The Challenge:

The IMDS Alliance between Anglian Water, Kier and Clancy Docwra involves various planned and reactive works including; metering works, new connections and Housing Estate Mains Schemes.

Kier has been a trusted partner of Anglian Water since 2005, installing the majority of water meters throughout the region. Anglian Water challenged Kier to provide more efficient replacement process for smart meters, at a rate of 1,000 meters per day. Allowing for better understanding of water usage, increased efficiency when fixing leaks and a more accurate forecast of water demand.

This required a complete rethink of the existing process as the majority of smart meter installations typically face substantial delays.

Kier commissioned a project with the MTC to review current replacement processes. The results would then inform the alliance on how best to deliver a smart meter rollout on the largest scale seen in the UK.

The Solution:

Reviewing the current installation process helped to outline the scale of the challenge, finding that previously:

  • Teams averaged 15 installations per day, at 7 minutes per meter exchange
  • Over half of the installation time was spent on administration
  • Revisit costs caused by soiled boxes added £184.68 per visit
  • Different processes led to varying productivities

The proposed solution was an F1 style process, breaking the installation process down into individual tasks, with highly trained teams delivering a series of repetitive tasks using the same tools and equipment to save time.

Three operational teams took any remaining missing elements and issues, removing fragmented parts of the project, and enabling success. For example, technicians would previously have to abandon a job full of dirt. One team overcame this issue by providing dirt hoovers, enabling increased first visit job completion, reducing wasted time and costs.

The Impact:

The collaborative review with the MTC led to a radical improvement in the delivery and installation process of smart meters within the water industry. The innovative approach results in many improvements and tangible benefits, including:

  • A 72% reduction in administrative input errors, by implementing an adaptive learning system
  • Reduced administrative time from 6 minutes to 30 seconds per job
  • Reduced expected staff numbers from 80 technicians to 50
  • Reduced revisit costs from £184.68 to £10.99 per soiled meter box
  • Transport trolleys utilised to enable speedy delivery and reduce wasted travel time, carbon emissions, risk and disruptions.

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