Business Process Reengineering
To fully achieve the anticipated benefits of a technology system, you will need to revise current processes, adopt new processes, and revise the utility’s procedures and policies. Throughout the project, UtiliWorks emphasizes that Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) is an essential component to capture the ROI of your technology initiative. Vendors will often skim over recommendations detailing changes specific to business processes within the utility. UtiliWorks gathers and utilizes background information on our clients, including strategic goals and objectives, to help drive discussions regarding operational and organizational changes that provide the successful foundation for the implementation of modern technologies and BPR requirements.
When implementing a new technology within your utility, these BPR-related questions may come to mind:
What business processes and procedures must be revised in order to take full advantage of this new technology?
What will the revised processes and procedures look like?
What new or revised policies and fees are required to support our new business processes?
How will the introduction of these new technologies impact our user communities?
Are appropriate staff in place and willing to support business process changes?
How will staff be trained and engaged in the technology deployment process?
Am I certain that we will be able to maximize the benefits that serve as the financial and customer service basis for the project?
Will our team be ready to use the new system immediately once it is deployed?
UtiliWorks strives to address these questions and integrate the new technology into your business as seamlessly as possible. We emphasize critical business process functionality to preserve and improve the “meter to cash” processes during deployment. Leveraging our experience in delivering BPR over many successful technology deployments, we can help prepare your team to begin benefiting from the new technology on the very first day of “Go Live.”
Our BPR experts conduct a series of workshops with your subject matter experts (SMEs), which result in comprehensive documentation of the current and future state processes. The BPR development work begins early in the project and continues in parallel to project implementation. UtiliWorks BPR Consultants return once your team has settled into the utilization of the new technology, after “Go Live,” to conduct a process audit to identify areas of concern and opportunities for improvement.
CURRENT STATE BUSINESS PROCESS MAPPING
All re-engineering design must begin with a comprehensive understanding of the current end-to-end operational and organizational characteristics of the impacted business processes. The first step in this process is for UtiliWorks Consultants to interview your respective SMEs, to understand and document the current state business processes that are subject to change, and to identify redundancies and inefficiencies. This is achieved through an onsite workshop that includes discussion of detailed process steps, current system(s) demonstrations and review of existing organizational process assets and policies. The baseline processes that are mapped and defined in the current state will help build a solid foundation for improvements in the future state. Each workshop will include process owners, users, supervisors and managers to provide cross-functional input of the full end-to-end process.
FUTURE STATE BUSINESS PROCESS DESIGN
As part of the BPR work, the UtiliWorks team will identify redundancies in business processes as well as uncover potential for streamlining processes, which includes anticipating changes that will occur with the implementation of selected AMI and associated technologies based on our industry knowledge. Our team incorporates information derived from the workshops, current state documentation and our first-hand experience to develop future state process documents for each business process. The workshop will identify a variety of issues and questions that must be addressed, as well as memorialize your team’s critical design decisions. This design stage is an iterative process, often with at least two future state workshops, to ensure the full evolution of business process design is covered. We document our findings and coordinate with your SMEs until you are satisfied with the results and have the “to-be” future state business processes diagrammed. Each workshop will include process owners, users, supervisors and managers to provide cross-functional input and help shape the processes going forward.
After your team has spent a few months “hands-on” with the new technology, our team will return onsite to audit users on each business process. We believe this is a crucial step in order to verify each process is being performed as designed and that staff are adequately trained. The goals of the audits are to validate the processes function as written in a real-world environment, though the audit also reveals how utility personnel are adapting to the process changes. We sit with each team member and walk through a series of example scenarios (test scripts) to identify what is working well, and any potential issues and areas for improvement. The results are documented in an executive-level audit summary report detailing the team’s performance, the processes functionality level, and any resulting process changes that may be required.