The Copperleaf™ C55 Decision Analytics solution is now live at Northern Gas Networks (NGN), a gas distribution company serving over 2.7 million homes and businesses in the North East, Northern Cumbria, and much of Yorkshire, England.
We sat down with some of the key people on the joint NGN and Copperleaf project team to get their thoughts on the implementation and how it has helped them on their Asset Investment Planning and Management (AIPM) journey. Our Q&A features insights from:
What were NGN’s main goals for this project?
Claire: “NGN began working with Copperleaf to fulfill two main goals. First, we wanted to implement a decision support tool that would deliver our asset risk regulatory reporting for July 2018 and beyond. And second, we wanted a solution to inform the development of the GD2 business plan and help streamline that process.”
What were the key things that you felt made the project successful?
Marie: “The high engagement from the NGN project team was a key factor which contributed to the overall success of the project. It’s clear that NGN is a learning organization that strives to continually improve for the benefit of their customers—definitely a great company to work with.”
Claire: “A collaborative and flexible approach from both parties. It really felt like a team working towards a common goal, rather than working on a project with a contracted supplier.”
Were there any lessons learned from the project?
Greg: “We learned that robust project management and clear decision making are essential for a successful project.”
What are the key benefits you think you’ll get out of the implementation of C55?
Claire: “With C55, we now have a solution that provides clear visibility of risk and the consequence of impact that will result from our investment decisions. C55 will significantly improve our regulatory reporting process for asset risk and ensure we deliver a robust, evidence-based RIIO-GD2 business plan submission.”
Greg: “Copperleaf has helped us improve the asset management and decision support capability within NGN. With C55, we’ve been able to quantify a 15% increase in efficiency for the teams required to develop the plan for the next GD2 regulatory cycle. In delivering the program, we estimate that we can deliver further future benefits by choosing the right investments to ensure we meet our customer service objectives and deliver the best value for our stakeholders.”
Have there been any other added benefits?
Claire: “C55 will also give us clear visibility of risk and the consequence of impact as a result of our investment decisions. Additionally, the solution will provide a consistent framework across assets that will support trade-off decisions between network and non-network assets.”
James: “We’ve worked together to configure a Value Framework in C55 that enhances the OFGEM monetised risk methodology, NOMs, to provide a consistent mechanism for customer-focused cost-benefit analysis based on a blend of modeled and operational inputs. For example, the Value Framework allows users to consider the customer impact of traffic disruption caused by mains replacement (REPEX) schemes, and therefore to schedule programs of work that meet regulatory targets with minimal customer inconvenience.”
What’s next on NGN’s asset management journey?
Claire: “The asset strategy team will focus on further integrating the C55 decision support software and process into the business in order to realize the full benefits of C55. We also plan to further extend C55 using in-house capability to support investment for non-network assets.”
Greg: “Our longer-term vision is to get to the point where our regulatory submission will be a snapshot of our living plan in C55, and where investment planning activity will integrate seamlessly with project execution. We look forward to continuing the relationship with Copperleaf to turn this vision into reality.”
Learn more about our work with Northern Gas Networks.