Avoiding regulatory fines through process improvement for a water utilities company

The challenge

One of the UK’s leading water utility companies needed help to create a more efficient process for identifying and repairing leaks across nine counties at the lowest acceptable cost.

The challenge was to avoid fines by the regulator by meeting annual leakage targets, and reducing unplanned interruptions to supply.

How we helped

Our own experience has shown that a high level of employee engagement is the only way to sustain a new process.

Our practitioners began by engaging with employees, both management and front-line staff to fully understand the current processes for dealing with water leakage.

Using Lean tools and techniques the team was then able to identify areas of waste and opportunities for improvement. This led to the creation of a new single end-to-end process.

In addition, there was the need to develop frontline team members’ Lean skills to enable them to analyse, standardise and improve their work scheduling and empower them to solve issues quickly and effectively at their own levels.

The results

By the end of the implementation, significant results had been achieved:

  • Avoidance of fines resulting in £2.9m cost savings
  • Age of oldest job reduced from 116 days to just 5 days
  • DLO/Contractor job returns reduced from 14% to 9%
  • Advanced warnings reduced from 28 hours per month to 13
  • More than 500 people have been engaged with the new ways of working and eight “expert users” and additional “Safer, Better, Faster” experts trained to sustain and continuously improve the new process. 

To download the full case study PDF, click on the image below.

avoiding regulatory fines