Gain Efficiencies through Improved Customer Management.
The choice to improve your customer interface is ultimately a business decision driven by the efficiencies gained through improved processes such as:
Ensure Consistent Service: Help your representatives deliver the same message, track account status, fulfill service requests, and answer questions on the spot.
Ensure Accurate Billing: Customer Information Systems are key to an enterprise solution.
Streamline Service Requests: Fully integrated enterprise solutions reduce time from service request to work order and save your field crews hours of windshield time.
Customer Information Systems
Implementing new, replacing or upgrading a Customer Information System can improve responsiveness, increase productivity, improve information access, and automate business processes.
Because CIS systems manage many aspects of your business operation – from service requests to billing and collections – implementation must meet the highest standard. While potential improvements are substantial, full implementation can be a challenge. Therefore requirements must be defined, prioritized and based on your unique business needs.
Fully implemented and integrated CIS solutions can profoundly improve utility performance and enhance customer service levels. Westin develops requirements, assists with systems evaluation and selection, and provides implementation services, to improve billing accuracy, reduce service order backlog, minimize overtime, and cut abandoned calls, to name a few. We can help you:
Improve information access, increase customer self-service and reduce demands on service staff;
Improve billing accuracy and meter-to-cash cycle times;
Develop interfaces to Meter Data Management (MDM), GIS, IVR, and Work Management systems to improve CSR functions;
Reduce payment defaults by enabling automatic funds transfer, credit card, phone pay, web pay;
Automate communication with customers about utility programs and activities such as water quality, water conservation and maintenance activities;
Facilitate dispatching and provide CSRs with real-time status on service request and service orders by integrating CIS with mobile solutions;
Eliminate redundant data entry, replace manual tasks, and expedite service by automatically transferring relevant information from service requests to work orders; and
Optimize service routing and real-time information exchange among CSRs, technicians, supervisors and operation managers.
Westin combines a proven methodology, nationally recognized business and technical experts, and direct knowledge of CIS applications in utilities. Working collaboratively with your staff, we identify opportunities for improving business effectiveness, overcoming challenges and implementing enterprise solutions.
- Charlotte Water, NC
- Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department, TN
- Passaic Valley Water Commission, NJ
- Tampa, FL
Charlotte Water selected Westin to assist in the design and implementation of a billing cycle alignment process by assessing the current environment and analyzing the various options available to realign and normalize the billing cycles.
Westin analyzed the realignment impact on the days of service and the “read to bill” window, and developed options for Charlotte Water management to review. As part of this project, Westin helped the Charlotte project manager determine the ideal number of billing cycles, the ideal number of accounts per cycle, which accounts should be included in each cycle, physical location of each cycle within the Charlotte Water system, and how to best accommodate future growth
Westin also worked with the Charlotte project team to geographically divide the accounts into the desired number of billing cycles, as well as determining the impact of the bill date changes on customers.
In collaboration with Charlotte Water project team, recommended modifications to the Customer Information System (CIS) were developed and tested for validation. The realignment of the billing cycles normalized the routes in each billing cycle, resulting in a more balanced and more efficient management of billing and customer service.
Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility | IT Master Plan
AWWU contracted with Westin to guide them through development of their third-generation, Information Technology Master Plan and position the Utility to leverage information systems to improve utility-wide business processes and decision making.
Through collaborative workshops and detailed interviews, the needs of AWWU’s eight divisions were identified, defined and prioritized. A Strategic Design Concept was developed, along with estimates of individual project costs and staffing requirements. Throughout a six-year plan considering priorities and dependencies, Westin engaged AWWU’s upper management to obtain perspectives and commitments to these long-range IT objectives.
AWWU accepted the plan and has moved forward to implement all of the projects in the plan. One of the first projects implemented included integrating GIS and MAXIMO and streamlining the business practices of both systems. AWWU retained Westin to assist in program management of this integration.
Manitowoc Company, WI | Oracle Cloud
New Resources Consulting implemented the Talent Review and Succession Management functionality for a global business unit. This process included coordination across various functional areas with special care applied to privacy laws in different areas of the globe. NRC consultants produced multiple succession plan “slates” for key roles in Manitowoc Company’s organization, created “pools” to facilitate the creation of development plans for promising employees, and configured an effective talent review “dashboard” to allow business leaders an easy way to identify, develop and track talented individuals within their line of business.
Westin was selected to serve as an information technology systems and strategic planning consultant to assist the City with multiple projects, including replacement of the Customer Information System (CIS), implementation of a new ERP system, development of a successful business case for an advanced metering infrastructure, and execution of a new mobile workforce management solution and an interactive voice response system.
Westin worked with the Water and Sewer Department to develop a comprehensive list of requirements and determine prioritization of all projects and tasks. Once complete, the City and Westin had an IT Master Plan to provide an overall roadmap for the work to be completed.
All of the projects were completed, including the selection and implementation of an updated CIS, providing the organization with a more efficient and effective way of doing business.
The Commission wanted to assess its existing business processes, develop a practical Information Technology (“IT”) Strategic Plan, and support the documented plan’s implementation. The Commission’s specific objectives for this project included increasing efficiencies across a wide range of functions by replacing 1990s-era Sungard HTE software
applications, which were not meeting PVWC’s functional requirements, could not be integrated with contemporary applications, and were difficult to use.
The Commission selected Westin to complete its objectives. These include customer billing and information,finance, human resources, payroll, asset and maintenance management, land management, and document/ content management. Rapid and seamless replacement of PVWC’s inadequate systems needs were to be accompanied by aligning improved business processes and best practices with the capabilities available in contemporary technology solutions.
Westin delivered the findings and recommendation from its business process review, resulting in a list of improvement opportunities. The assessment of PVWC’s technology
resources was presented to management, addressing IT architecture, governance, infrastructure,staffing, data management, and applications.
Westin guided the Commission through a business requirements-based selection process for the most advantageous hardware, software, and related installation services for meeting the Commission’s business requirements. Westin was also contracted to supplement the Commission’s internal resources with the necessary technical and management skills to ensure that the selected systems are implemented on time and budget.
Sentient Technologies, WI | PeopleSoft Implementations
New Resources Consulting was responsible for a comprehensive PeopleSoft deployment to incorporate all Sensient Technologies global entities into the PeopleSoft modules of Core Human Resources / Internal Resume and Talent Acquisition Management and Candidate Gateway.With facilities in thirty-seven (37) countries, installation of the PeopleSoft modules provides the international divisions of Sensient Technologies with the ability to more efficiently develop internal resumes, manage employee data, acquire talent, improve reporting, and streamline business processes.The project, conducted over a ten (10) month period, provides Sensient Technologies employees access to a global employee database to present real-time reports, compensation information, organizational charts, etc. and an internal resume system for international employees for the purpose of talent review, management resource planning, succession management and internal promotions.
Westin served as an information technology systems and strategic planning consultant to assist with determining the benefits, costs, requirements, steps, and best approach
for migrating to an updated Customer Information Management (CIS) system. The resulting recommendations were documented in an Acquisition Strategy report for the procurement and implementation of new utility customer management technologies.
The City expanded the services to include Westin’s assistance with the procurement and implementation of the new CIS. Westin’s focus was to obtain relevant knowledge, including water utility customer service industry best practices and CIS software vendor background data.
As a result of the team’s efforts, the City selected and deployed the new CIS system. Project personnel integrated all of the required systems with the new CIS system, providing a more efficient system that allows the City to readily improve work processes.