News and Announcement

South East Water working with Vetasi have been short listed for the 2012 Utilities Awards

Vetasi is proud to announce that one of our Clients – South East Water – has been shortlisted for the Utility Industry Achievement Awards 2012 in the category of IT Initiative of the Year category for 2012.

South East Water and Vetasi have worked together to develop a pioneering in-house and bespoke IT solution which meets the challenge of utilising and combining data from several existing systems which will co-ordinate the work of customer services, finance, operations, streetwork management, asset management and commercial services to support South East Waters Customer Metering Programme.

Martin Giel, IT Operations Systems Manager, stated “Working with the Vetasi team was a pleasure; their technical expertise and support in the delivery of this project has been invaluable”.  James Prior, Managing Director of Vetasi said: “ We are delighted that South East Water has been shortlisted for this prestigious award; the whole team fully deserve the recognition, for what is an exceedingly elegant solution to a business requirement.”

The £50 million programme will see 400,000 water meters installed for customers by 2020 and its success is based on the ability to deliver excellent customer service.

The overarching aim of the project is to ensure that for every customer account which enters the metering programme, an updated and accurate metered account emerges the other end of the process. This is within the timescale agreed by industry regulator Ofwat and with 100% customer satisfaction.

Not only does the solution ensure a seamless customer journey, but also ensures legacy data, which can sometimes be inaccurate, is updated. It ensures every property is surveyed, the customer informed, a meter installed and recorded, or an alternative tariff applied, and the data verified. The package also prompts communications to stakeholders and records contractor jobs for accounts.

The innovation comes in the ability to successfully track data across a number of platforms to provide a holistic solution.

The IT solution journey

  • Areas to survey are selected using customer postcodes selected from the company’s address database.
  • Surveyors from both the company and contractor (Clancy Docwra) use Getac E100A tablet computers, working with Nomad mobile system
  • Surveyors allocated 70-100 jobs daily, each with a grid reference.
  • The reference allows surveyors to pinpoint each property using OS mapping on the devices
  • Existing meters, stop taps and supply are recorded, with photographs
  • Data is fed to Maximo (work and asset management) system
  • The system identifies the correct Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRN) for highway noticing
  • USRNs generated for groups of properties – saving time and application costs
  • Work orders created for each property under a parent USRN for issue to contractor
  • Action raised for properties which require an alternative tariff or survey appointment
  • Customer agents use a simple booking system in Maximo to make appointments
  • Appointments automatically raised as work orders on Getac devices
  • Distribution of customer brochures is automatically triggered
  • Postcode areas generated for stakeholder communications
  • Reinstatement of meter pits controlled by Maximo and highway system EXOR
  • Jobs sent to Getac units for technicians to complete Quality Assurance on the ground
  • Technicians undertake feedback surveys on the Getac unit with customers
  • The verifying of data prompts generation of a first metered bill
  • Contractor jobs are recorded in Getac devices for payment

The metering programme is the single largest capital programme being delivered by South East Water during 2010-2015 and is the largest customer and stakeholder engagement exercise.

The IT solution required was unique in its impact on several strands of the Company and a range of existing IT systems, which all required development to create one, seamless solution.
The system is the most complex ever built in-house and the first of its kind to have a requirement to be continuously updated to react to changes in scope from regulators and the business.

The project has ensured accurate and timely recording of data during the first year of the metering programme, verified existing billing and asset data and improved the effectiveness of customer and stakeholder engagement. The allocation of work using address data facilitated by OS mapping showed an increase in productivity of more than 50%, against initial manual trials. The creation of USRN for multiple properties reduced highway inspection fees by 10%. Unwanted customer contact was low and customer satisfaction high.

KPIs for metering programme

Total installation tickets where meter installed – 60,362 – taking metered base to 50%
Customer supply improvements identified and resolved – 1,380
Meter details captured on existing accounts – 1,608

26,116 calls to Customer Metering Lines, 897 abandoned (3.43%)

1,083 contacts marked as dissatisfied (4.3% of all contacts)

South East Water Customer feedback
“Not usually a big fan of water companies but this has been handled well with plenty of notice and minimum disruption. Giving a period of adjustment prior to metered bill is an excellent idea.”

“We were glad that the operation did not cause us any inconvenience and that the company men were very polite & kept us in the picture as to what was happening. Stopped us worrying.”

The IT solution has brought many additional business benefits, in addition to a clear and structured process:

  • Ability to progress metering programme at required pace and locations, so meeting regulatory outputs
  • Reduced disruption for customers and cost savings as only visiting roads once
  • Improvement to quality of existing asset and billing data and capture of accurate new data
  • Opportunity to engage with customers face to face and effectively track all enquiries
  • Excellent customer perception of customer service
  • Enhanced perception of programme by stakeholders
  • Reduced costs in manpower and USRN notices
  • Simple to use Getac mobile devices, fostering good working relationship with operations and easy training
  • Effective appointment booking system – reducing the volume of missed appointments
  • In built ‘track sheeting’ reduces time and cost for contractor payment

The project was delivered under budget and within the time constraints and has already generated savings in operational efficiencies.

About Vetasi

Created in 2005, Vetasi grew to become the largest IBM Maximo EAM business partner in the UK and Africa. This phenomenal success is due to the quality of our team, our processes and our focus on creating continual business improvement for our clients.

Vetasi incorporated its African subsidiary in 2009 in Pretoria and completed its first projects in the region by the end of that year.

We bring to our clients a comprehensive knowledge and industry expertise in areas of Enterprise Asset Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, business operations, business and regulatory requirements, software and hardware platform integration, software implementation, project management and ongoing support.

All consultants are product experts with in-depth, hands-on experience and years of industrial and application software skills kept leading edge by continual skills development. This ensures the highest levels of delivery and service is maintained. Team members are at the forefront of both product technology and business practice – they are experts in their field, able to provide our clients with innovative, practical and low risk solutions.