Business & IT Process Master Plan for Water & Wastewater Treatment Services Company

Our assessment led to the identification of numerous process improvement opportunities and the prioritization of future improvement initiatives

The Business Need

The client, which provides potable water and wastewater treatment services to homes and businesses in Florida, had experienced significant growth in the past decade. It had more than doubled its customer base, which created pressure on existing people, processes and systems.

Systems were not leveraged to their fullest potential, manual and duplicate efforts were a key part to completing work (often relying on Excel spreadsheets or Access databases), and training was lacking.

This resulted in information not being readily available in all areas, which just exacerbated the entire situation as customer service representatives were flooded with requests and multiple areas had to get involved to address questions or concerns.

There was also a heavy reliance on the finance department, which caused this group to be backed up and delayed the month-end close process (taking up to five weeks to complete) and therefore delayed the year-end close process (increasing the potential for financial penalties).

Processes had not been reviewed or changed to accommodate a significant growth in the customer base, but management decided it was time to identify areas for process improvement.

Enter Centric

Centric Consulting’s Process Excellence (PEX) team partnered with the client to identify the business processes and documentation that needed improvement by conducting a detailed Process and Data Assessment across Customer Service, Operations, Engineering, Administration, Finance and IT departments.

The primary focus was on documenting and analyzing current state business processes using tools and standards such as SIPOC, process flows, and Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0.

Industry best practices were incorporated into the analysis in an attempt to optimize staffing levels and increase service delivery.

Results

This effort helped the client understand its current state of business processes, while identifying opportunities to streamline processes, eliminate duplicate efforts, and modify IT systems with the goal of successfully developing and implementing business changes. Specific examples include:

  • Identified where collected data was copied or duplicated across multiple reports and where manually entered data was creating significant inaccuracies.
  • Defined minimum process requirements to meet business demands.
  • Assessed and incorporated ongoing business transformation initiatives.

An overall improvement roadmap was created that included numerous process improvement opportunities. Among those improvements: a recommended organizational model for cross-functional governance of business process and IT improvements  to ensure alignment of process, people, and technology across the organization.

The purpose was to achieve consistency and sustainability of improvements as well as introduce suggestions on how to better integrate and utilize systems – all to minimize the duplication and manual copying between systems.

These findings and our team’s Lean-based approach will be used to prioritize and implement future improvement initiatives.