[This case study illustrates the Project 13 Capable Owner Principle: The Enterprise is set up to deliver clearly articulated customer outcomes]
Anglian Water has successfully engaged with partners in delivering better outcomes from its capital the investment programme. One of the key enablers to this and that made a significant contribution to transforming delivery models was a comprehensive and in-depth customer research project that enabled a clear articulation of the outcomes required. Outcomes that through this consultation process integrated customer views and requirements. By implementing a 38-channel route of engagement and communication process, over 500,000 interactions were made across a vast range of customer segments. The collated results have shaped Anglian Water’s business strategy and fuelled a rich engagement culture across day-to-day operations.
Some of the key similarities that emerged off the back of the ongoing communications were around a 25-year Strategic Direction Statement and Water Resources Management Plan. This also encompassed further conversations around corporate governance and Anglian Water’s plans for enhancing resilience in the long-term.
As part of this long-term focus, one of the key topics of conversation was around younger people, more specifically what their interests and needs are, and how these are likely to evolve over the next few decades. In addition, all customers expressed a desire for ongoing engagement and to be a part of new solutions that will enable them to manage water use.
Each of these facets have fuelled Anglian Water’s ‘Outcomes for Delivery’ plan; a robust and sustainable proposal fuelled and driven by customers’ priorities. Over the next five years, Anglian Water is committed to delivering performance in the areas that matter most to customers, and to improving overall performance across the board.
The delivery plan is split into three sections: Smart Business, Smart Environment and Smart Communities. Within each are tangible goals that will ensure there are fair charges and fair returns, a commitment to ensuring supply meets demand, and the assurance that safe, clean water will be provided amidst a flourishing environment. Each element of Anglian Water’s plan is practical and will shape the future of the business and how it responds to the evolving needs of its customers.
One core theme that emerged is ‘value’. More than 80 per cent of customers stated that they’re willing to pay higher bills if each outcome delivers real valuable results. In addition, most customers would opt for a natural capital approach to improving environmental outcomes, rather than opting for more traditional routes.
The resulting outcome framework provided an overall context for the investment programme, but crucially this was the level at which partners relationships were formed and against which alliance and partner and alliance contribution was measured. This has enabled more aligned relationships and ensured that partner capability has been leveraged more effectively. The track record of the alliance has gone on to demonstrate the significant contribution partners can make in delivering better outcomes.
Anglian Water has adopted a unique approach to its business strategy; with people, sustainability, and smart ways of working at the heart of the business, there is a clear route to successful longevity.