When it comes to transforming a large established enterprise with many compliance issues, businesses need to be able to look in the rearvision mirror and, at the same time, picture what the organisation will look like in three years time, explains Tanya Graham, chief transformation officer at Alinta Energy. 

The utility company has been supplying Australians with energy for more than 20 years and boasts more than 1 million electricity and gas retail customers across WA, SA, Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

“Looking backwards at where we have come from, the growth we’ve had and some of the challenges that has posed in terms of geographical growth, systems and processes. These [systems and processes] for us were designed for small organisations and now we are a much larger organisation with a much larger customer base,” Graham told Which-50. 

“So the systems and processes are not as scalable as they need to be.”

Graham has been at Alinta Energy just under a year and the transformation unit is still in its infancy at eight months old. In her role she oversees the Alinta transformation program which is all about making sure it has the right systems and processes in place to facilitate the business growth keeping them on a strong growth trajectory.

When looking ahead, Graham said companies need to identify the core capabilities and how they need to organise themselves to achieve that future vision and direction.

In her team, Graham has an organisational change manager to make sure change is orchestrated across the whole business.

Tanya Graham, Chief Transformation Officer, Alinta Energy

She said, “We have set up a change community of practice which pulls together change needed for each transformation program along with people and culture, learning and development, communications.

“So within that group there are the key people who are on the ground and make the change happen so they are the eyes and ears whilst we are pushing messages out we are also listening to what people are telling us as well.”

Graham said the team makes sure they are intentional at the beginning of a project to pull the transformation change piece into her team so they can orchestrate it across the organisation and keep a close eye on it.

This also helps them to monitor the impact across the business, and see if they are making sensible decisions around what they are implementing when, who that’s impacting, how it fits with BAU roles, to make sure they aren’t overloading a particular area at any one time.

One of the programs they have recently released is a new financial toolkit which according to Graham was built to get greater visibility of Alinta Energy’s capital spend.

“We’ve reconfigured the system and built some new dashboards so people who are leading significant projects have all the financial information they need to hand on a real-time basis,” she said.

Creating customer empathy

Graham said Alinta has gone through significant work around understanding customer journeys and delving into the customer experience at each point of the process. 

She explained the customer journey involves being engaged initially, signing up, transitioning to a new energy provider, As well as receiving and paying your bill.

“The experience of being a new term customer and really understanding what are people seeing, feeling, doing, experiencing in each of those points along the way. Finally, trying to make sure the way we interact with people and talk to people, how they contact us all reflects what customers actually want from their experience with us.”

For Alinta Energy, the key focus around the customer is with their customer facing teams but Graham said what they also want to do is make sure the customer focus actually permeates across the whole organisation.

“It’s already one of our values but we need to make sure we are living and breathing that value and it’s not just our customer facing team, [it’s] everyone in the organisation and really bringing that to life. Whether it’s an end customer for us or an internal customer, the principles still apply,” Graham said.

Tanya Graham is a member of the advisory panel for the Which-50 Digital Experience Awards.

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