In 2022, South Staffs Water, the company responsible for supplying water services to 1.3 million customers in England, partnered with Copperleaf to streamline their asset investment planning and management (AIPM) processes. In their recent annual report, reproduced below, South Staffs Water unveiled a compelling case study showcasing how they are using the Copperleaf solution to optimise their investment needs. Read on to find out more.
As a long-term business, we understand the importance of planning any investment carefully to ensure we manage our risks effectively and deliver infrastructure projects efficiently and in a way that represents best value for our customers. To help us make informed decisions about the investments we need to make—and when we need to make them—we have implemented a new optimisation tool called Copperleaf®.
This enables us to:
- model risk associated with the availability of information about our assets, and how this can change over time;
- identify which investments to defer in the event of funding or resource constraints;
- and make informed decisions that maximise value while proactively managing risk.
As well as providing a comprehensive assessment of all our asset risks, Copperleaf makes it easier for us to understand the long-term exposure of those risks on our critical assets. It also considers wider business inputs, to ensure our asset management plan helps to deliver our wider strategic goals. And it enables us to make informed trade-offs between capital and maintenance costs, and to create a plan that balances total expenditure and minimises overall cost. This is essential if we are to plan effectively for the long term—a key component of Ofwat’s PR24 price review process.
Copperleaf employs a value framework to define the benefits of investments. This framework uses the ‘six capitals’ model (social, human, manufactured, financial, natural and intellectual capital) to support decision-making. It can be developed over time to become more bespoke to our specific requirements, providing us with more flexibility and adaptability.
Through the implementation of the Copperleaf solution, we have several key business objectives that we want to deliver against, including:
- enabling us to achieve best performance in the water sector over the next planning period (2025 to 2030);
- enabling us to create consistent valuations and centralised management of the capital allocation and asset management functions of our business;
- enabling improved communication between our operations and asset management teams to help the business understand which investments have been taken forward and approved for implementation;
- eliminating the gap between our regulatory performance commitment targets and our everyday portfolio management;
and enabling investment decisions to be tracked and updated, meaning our decision-making is more agile.