Photo of an electric substation with power lines and transformers

Delivering an innovative offshore BPO service – which was a UK first

Morrison Utility Services 

Background

Morrison Utility Services (MUS) is the UK’s leading utility services provider. It works with blue chip utility companies across the electricity, gas, rail, telecoms and water sectors on the upgrade and maintenance of their infrastructure and networks – including electricity substations, water and gas pipes, electricity and telecoms cables and metering. 

The challenge

As part of a 10-year strategic partnership, we are continually tasked to deliver key aspects of MUS’s administrative work, which we undertake from our offshore delivery centre in Noida.

The challenges we’ve faced include provisioning key underground asset information to support a safety focused industry; achieving consistently high quality delivery that targets zero job aborts to reduce regulatory penalties; optimising ‘take on’ activities that reduce the time to deliver an effective service to 4 weeks; enabling effective cross-skilling and rapid deployment to meet demand peaks; and delivering a geographically centric Utility Matrix to support the rapid identification of utility companies.

The solution

Having risen to the initial challenge of learning new processes in a regulated market, we set about delivering more for less from day one. Our team explored how to cost-effectively deliver an increasing volume of transactional processing activities into a growing number of MUS customers – with resource flexibility and a right-first-time approach.

Stakeholders from both Sopra Steria and MUS worked hard to agree the strategy and prioritise key service requirements, which freed up MUS management to focus on core engineering support activities. And our Noida team identified, and delivered, the primary strategic priority of providing accurate and timely documentation to meet HS&E requirements, while reducing the associated back office costs.

The major scope of our work, which is the provision of Safe Dig Packs, includes the collation of drawings to show the location of any underground services, such as electricity cables, gas or water pipes, and telecoms cables/ducts. If a field operative does not have the relevant information on arrival at a work site, they cannot continue – with MUS incurring avoidable costs and potential penalties for every aborted job. But since taking over this work and introducing a one-step solution with quality reviews, we are now into the third year of the contract and proud that no jobs have been aborted. With MUS’s operations equating to over one million streetworks excavations a year, the cost saving implications are significant.

 

 

The results

Offshore delivery has enabled MUS to expand the breadth of services it provides for a growing number of UK customers, without additional onshore headcount. It’s also helped them realise the following results:

  • Quality performance at 99.9% – zero job aborts leads to near zero rework and zero penalties
  • Bringing together similar activities across different contracts, to increase the agility and responsiveness of the offshore team
  • Cross-skilling of 75% of offshore resources enables the rapid redeployment onto any account to meet peaks in demand and on-boarding of services for new customers without any time lag
  • 100% achievement of turnaround time for emergency works, reducing repeat contacts
  • A robust management information system and analytics support informed decision making
  • Reduction in the amount of work handed off for completion to MU reduces management bandwidth reduced from 13% to 8% for one water utility

 

As well as undertaking the processing at lower cost, Sopra Steria is flexible enough to accommodate the differences in our processes resulting from our client focused approach.

Head of Business Process Improvement, MUS

 

It’s really great to see the packs being produced quickly with quality consistently at 100%.

Director for Business Process Improvement, MUS

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