Case studies

Allowing engineers to take control

We’ve introduced a new app and central ‘hub’ to ensure quality control on our work sites and give engineers greater autonomy. Find out more here.

Modern terms and conditions

Three years ago, we introduced new terms and conditions to increase productivity and create a greater sense of job satisfaction for colleagues.

The new’ Ts and Cs’ replaced the old ‘clock on, clock off’ mentality with the opportunity to earn more for great customer service and productivity.

More than 60% of our workforce now on these new style contracts, enabling us to provide a more flexible service for our customers.

Smart contracting

In an industry first, in 2015 we outsourced our maintenance contract for mechanical equipment such as gas offtakes and district governors.

There is a serious skills shortage in this area and we have found it costly and difficult to recruit to these roles in recent years.

Our chosen partner, Penspen, has a dedicated training centre and a strong record of recruiting within the region – supporting local skills and prosperity.

Culturally, the contract is a significant move for our business. Our performance has already improved and we expect to deliver efficiencies of 10% by 2021.

Modernising IT systems and processes

Historically, we have owned our own IT infrastructure and worked under a model where maintenance and support were outsourced.

Our move to a Cloud based system is making it easier and faster for us to invest in improvements that we need to make for customers and stakeholders, rather than what is available through an existing supply chain.

We estimate these improvement will save around £2m per year, but more importantly, the changes will mean we are in real control of IT and data, so we can be faster in responding to our customers and to emerging business needs.

Bringing our development team in-house is also delivering wider benefits, with the team being able to harness the kind of cutting-edge app technology our colleagues and customers are used to.

Over the past year we have shared our approach with Wales and West Utilities, SGN and Leeds City Council, among other organisations.

Honing our skills

Working in such a technically demanding industry, it’s essential that we keep our skills and knowledge up to date.

We run a comprehensive in-house training programme, to ensure colleagues have the right skills for the job. Training has a strong practical focus, and combines practical on site exercises and classroom based learning. We use latest technology, such as Google glass, to bring topics to life.

We also have a skills succession programme, in which younger colleagues shadow older, more experienced engineers, to ensure knowledge is retained within the business when engineers retire. This approach of teaching new dogs old tricks ensures we can face the future with confidence.