Utility Week

Utility Week 12 12 2014

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Page 8 of 33

People & Opinion Utility Week community UtILItY WeeK | 12th - 18th December 2014 | 7 WaterAid: Let's keep fighting the good fight "Very best wishes for Christmas from everyone at WaterAid. May 2015 be a successful and fulfill- ing year for all of you. With your ongoing support WaterAid will be doing every- thing we can in the coming year to ensure those living without water and sanitation are not forgotten. 2015 is the year that the new UN Sustainable Develop- ment Goals will be signed up to and we will be working hard to ensure that water, sanitation and hygiene are prioritised as with- out this the ambitious UN goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 will not be met. We do hope members of the water industry who share our vision of everyone everywhere having access to these basic services and a clean environ- ment will join with us in 2015 to encourage our governments and world leaders to make this a binding goal. And we will con- tinue to invest in local organi- sations in Africa and Asia that are transforming lives by help- ing bring safe water close to people's homes and improving family health through improved hygiene and sanitation. Thank-you for all you do to help make our vision a reality." Barbara Frost, chief executive, WaterAid With Ofwat's final determina- tions published, water compa- nies must quickly focus on how they will outperform against plan and how they will ensure that new risk-based approaches to spending decisions deliver the expected performance needed to out-perform. Water companies in par- ticular will need to develop a total information management approach to managing totex programmes, adopting the same holistic approach to the analysis and use of data that they are expected to adopt in their upfront investment plan- ning. Given the size of the asset base and the complexity of the network, clients in the industry have always faced significant information management chal- lenges. In our view, effective total information management will provide a key foundation to all aspects of totex expendi- ture management. There are three areas which we believe clients should focus on to assure that their total information management approach will deliver results: • Asset management data providing an accurate assess- ment of asset condition across the network will be essential to enable risk-based investment decisions to be taken with con- fidence. Keeping the informa- tion asset current in-line while a multi-billion pound capital investment and maintenance programme is delivered will be an essential aspect of effective totex delivery. Are the systems in place, and will the delivery and operations teams be able to use them? • Performance benchmarks will be essential to drive out- performance. Delivery teams and water companies have good quality capex data from previous investment periods. The shi to totex will need detailed whole-life data as well as capex data for new solutions with lower running costs. Can all relevant costs be captured, and are the analysis and report- ing systems in place to enable this information to be used? • Programme controls data such as earned value analysis and portfolio-wide risk analysis will play an important part in helping water companies ensure not only that capital investment and maintenance programmes are on track, but that they are also delivering the benefits that have been promised to consumers. Are the controls in place, and are they focused on the right areas? Many water companies have islands of excellence in all three of these key areas of informa- tion management, but under AMP6 and the totex regime, information management will become an essential core competence. Water companies will become purchasers of data from their supply chain and their ability to analyse and cre- ate actionable information and valuable knowledge from this data will become a new source of competitive advantage. Effective information management relies on aligned systems, robust processes and a supportive business culture. In order to embed active infor- mation management behav- iours into the joined-up teams that will be delivering AMP6, there are some critical areas where clients can focus their efforts, which include: • Specifying the information that will be required at different stages of asset life-cycles, so that delivery, operations and maintenance teams can vali- date that they have provided all necessary data; • Defining the roles and responsibilities within frontline teams to use asset information to optimise totex and to update the databases as required; • Ensuring that the new skills required to make best use of total information are embedded throughout the totex team – which may require additional effort in both organisational and people change. The internet and web-ena- bled commerce have become so embedded in the way water companies operate that it is tempting to think the era of big data is already here. However, AMP6 will present water com- panies with a vast new and fast moving information challenge. Those that recognise the scale of the total information oppor- tunity and that can implement data solutions will be best placed to efficiently deliver promised service outcomes. Totex was one of the issues discussed at a recent round- table on AMP6, held by Utility Week in association with EC Harris. See p14. EXPERT VIEW Simon BimpSon of Built ASSet ConSultAnt eC HArriS Totex optimisation relies on Total Information information quality will be a key issue for water companies aiming to optimise their programmes in forthcoming Amp6.

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