareholders: field contribution increased by almost 40%, profitability by 35%, field productivity by 28%, 90% reduction in lost time due to accidents, and 50% reduction in significant quality issues.
  • Consumer complaints dropped by 50%, service levels (on time arrivals) improved by 14% and are consistent at almost 100%, backlogs of meter installations were cleared and all customer installation plans are consistently on schedule. 
  • Employee satisfaction greatly increased: people stated they feel more involved, motivated and had a greater sense of responsibility – and could earn more money.