Video guides scoop innovation award for Veolia Water

21 May 2012

A series of video self-help guides for customers scooped the Institute of Water Innovation Award for Veolia Water Central on Friday (18 May).

Sponsored by Northumbrian Water, the award was announced at the Institute of Water’s President’s Dinner following its annual two day conference on 17 and 18 May.

A panel of industry experts selected Veolia Water Central’s video self-help guides as the National Innovation Award winner from a shortlist of regional entries. The award was presented by Professor Martin Cave at London’s prestigious Banqueting House where more than 300 water industry experts gathered together to celebrate innovation in the water sector.

The Institute of Water is supporting the aims of the Water Sector Innovation Leadership Group by providing the stage on which to recognise UK water and sewerage innovation. Its National Innovation Awards give a much needed spotlight for the many innovative companies to demonstrate their excellence and are just part of the commitment the Institute is making to promote the right cultural environment and encourage pride in the sector.

Speaking about the winning entry Jonson Cox, Chair of the Water Sector Innovation Leadership Group, who headed up the panel of judges said: “Veolia Water Central’s video self-help guides were seen by the judging panel as being innovative, low budget, accessible and easy to find. They are a very simple idea but extremely helpful and useful to customers.

Jonson continued: “This entry stood out from all of the others as the initiative had clearly been developed by customer focused staff with practical experience of customers′ needs.”

Veolia Water created a range of self-help videos for customers on their website and via smartphone. Ten videos have been produced on a variety of water–related topics using practical demonstrations and simple language. These include advice on dealing with frozen pipes; reading a water meter and dealing with bogus callers.

Staff across the business were involved in the rollout of the project, which has led to increased customer self-service, increased customer satisfaction, a reduction in customer contact and cost savings.

Heidi Mottram, Northumbrian Water’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Delivering excellent customer service is at the heart of every great company and by putting customers first, and using creative methods to help answer their questions, the company can benefit too. Effective and efficient innovative solutions are not necessarily expensive to create and implement, and by making information readily available to demonstrate how companies operate, costly customer contacts can be reduced. I congratulate the winning entry which demonstrated all of these qualities.”

The Water Siren by Morrison Utility Services was awarded second place and the CompAer process by Wessex Water / GENeco was third. Representatives from Veolia Water Central team responsible for the winning innovative idea will be invited to take part in Water UK’s Innovation Hub: Resilient Water Resources 2012.

Allen Bolton Award
As part of the Awards ceremony Helen Edwards, immediate past Chair of the Institute of Water presented Tim Boldero with the second Institute of Water Allen Bolton Award. Established in memory of one of the founder members of the Institute this award is presented for exceptional commitment shown to the Institute. Tim, a retired Anglian Water employee, is currently Vice President Environment of the Institute, having also served as Vice President Engineering and as National Chair. Tim is a founder member of the Society for the Environment and is still very active in both the Society and the Institute of Water.

Business Skills Awards
The Business Skills Award, sponsored by EU Skills, was presented by Jack Carnell, Chair of EU Skills, to Paul Campbell from Scottish Water for ‘Continuously Improving Leakage Control Skills and Competence in Scottish Water’.

The runners up were Simon Bennett from Bristol Water / Daniel Contractors and Susie Golics from South West Water.

CPD Award
The CPD Award was presented by Lynn Cooper, Institute of Water Chief Executive, and was given to Natasha McMonagle, Higher Scientific Officer, Northern Ireland Water. This award is made to an employee in the water industry who has demonstrated an effective approach to their own personal development. Peter Crouch from Ashington Associates and Dennis Doman from Consultme 4 EBM Ltd were runners up.

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The Institute of Water was founded in 1945 and is the only professional body that exclusively supports the careers of anyone working in the UK water industry.

The Institute of Water is the only professional body concerned solely with the water industry. It aims to provide opportunities to help members increase their knowledge about those topics that are crucial to the future success of the industry.

The Institute supports the careers of people working in all professions and at all levels across the UK water industry by offering a unique and independent learning, development and networking framework.

About Veolia Water
Veolia Water Central is the UK’s largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.

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