Water corporation benefits from Integrated enterprise solution

Victorian water corporation, Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater) was previously using numerous disparate systems and was seeking an integrated enterprise solution that would provide it with a single source of truth for all its business information.

sewage treatment plant with sunriseMark Williams, Managing Director at GWMWater, said, “Integration has been a key driver for us at GWMWater.

“We have shifted very much away from best of breed systems, as we look to improve our overall operational efficiency and productivity.”

The solution

GWMWater implemented TechnologyOne Financials, Human Resource & Payroll, Property & Rating, Corporate Performance Management, Supply Chain and Asset Management products to form an integrated enterprise solution.

These products are the key components of TechnologyOne’s preconfigured OneWater solution, which was developed in collaboration with more than 60 utilities and infrastructure organisations.

The benefits

TechnologyOne’s enterprise solution has enabled GWMWater to transform its business by breaking down business silos and centralising information.

The single modern platform and consistent interface has reduced training and improved the user experience for staff.

“As we’ve added more TechnologyOne products it has made it easier to share information across different departments,” Mr Williams said.

“We’ve created a single point of truth for all data, so it isn’t splashed across multiple systems. When you use a common platform across the organisation, and staff from different areas need to access each other’s data, it forces a discussion that we weren’t previously having.

“TechnologyOne’s software has given our people the information they need at their fingertips. For GWMWater, TechnologyOne has been an enabler of business efficiency.”

GWMWater’s perspective

GWMWater provides water services to 70,000 customers across a geographic spread of 62,000 square kilometres, which is about 30 per cent of Victoria.

The water corporation was using a number of disparate systems and decided to shift from a best of breed approach to a single integrated enterprise system across the business.

Brendan Nitschke, Manager, Knowledge Systems at GWMWater, said, “When we were using best of breed systems, it was really hard to integrate them.

“When you’re dealing with multiple vendors, they can be reluctant to integrate with competing business systems. We would end up with our data across multiple systems, and were never sure which was the original or accurate source.

“It is much more seamless now that we have all our information in the one system.

“We no longer need to work with multiple vendors or administer multiple systems, and we have been able to save a lot of time by reducing the amount of training our staff need to undertake.”

Mr Williams said TechnologyOne’s software has also provided GWMWater with a future-proof solution, enabling it to better mobilise its workforce and embrace smart mobile devices.

“We have improved productivity quite significantly by having hand held tablets for our asset management workforce.

“We have made more efficient use of our workforce by making the information available instantly to field workers. They can record what they’re doing seamlessly in the field, rather than having to do paper-based recordings and come back into the office to enter it manually.”

Spotlight on transforming business

Since implementing TechnologyOne’s enterprise solution, GWMWater has made significant improvements to its productivity, accuracy and customer satisfaction.

These improvements have received a nod of approval from the Essential Services Commission (ESC), Victoria’s independent economic regulator of prescribed essential utility services supplied by the water and sewerage, electricity, gas, ports and rail freight industries.

“In Victoria the ESC produces an annual water performance report which is released to the public, publishing information about our performance across a number of parameters such as service reliability,” Mr Williams said.

“The report relies on data provided by us, and about four years ago we received quite a poor score because we weren’t able to provide all the information needed.

“In the most recent audit, we had a quantum shift in performance, with more than 95 per cent of scores in the top A1 category.

“TechnologyOne’s software has certainly supported us to achieve the significant productivity gains we were targeting, and continue to target, year-on-year.

“It has been a cultural shift for the organisation that has been successfully enabled by the systems we use.”

Spotlight on Human Resources

TechnologyOne’s software has enabled GWMWater’s HR team to save time by automating manual processes such as timesheets, reporting and performance reviews.

With integrated real-time data and employee self service, staff have access to the information they need at their fingertips.

Peter Drummond, Manager People and Culture at GWMWater, said, “By automating the process we now do our payroll in two days, cut down from six days previously. We also have just one payroll person to process this, whereas in the past we had two people working full time to crunch the numbers and enter data.

“One of the huge benefits is that all the information across the system is in real time. This leads to much more accurate information and eliminates the need for separate spreadsheets, databases and other scattered data.

“We have seen a lot of improvements by moving to a single enterprise system. It has enabled us to make better use of resources, with staff working on strategic and value added tasks, rather than data entry.”

Spotlight on Corporate Performance Management (CPM)

By enabling GWMWater to define its strategic goals and outcomes, and measure and manage performance against them, TechnologyOne CPM provides the water corporation with the insight it needs to achieve its organisational goals, and focus on growth and innovation.

Sally Marshall, Executive Manager of Business Planning and Performance at GWMWater, said,  “CPM has given us the ability to integrate with our existing systems and streamline business processes and workflows.

“By having all our information in the one enterprise system, we now have better quality information to support our decision making. We have one place where we capture all our information, and CPM provides the functionality to report that information multiple times over.

“Through automating regular reports, such as our monthly board report, we now focus less on validating and inputting the information, and more on the issues and how to resolve them. CPM has freed us up to spend more time analysing the data, rather than putting it together.”

Ms Marshall said GWMWater has also improved the timeliness and accuracy of its information.

“When our billing system was separate to our reporting software, we only used to load the information in to report once a month. By having a single system for all our information, we don’t have to wait for a particular reporting period for it to be up to date – it’s always in real time,” she said.

Spotlight on Asset Management

TechnologyOne Asset Management has enabled GWMWater to improve efficiencies and save time, through a holistic solution that manages the entire lifecycle of its assets.

Rob Caris, Acting Executive Manager, Service Delivery, said, “Through the mobile application, field staff can enter data directly into the system, which has saved a lot of time.

“Paper-based processes have been replaced by mobile devices, which has improved the accuracy and reliability of information coming into the business.”

By implementing Asset Management as part of an enterprise solution, GWMWater is also reaping the benefits from improved integration of its business software.

“It’s very handy to have full integration between all your business systems,” Mr Caris said.

“GWMWater is moving away from a best of breed setup to a whole of business solution, and we saw using TechnologyOne for asset management as the best way to achieve that.”

Spotlight on Billing

TechnologyOne’s Water Management has enabled GWMWater to streamline its business, by consolidating urban and rural billing into a single enterprise system across the business.

Steve Briggs, Billing Manager at GWMWater, said, “When our billing system was separate from our other core business systems, we only used to sync the systems once a month. Now we don’t have to wait for a particular reporting period to get current information – it is always available, in real time.”

With integration between the TechnologyOne system and the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Victorian Water Register, Mr Briggs said the company has saved time and significantly improved data accuracy.

“Our billing system is now integrated with the Victorian Water Register, which is the central repository for all water allowance information across the state,” Mr Briggs said.

“Essentially that means we’re not having to duplicate records in the Register, which has improved the accuracy of our records quite dramatically. It has improved the process for customers as well, which is a real measurable parameter.

“TechnologyOne is now our one-stop-shop; our single source of truth. Our whole business operates from it.”

This partner content is brought to you by TechnologyOne. For more information, visit technologyonecorp.com/assets.

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