Operational analysis and rectification process re-engineering
This Dutch Utility has supply, distribution, installation and renewable energy production activities in the Benelux, France and the United Kingdom. In Belgium, the company is a top 5 player with over half a billion in revenues. The organization is constantly looking for innovative solutions to improve its client’s energy management and rethink its market positioning. It strives to be a pioneer, making sustainable energy accessible and affordable to everyone.
This project was two-sided. Firstly, we supported the B2B Operations department in fulfilling its billing responsibilities. Timely and correctly sending invoices is critical for a supplier’s longevity as it impacts the financial results, the cash flows and the overall customer satisfaction. Partly due to external factors, this process remains labor-heavy. Consequently, we looked for opportunities resulting in performance increases such as increased process automation and improved resource utilization. This side of the project produced insights that were leveraged during the analysis component. The goal of the second component was to business case the process design of a missing process to handle rectification messages. These messages are notifications from the Distribution Grid Operator that indicate a previously communicated value was wrong. Some values, such as consumption volumes, require a correction invoice. The analysis aimed to assess the impact of the current process absence and set-up a path towards a well-engineered to-be situation.
The operational role was completed successfully, increasing the B2B Billing key performance indicators across the board.
The rectification analysis was presented to both higher and middle management with a different degree of detail. The next steps included a plan-of-attack for both the backlog and the future rectification process, completely with time-estimates. Where relevant decision-making freedom was expressed using scenario comparison and competitor benchmarking. Most of these decisions were of a one-time nature and a monitoring strategy was discussed to review the results regularly.
The analysis included recommendations on changes to the IT systems that allow for more automation, better reporting and human error avoidance. The process is described agnostically from these changes so it can be started as soon as possible.
The operational activity led to a set of research tracks to further improve the individual processes. A key take-away is the need to pro-actively monitor data quality across IT systems, based on correctness, completeness and consistency, to avoid impact on processes across the value chain. Secondly day-to-day reporting measures were already in place, but could be augmented by increasing their update frequency, increasing their impact on task assignment and defining extra measures useful to decision makers.
The rectification analysis presentation explains the context to management stakeholders by summarizing the market process and the related legislation. The analysis looks at a 2-year subset of the received rectification messages. Different viewpoints dig deeper into the operational impact. Viewpoints include the relative and absolute size of the changes in volume, the type of change (in favor of supplier/consumer), patterns in the time between the original message and the rectification, recurring consumption points that are rectified, etc. These different aspects will be used as a basis to decide on a business rule on how to prioritize and filter incoming rectifications. The overall debt relation with the customer is considered as well. Operational artifacts including manuals, templates and reports used throughout the process were kept agnostic of these business rules. Simulations allow the management team to choose a scenario based on its financial impact on processing the current backlog. A combination of BPMN- and UML-compliant figures is used when relevant to summarize and structure the information tailored to various stakeholders. The IT impact is discussed mainly from an automation perspective complemented with day-to-day management reporting tools.
“We swiftly delivered tailored solutions, exceeding client expectations in quality and time-to-delivery.”
irex Consulting chose a unique approach in this short-term process re-engineering track. Adopting an operational role, the lead analyst was able to familiarize himself with the people, IT systems, and data flows across several departments and processes. The deliverables were complete, tailored to different audiences and allowed for both quickly implementing a new process and achieving operational excellence in the long-term.
We exploited our experience with supplier processes and deep knowledge of MIG4 details to efficiently gather and analyze information, which was often spread across the organization. Advanced capabilities in SQL, excel and computer programming combined with strong project management skills, allowed us to redirect our research efforts towards the most crucial results in a swift manner. During the rectification analysis, we employed our mastery in abstract reasoning and Business Process Modeling to deliver both high-level and low-level process diagrams. Finally, we went beyond the business analysis by producing manuals and templates based on operational know-how.
The client conveyed that the results achieved were above expectations in terms of quality and time-to-delivery. It praised the depth of our work and acknowledged the benefit of our lasting parternship.