Posted: March 8th, 2017 3:03pm +00:00

Risk management in the Utilities Sector

JCAD has tremendous experience of providing risk management tools to a number of utilities sector clients including Anglian Water, Shanks, Telefonica and Electricity North West Limited. They all have a similar motivation to ensure risk management is successfully embedded into their organisations.

Regulatory changes, growing competition and technological advances have made this even more pressing because with change comes uncertainty and risk. It is therefore of growing importance that these organisations continue to move towards a more holistic approach to risk management ensuring that risk management is embedded and understood by the organisation as a whole. As a Risk Manager within the utilities market, your main objectives should be to;

–          Lead risk management strategy

–          Improve business buy in and understanding of risk management

–          Create an audit approved risk and assurance framework

–          To be compliant with regulations

–          Support the strategic business objectives.

Through the successful management of these personal objectives the overall organisation will benefit by business strategy being achieved and opportunities maximised.

Let’s look at some of the issues faced today.

Regulatory Changes

All utilities organisations are regulated by different bodies for example, OFWAT, OFGEM and OFCOM. These regulatory bodies are responsible for ensuring that the each company fulfils their statutory functions, protect the interests of consumers, and ensures long-term resilience so that their services meet customers’ needs on an ongoing basis. They have the power to enforce fines on organisations who fail to deliver their statutory functions satisfactorily. They are also able to change the requirements and fines as they see fit.

Substantial fines can have a significant impact on the business and will affect the business financially and also the reputation of the organisation which could have a devastating effect on the business.

Technological advances

It has long been known that taking advantage of new technology can provide an organisation with an advantage over its competitors. Failure to keep up to date however reduces this competitive edge. The technology used to deliver such important infrastructure is hugely important as it needs to be reliable, safe and cost effective. Additionally, operational business technology also needs to be kept up to date as the demands of consumers continue to grow. Payment methods, monitoring of meters, the ability to switch suppliers at the push of a button makes for high customer expectations.

Growing Competition

There is an ever growing list of providers for consumers to choose from. With the growing number of cost comparison sites, it is simple for consumers to compare prices and tariffs and switch with just a few mouse clicks.

Fragile Infrastructure

Infrastructure needs to be maintained, enhanced and eventually replaced in order to ensure reliable and sustainable delivery of services.

Anglian Water Case Study

JCAD implemented its ERM tool at Anglian Water Group back in 2011. Since that time risk management has been widely adopted as a necessary business function enabling a more holistic approach to risk management across the whole organisation. Having benefited greatly from using the risk register, the company now has multiple registers across the business which truly adds more value to the business. It has allowed the correct level of controls to be put in place to ensure compliance and has supported the 6 key business objectives. To read the case study in full please click here.

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