Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) is the sole provider of water and wastewater services in Wales and, with 3,000 employees, is the fourth largest employer in the country.
Every five years, the UK water sector is challenged by Ofwat, the regulator in England and Wales, to reduce the costs of delivering its services to its customers. In view of this, the company’s board set targets for a 20 percent reduction in Opex costs over a four-year period with a measurable improvement in service excellence for all business functions. As with other departments within DCWW, the IT department – known as Business Information Systems (BIS) – was charged with meeting these objectives.
The first step was the creation of a combined team of client and BearingPoint specialists, who were rapidly deployed to undertake a review of the IT capability and cost baseline to form the basis of a service-improvement and cost-reduction road map. A two-work-stream approach was developed. The initial phase involved gaining a detailed understanding of the IT baseline in relation to services and service quality. This helped to crystalize the business context for IT service improvement. Following this, an assessment of existing IT capabilities was undertaken using the Innovation Value Institute IT Capability Maturity Framework as a guide. The output captured the current service baseline and helped BearingPoint to identify the key areas that would add most significantly to service excellence and support the achievement of the company’s key goals. In parallel, an efficiency and effectiveness audit was undertaken using a suite of BearingPoint analytical techniques to identify where and how cost savings could be delivered across IT. The audit covered all internal Opex spending and involved a review of IT processes, IT costs, and other improvements through the introduction of new approaches and technologies. Within a four-week period, the team created a plan to achieve the 20 percent cost savings over the four-year target period.
The key outcome of the project was a compelling road map that provided an effective and highly convincing tool for communicating how service improvements would be delivered while achieving significant savings to business peers and the IT team. The plan was quickly approved by senior management.