As part of the project, Accenture helped the utility — which manages the regulated water and wastewater network in North West England — evaluate and select the optimal platform for the solution, creating a roadmap for transformation. Accenture then implemented a comprehensive solution and managed the migration of 4 million customer records to the system, digitising processes for a workforce previously reliant on multiple outdated technologies.
The new solution manages and optimises the work, scheduling and customer engagement related to the repair and maintenance of United Utilities’ 120,000 kilometre-long water and wastewater network. This includes the raising of work, work schedule optimisation, work dispatch, and tracking of progress updates from field technicians via mobile devices in real time. Beyond reactive maintenance, the solution also deploys sub-contractors for planned maintenance on below-ground assets, such as pumps, valves and pipes.
The solution is designed to enable United Utilities to realise substantial cost savings, with the company predicting a return on its investment within six months and enabling savings of £110 million over five years. The solution should also support the demands of industry reporting standards from the outset while adapting to regulatory changes as they occur.
“This new solution we have delivered in partnership with Accenture provides a step change in how we serve customers in the North West,” said Simon Chadwick, United Utilities’ director of Digital Services and Central Operations. “To have achieved all of this in under 12 months, working with a variety of teams and partners, is truly remarkable.”
The solution is powered by the Salesforce platform, integrating with Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning. The former will be used by customer service representatives to manage customer interaction, and the latter by field workers and those managing their dispatch to provide work management, scheduling, work execution and mobile management.
“We are delighted to work with United Utilities on this project, which should enable them to resolve network faults more quickly and better communicate with customers — while also delivering substantial cost savings, which the company can pass on to customers,” said Gavin Moore, a managing director in Accenture’s Utilities practice. “By applying leading-edge technology to its network maintenance challenges, United Utilities will be able to enhance customer service, transform its business and use this deployment as a platform for future growth.”
Accenture will provide application management services to help United Utilities run the platform following the launch, as well as application development services to provide ongoing delivery of new functionality to support business requirements and extend the capability of the solution.“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is enabling huge change within the U.K. utilities sector, and United Utilities is adapting to anticipate their customers’ needs and exceed their expectations,” said Musidora Jorgensen, RVP Utilities at Salesforce U.K. “Salesforce is delighted to be part of this journey with them, equipping United Utilities with the tools they need to reach customers across multiple channels, smartly prioritise tasks to address urgent cases and view customer profiles that enable them to build deeper relationships with customers.”