Effective asset management

Yorkshire Water 

Enhancing business systems to inform asset management decisions, resulting in lower business risk and a more strategic approach to water and sewage services asset management.

Challenge summary

Sopra Steria has been working with Yorkshire Water for over 25 years. Every day Yorkshire Water supplies around 1.24bn litres of drinking water to homes and businesses and collects, treats and disposes of 1bn litres of waste water safely back into the environment.

Core to the efficient running of such operations is the effective management of Yorkshire Water’s water and sewage services (WSS) assets.

Regulated by the Office of Water Services (Ofwat), Yorkshire Water governs its asset management lifecycle in 5-year asset management periods (AMP), the latest of which (AMP5) began on 1st April 2010. To comply with AMP5, Yorkshire Water is faced with the ongoing challenge of how to ensure its IT systems can help the business respond effectively to the rigours and demands of the asset management lifecycle.

Key points

  • Cost effective delivery of the IT systems and application changes that bring to life capital asset and investment initiatives
  • Helping Yorkshire Water to do more for its business and manage peaks in demand for testing, development and applications change
  • Creating a virtual team integrating onshore and offshore colleagues from Steria and Yorkshire Water
  • IT systems and processes supporting adherence to the regulatory Asset Management Period

 

Solution

Yorkshire Water is working with Sopra Steria to enhance its asset management systems and applications. This partnership will enable Yorkshire Water to better understand and prioritise its asset investment objectives. These assets include pipelines, reservoirs, sewage treatment works and pumping stations.

The technology enhancements allow Yorkshire Water to determine the best value solutions and best sequence of change for its asset infrastructure. This means that the company is better equipped to manage its asset lifecycle in a way that mitigates risk both to the business and to the assets themselves. It enables the company to answer vital questions such as: How old are the assets? Are they due for replacement? Is the company investing at the appropriate level to ensure the continual improvement of the asset infrastructure in line with AMP5?

With the right capital assets information at its fingertips, Yorkshire Water’s IT department is helping the company to bring to life the capital investment initiatives demanded by AMP5 in support of its business outlook.

The focus on asset management is just one of a number of services that form our partnership with Yorkshire Water. We also provide application development, testing and infrastructure services in a relationship that stretches back more than 25 years.

As part of this partnership, Yorkshire Water has been benefiting from our integrated offshore/onshore delivery model for many years. This blends risk management with low-cost delivery from India and allows Yorkshire Water to tap into skilled, but less costly resources in the enhancement or replacement of its IT systems and applications.

At times of peak activity, the ability to top up development and testing activity with Sopra Steria resources ensures that Yorkshire Water’s IT department can fulfil its commitments to the business. This flexibility is integral to the framework agreement between both companies.

Sopra Steria’s Client Director for Yorkshire Water says that understanding the utility company’s environment and asset management needs is crucial, adding: “We work closely with the IT department to understand future initiatives and to determine the optimum sourcing/shoring approach.

Account management for both the long-standing relationship and that covering the systems and changes needed for capital asset management and investment is based in the UK. Sopra Steria's Client Director is based at Yorkshire Water’s premises and says that an open relationship is encouraged where both escalations and successes are shared. The offshore teams are viewed as an extension of Yorkshire Water’s IT department, so that there is a seamless delivery ethic, known within Yorkshire Water as an ‘extended connected’ approach.

Visits by Yorkshire Water to Sopra Steria’s India (Noida) location have strengthened relationships and allowed the integrated team to operate as a true virtual project team.

We are also actively engaged in the development and testing of one of Yorkshire Water’s key software replacement programmes, which will see the replatforming of a legacy capital management environment and the introduction of increased functionality. Sopra Steria's Client Director says: “Our involvement in this programme has been made possible by the flexibility of the managed delivery mechanism we have in place.

Results and benefits

Sopra Steria provides Yorkshire Water with the systems enhancements and change support necessary to:

  • Identify the optimum end of life for assets and plan investment priorities to achieve a cost effective and timely programme of enhancement or replacement
  • Set accurate and auditable target costs through automated systems providing reliable, consistent data
  • Enhance an already robust risk-based approach to asset management
  • Deliver system enhancements within appropriate cost and timescale parameters
  • Demonstrate adherence to the regulated AMP5 governed by Ofwat with proven quality systems supporting accurate and consistent data

Client view

“Sopra Steria always works in a collaborative way with Yorkshire Water IT to ensure the most effective approach and solution is achieved for every scenario. Flexibility and collaboration are keys to success.” Melvin Parkinson, Finance and Office Systems Programme Manager