In 2010, the UK government announced a national Smart Meter initiative to put consumers in control of their energy use and enable them to adopt energy efficiency measures that can help save money on their energy bills and offset price increases.
To deliver this the government established a central change programme involving the roll out 53 million gas and electricity meters to all homes and small businesses in Great Britain by the end of 2020.
With a focus on electrification, automation and digitalization, Siemens stands for engineering excellence, innovation, and reliability. As one of the world’s biggest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a pioneer in infrastructure and energy solutions, as well as automation and software for industry.
Siemens provided metering and energy management solutions to households and utility companies across the UK. Its access to millions of consumers gave the company a unique opportunity to play a leading part in the UK’s smart meter programme, by installing smart energy meters with an ‘in-home display’ to help millions of households across the UK monitor their usage and optimise their energy consumption, as per the Government’s mandate.
After winning the initial contract for the installation and support of the smart meters, Siemens identified a serious issue with failed engineer call-outs. However, they were unable to identify the root cause of this low success rate. A poorly designed IT infrastructure simply did not provide the required visibility, and the company was unable to identify which call-outs would be determined a failure until after the cost had incurred. It was determined that the company’s disjointed IT architecture was causing huge operational costs, poor customer experience, a declining commitment from partners and severe employee dissatisfaction. Without innovation to help reverse this trend, the company would eventually begin to lose market share, suffering a decline in revenue and spiralling costs.
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WHISHWORKS recognised the challenges present for Siemens, and with the help of its dedicated Centre of Excellence, was able to identify and offer solutions to address each of the key issues. Siemens wanted to maintain a focus on service improvement, but needed fast delivery to improve customer experience and meet SLAs; results which clearly needed a change in the performance of the company’s IT infrastructure. It needed to deliver an aggregated data pool, analysis and prediction capabilities, and perhaps most importantly, needed to be rolled out rapidly to initiate change.
The infrastructure developed by WHISHWORKS aggregated various internal and external sources of data, including customers, meters, call centres, service data, weather and traffic. This data was ingested from multiple sources, and then statistical analysis was used to derive new insights and understand the reasons for appointment failures.
At the end of the project, WHISHWORKS was able to identify the top 5 causes of appointment failures, which saved the company nearly £500,000 per annum once fixed.
In addition to this, WHISHWORKS also provided interactive dashboards and reports for business analysts to interact with data for on-going analysis. This new data helped to improve customer satisfaction and partner engagement, and gave SIEMENS greater insight into business performance, allowing the company to play an integral role in the government’s Smart Meter Program.
The company’s employee and customer satisfaction ratings have consistently improved, and the Siemens is newly empowered to meet its obligations towards the 2020 target.