Challenges Getting Connected
Jemena Electricity Networks delivers electricity to over 350,000 homes and businesses in North West Melbourne in Victoria Australia. Noel Gallagher, the Sales and Commercial Manager for Jemena Electricity Networks runs a team that handles all commercial and industrial connection requests. Noel’s team handles complex connections such as large scale residential developments, construction of data centers, airport commercial development and asset relocation to support new tunnels, freeways and the widening of existing major freeways. On the back of a buoyant economy, the volume of connection requests increased dramatically over the last twelve months and are forecast to continue growing at around 30%.
At the SAP International Utilities Conference in Lisbon, Noel described how Jemena implemented a pilot of SAP Cloud for Customer to digitize the connection requests process. Previously the process involved customers filling out forms, emailing them to Jemena and phoning the call center to monitor their requests. Behind the scenes Jemena grappled with disjointed systems and manual work. This resulted in inaccurate and incomplete reporting. The lack of transparency made it difficult to meet the regulated deadline to make an offer to the applicant. Given that approximately 50% of application forms were incomplete or incorrect, Noel’s team spent a large amount of their time resolving incomplete paperwork.
Digitizing the Customer Experience
In the new solution Jemena created an intuitive portal that allowed customers to submit and monitor their connection requests online. Mandatory fields and online validations mean that 100% of applications are complete and correct. These requests are automatically created in SAP Cloud for Customer, and their status is available online. The new digital process bypasses the Jemena call center completely and provides instant transparency to customers and Jemena staff.
Jemena partnered with DXC Technology to deliver the pilot. “We quickly identified that the existing process required a lot of manual work that was both inefficient and time consuming. With strong involvement from the Jemena business team we delivered a pragmatic solution delivering maximum benefit by eliminating the biggest pain points. The accelerated timeline allowed Jemena to be up and running in a matter of weeks, whilst laying the foundations for future growth into other areas of the business” Paul Kenrick Practice Manager, SAP Hybris Customer Engagement for DXC Technology.
Happier Customers and Smarter Connections
The benefits of the solution have been positive and immediate. “Customer satisfaction, although its early days, they love it, they think it’s great.” Noel said. Equally importantly, by freeing his team from paperwork, they can engage earlier to drive great outcomes for customers and actively manage network constraints. “We have Network Development Officers with upwards of ten years’ experience and the new solution allows them to develop account relationships with developers so we can work with them to reduce their maximum demand on the network, with solar, storage and other creative solutions. We would not be able to this if we had to spend all our time on administration.”
Jemena has significantly improved their compliance with regulatory deadlines, so much so that they are now realigning their targets to meet customer expectations well above the regulatory requirements. This will help achieve their goal of reducing Ombudsman complaints by 80%.
A Future Closer to the Customer
The solution also helps position Jemena for the future where customers are increasingly empowered prosumers less reliant on the grid. As Noel said “one of my biggest customers told us they are going to install 14MW of solar on their roofs. If we don’t take it upon ourselves to improve the customer experience, they will leave, they will go somewhere else”.
Jemena plan to build on the success of the pilot, expand the coverage of connections scenarios and work towards achieving their strategic objectives: to know their customers, build trust, exceed customer KPIs and drive customer satisfaction.
Jemena’s previous deployment of SAP Cloud for Customer for field sales video.
SAP Cloud for Customer for Utilities blog.
Explore the full portfolio of SAP Customer Engagement solutions for Utilities blog.