Increasing profits. Improving service.
Re-energising margins in a utilities business.
Seeking growth amid budget cuts
E.ON was looking to expand whilst simultaneously responding to customer feedback on inconsistent service and meeting budget cuts. The scope of project work was to include the corporate sales and quoting teams directly in contact with third-party introducers (TPIs) and corporate customers. The teams had recently been relocated to one central site, creating some instability in employee morale and overall performance.
The energy quoting process is dynamic and needs high flexibility and responsiveness from the teams in order to align with market conditions. Being able to respond to quote requests in a timely fashion is an essential criteria for growing the business.
Identify the ‘pain points’
A review of the sales enquiry and quoting process was carried out with customers and TPIs over a 2-week period using consumption mapping and customer interview techniques.
A number of process ‘pain points’ were identified from a customer perspective, including chasing, mistimed customer communications, multiple and duplicated information requests and more. All of these ‘pain points’ resulted in increased customer effort, negatively impacting on operations.
The review also identified structural challenges:
- Fragmentation of the process between two core teams, quoting and fulfilment administration, creating extended lead times and accountability issues
- A team management structure with large spans and limited Operations Management capability.
A locally-led 12-week improvement event was set up to:
- Redesign, capture and coach an improved customer process
- Create quote/administration cross-functional teams aligned by customer segment
- Redefine the role of team leader to create a ‘flow leader’ role within the team to ensure both short and long-term tasks were carried out effectively
- Develop an Operations Management capability through training and coaching delivered to the new management structure.
66% gross margin increase
The project was a success, and showed significant benefits: