The use of technology in the water industry: The tide is turning

Water companies undoubtedly have an important role to fulfill within the UK. Delivering safe and reliable water, and waste water services is essential to the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve.

Add onto that the evolving needs of the water customer who expect:

  1. Their bills to be affordable,
  2. To receive excellent customer service
  3. Their supplier to be fulfilling its ethical and environmental responsibilities.

Water companies clearly have a critical multi-faceted role to play, and this has been recognised in the recent strategy published by Ofwat, ‘Time to act together’.

This strategy shows that the time has come for the water sector to seize the opportunity, act now and restore the public’s trust. By embracing new thinking and innovation, including new technology, water companies can improve performance, benefitting their customers, communities and the environment, whilst also keeping their costs down.

Losing legacy systems

Many water companies have systems in place to help manage their processes like customer experience, however many of these are older, legacy systems which are not conducive to modern practices or expectations. These frequently consist of vast application landscapes that are continually added to, in an effort to keep the solution in-line with customer expectations and regulations.

With technology constantly evolving and new solutions continually coming to the market, leaving legacy technology in place instantly puts water companies on the back-foot. The regulator’s message is clear, now is the time to act to create more meaningful relationships with customers. To speed up this pace of change, Ofwat has even said that it will actively encourage water companies to adopt innovative approaches and technologies, and a decision about supplying specific funding to support this is expected to be reached before the end of the year.

The future role of technology

Understanding how technology can support conversations with customers, how it can deliver the same personal service that consumers experience in other sectors and how it can improve your current service offering, are all key considerations when looking to adopt new approaches.

Our data-rich society provides extensive opportunity for creating customer-centric services; however it must be harnessed effectively. There should be a purpose for collating every piece of customer-related information, and that data should feed into your CX culture and strategy. This will enable you to deliver a superior service but also fully understand how your service should evolve. Systems that facilitate rapid change and provide the opportunity to self-manage processes, will enable water companies to focus on how to deliver for an evolving future rather than continuing to fight the past.

Oneserve’s Field Service Management software provides a fresh approach to workforce planning. As a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, we continuously develop our software as technology advances and security solutions evolve, meaning our clients always benefit from up-to-date and highly secure software that is also customisable to their specific requirements.

We work with clients from the water and wider utility industry to help them manage their field inspection and repair works through Oneserve’s job scheduling, reporting and analytics tools. Find out more about the benefits Oneserve can deliver by reading our client case study with SES Water.

If you would like to discover more about our software, please call 01392 354336 or you can also request to see a demo.