Meeting operation demands with enterprise solutions

New South Wales water corporation, MidCoast Water, was having trouble meeting the demands of business operations due to its incumbent system, and was seeking an enterprise solution that would allowing to track finances, allocate and control work, and capture asset information.

img_2751_resize-1Formed in July 1997, MidCoast Water delivers water and sewerage services to 40,000 homes and businesses in 27 towns across the mid north coast of New South Wales.

With an asset portfolio of $923 million, the council maintains a network of over 2,300KM of pipes, operates 28 facilities for the treatment of water and sewerage, and harvests approximately 11 billion litres of water per year.

Since implementing TechnologyOne’s enterprise solution, OneWater, MidCoast Water has changed its behaviour, from reactive to more informed and proactive, improved its compliance with procurement plans, reduced risk, and increased governance.

Customer service has also been transformed: manual processes have been replaced with automation, service levels are more easily met, and self-service options are being implemented.

The challenge

With a large operating area, a complex network of assets to manage, increasing demands to be more efficient and rigorous reporting requirements, MidCoast Water found its incumbent systems were struggling to meet the demands of business operations.

MidCoast Water’s Group Manager of Engineering, Assets and Science, Daniel Edge, said, “All the previous systems were disparate.

“There wasn’t a lot of integration or communication between systems, which meant it was difficult to capture the right information to make informed decisions.”

The solution

MidCoast Water rolled out OneWater in phases to upgrade reporting capabilities and future-proof its business processes. TechnologyOne’s asset management functionality is at the heart of OneWater and is transforming the way the business operates.

Phase one entailed implementing Financials, Supply Chain Management, and Human Resources and Payroll, which improved year-end processes, enabled online timesheets, and ensured the core back-office systems were already bedded down prior to the operational transition.

MidCoast Water’s Program Manager, Enterprise Business Management System, David Cooke, said, “One of the biggest benefits that came from phase one was maintaining business continuity. We streamlined that, so we actually made the transition without stopping business.”

Phase two improved processes for asset management, work management, customer requests, and development applications, enabling MidCoast Water to meet ongoing and future business requirements more effectively.

MidCoast Water’s perspective

Prior to implementing OneWater, MidCoast Water had reached a critical point where its old systems were becoming unsupported and weren’t coping with the evolving demands of the organisation.

“We had pretty much a burning platform. We needed to transfer onto a new system at that point,” Mr Cooke said.

“The water industry, our community and our business are in a state of continual change, and it’s important we plan to ensure our future sustainability. We know that new information and technologies will emerge, and that a range of possible climatic, political and social changes may occur. To survive in this complex environment we need to be flexible and look outside our traditional roles.”

MidCoast Water went to market looking for a single source of truth with an integrated ability to track finances, allocate and control work, capture asset information, and close the loop on business financials and asset information.

The council found TechnologyOne provided the flexibility and adaptability it was seeking, along with maturity and stability in the industry.

“TechnologyOne has a good market share and a good user base that is moving forward with its functionality,” Mr Cooke said.

“Ci Anywhere timesheets have been a great success with staff, enabling them to report in real time, make leave applications, and check details. Also, managers find the ability to approve timesheets and leave requests via email a great benefit.

“Implementing OneWater has enabled us to better define our business processes, which has in turn streamlined our operations and improved the way we work.”

Spotlight on Asset Management

From an asset management perspective, MidCoast Water struggled to capture the right information to make informed business decisions prior to implementing OneWater.

“We wanted to reshape the way that we approach business and asset management,” Mr Edge said.

“We take an organisational view to asset management, which leverages off the idea that everybody in the organisation – in some way, shape, or form – can contribute to the management of those assets.

“For the last two years, we’ve been developing a strategic framework to implement a major asset management improvement program. That improvement program is underpinned by the ability to have TechnologyOne’s solution there as a single source of truth to integrate across all facets of the assets and work management.”

OneWater has enabled MidCoast Water a more comprehensive view of its asset lifecycle, allowing for better informed decision making.

“Implementing OneWater, particularly in areas like procurement and work orders, has enabled us to improve our business processes,” Mr Cooke said.

“From an executive viewpoint, OneWater has helped us improve compliance with our procurement plans, enabling visibility of what people are buying, why they’re buying, and where they’re buying it from.”

Mr Edge said, “With OneWater, we’re changing our behaviour from being very reactive to being more informed.”

Spotlight on Customer Service

Since implementing OneWater, MidCoast Water has been able to track customer requests and deliver customer service in a timely, well-informed manner.

“With our previous system, we would take a phone call and manually raise the order, sending that out and then relying on phone calls coming back to track the progress,” Mr Cooke said.

“We didn’t really have any systematic way of tracking interaction with the customer.”

MidCoast Water is now in the process of rolling out phase three of OneWater, which will focus on eServices and mobility, ensuring fast and efficient customer service.

“We’re rolling out eServices to reduce the load coming across the counter to our customer service area,” Mr Cooke said.

“Customers will be able to use self-service to pay their bills, log requests, and make inquiries. That will open up the service hours to our client base.”

Instead of waiting for staff to return to the depot to receive job requests, mobility will ensure staff can access work orders from any location, at any time, on any device.

“OneWater enables us to improve our customer service process, from logging a customer request to raising the work order, completing the work, updating the work order, and notifying the customer,” Mr Cooke said.

“With mobility, work orders will be available to staff out in the field, and they will be able to respond to work orders more quickly.”

Mr Edge said, “OneWater enables us to review our processes and their functionality. In doing so, it helps us evolve those business processes to become more efficient in the way we operate, to better serve our customers.”

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

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