Improving productivity at a network administrator

The network administrator’s productivity has been radically improved.
Result: Network administrator has improved its competitive position.

Customer request

What is a network administrator? It’s an organisation that lays cables and connections, and manages the energy network in your area. Your meter cupboard is connected to it, just like the meter cupboards of 3 million other homes and companies. A network administrator is therefore not an energy provider, but an organisation that makes it possible for other companies to deliver energy to you. The costs of managing this network are passed on to you, the energy purchaser. You can find them on your annual bill, where they are described as network management, delivery or transport costs. In the Netherlands, the ACM (Consumer & Market Authority) puts pressure on the network administrators to improve productivity. This results primarily in improved maintenance, which in turn results in fewer faults. The idea is to ultimately reduce the costs billed to the end customer.

Request to House of Performance:

Our productivity must improve. Support us in clarifying the reason behind this aim and help us to gain greater acceptance for it internally. Besides this, help us to set up a good, simple managerial mechanism and teach us to use it as effectively as possible.

Our approach

We like to see with our own eyes what’s actually happening. So that’s what we do. In order to set up the managerial mechanism requested by the network administrator, we held talks with everyone from construction supervisors and team leaders to departmental and regional managers. We went to have a look in the workplace and spent time there mainly asking lots of questions. Assumptions were challenged, and new insights emerged. For example, it turned out that construction supervisors dealing with the task to repair something often decided to replace it instead. They did so with the best of intentions, but naturally the result of such a working method is that the relationship between costs and profits is put under unbearable pressure.

What do you think?

It also transpired that a dynamic of forecasting and waiting was the norm between managers and the construction supervisors. Instead of suggesting solutions, the managers now ask, “What do you think yourself?” By reaching out with – often simple – interventions such as asking the question above, managers now have practical tools in their hands to help them achieve better results.

  • We also started with the ‘Keek op de Week Challenge’, a weekly consultation in which you discuss the team and individual performance with each other, aimed at continuously improving your work.
  • In this way, employees are increasingly able to serve the customer optimally and achieve a better operating efficiency. Among other things, the employee costs component was steered on this.
  • With every assignment, the required effort of people is now deliberately weighed instead of starting from a standard.

Results

Personnel costs for the network administrator’s five most important products have decreased by an average of 33%.

Continuous improvement is now woven into our day-to-day activities. We have managed this by applying focus and attention. House of Performance has helped us to translate our strategy from theory on paper into practice in the workplace. Rather than just taking you through a standard process, their people listen properly and work with you to find solutions that are very much needed. Departmental Manager, Nework Administrator