Client: Siemens Energy Services

Assignment: Business transformation through implementation of Lean processes, organisation structure, and ways of working

Business Transformation Through Implementation of Lean Processes at Siemens Energy Services

The Problem

SES had the resources and capacity to deliver the service but was struggling to make the best use of them – unless they changed, they ran the risk of failing to meet profitability targets and lose business.

At the start of the project, complaints from end customers were high because 20% of appointments were being cancelled.

The big utilities were complaining because SES service made them look inefficient; SES shareholders were complaining over worries about the value of the company, and the workforce was complaining because they were caught in the middle.

We were tasked with untangling the situation; identifying wasted energy; streamlining processes towards greater profitability, and making SES self-sufficient for future growth.

The Solution

SES Meter Operations had a field workforce of several hundred qualified engineers, a number of local depots, a central call centre, and a significant back-office operation whose role was planning and scheduling the work.

As with most large, complex change programmes such as this, we needed an approach that would:

  • Increase levels of ownership and accountability
  • Demonstrate significant and early return on our client’s investment

Getting Started

We began by undertaking scoping and diagnostic work to understand the current and required levels of performance. This followed with the development of an approach that would tackle the required changes in a holistic but structured way to ensure sustained improvement.

Process Improvements

The first stage was to develop a detailed Future State Design for the core processes. The key issues to be tackled included: streamlining capacity planning, work scheduling, job completion and billing; redesigning districts to optimise coverage; augmenting IT systems, logistics processes, performance measurement and reward mechanisms; and developing new ways of communicating with customers and consumers.

We went on to develop new ways of working and a new organisation structure to implement the new processes. This involved redefining roles and interfaces; creating integrated field and back-office teams that involved retraining engineers to increase flexibility, minimize travelling time and improve customer service; and introducing new management and leadership practices.

We worked with line managers and team members in the development, adoption, and refinement of the new ways of working to ensure practicality and buy-in.

Once we had determined the implementation route, we conducted a pilot before rolling the approach out across the rest of the business. Quick wins were identified and implemented in parallel.

Building Capability

We supported our client’s team throughout the implementation. We trained their core project team in the principles and tools of Lean and introduced Lean disciplines such as the Lean Daily Management System® during solution development workshops.

The programme included a tailored Leadership Development Programme for line managers and team leaders to help them adopt the approaches and behaviours that would ensure consistency and sustainability as the changes rolled out to their teams.

Managing for Success

A steering group was set up and performance measures that reflected the organisation’s business plan were agreed. We established a series of work-streams and a joint core programme team to work with managers in the various parts of the business to drive the plan forward.

As well as technical and experienced input to the various work-streams, we provided overall programme management and change management advice, and held regular steering and implementation reviews throughout the entire programme.

Benefits were rolled up and best practice captured and shared across Siemens Energy Services operating businesses.

The Benefits

Value Delivered

  • For the customers: consumer complaints dropped by 50%, service levels (on-time arrivals) improved by 14% and are consistent at almost 100%, backlogs of meter installations were cleared and all customer installation plans are consistently on schedule
  • For the shareholders: field contribution increased by almost 40%profitability by 35%, field productivity by 28%, 90% reduction in lost time due to accidents, and 50% reduction in significant quality issues
  • Employee satisfaction greatly increased: people stated they feel more involved, motivated and had a greater sense of responsibility – and could earn more money

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What Siemens Energy Services said about us

“Bourton Group engaged with us in depth – to understand our issues and concerns – in a way I’ve never experienced with any other consulting business. In the end, you couldn’t tell the difference between our people and their people. An amazing turnaround. My team was incredibly unified with fantastic skills transfer from Bourton. Every one of my KPIs turned green.”

Finbarr Dowling, Operations Director, SES Meter Operations