Network Rail customer case study
Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure, including 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations.
As Energy and Carbon Manager for the Wales and Western region, Adam De Benedictis is responsible for managing the firm’s utilities and practising good asset management within its Welsh operating area. As Network Rail is the UK’s biggest electricity user, Adam’s priority is reducing the company’s utilities usage.
As Adam’s role was newly created, as soon as he took it on, he realised water was going to be a particularly difficult utility. Network Rail didn’t have very good information around where their water assets and pipes were located, how much water had historically been consumed, or whether there were any leaks within their water estate. Before he could start to look at systematic approaches to reducing the amount of water used across the organisation, he needed to get a much deeper understanding of his water portfolio.
To do this, he needed a relationship with Welsh Water that would be responsive and resilient in the face of the huge job they had ahead of them to cleanse the Network Rail water estate.
We gave Adam a dedicated account manager, to act as a knowledgeable point of contact for all queries. To give Adam a good overview of his water accounts, we started with a data cleansing exercise in order to really get to the bottom of his water portfolio. This included helping him to categorise asset types, look at consumption and understand where leakage may be present.
In going through that process, together we identified 23 accounts which were either no longer needed or were wrongly assigned to Network Rail instead of another business. This got his estate down from 69 accounts to a much more manageable 46, and crucially meant that Network Rail were no longer paying for others’ water supplies. This gave Adam a clear overarching view of his water estate, so that he could start to concentrate on more ambitious projects, rather than resolving existing problems within his estate.
His account manager acts as his main point of contact, so they can help with any queries from other colleagues of Adam’s across Network Rail sites. Because of this, where issues have come up, Adam has been able to work with us to resolve them quickly.
Adam said: “We had an issue where fuel had got into the water supply at one site in north Wales. My account manager immediately helped us isolate the supply and test the water. Most importantly, they helped us to safeguard our staff and ensure they were kept healthy and safe. Investigations at site also discovered the water supply was being used by another company which we didn’t even realise was on our supply! Knowing this, we were able to separate the supplies to ensure we only pay for the water Network Rail use.”
We have also been able to offer Adam consolidated billing, where we consolidate all of his 46 accounts into just one convenient monthly bill. With his verification software, he can quickly validate the data to see if there are any issues, helping him to manage his portfolio effectively.
Adam’s relationship with Welsh Water and his account manager has generated huge benefits:
- Saving money — This, along with other work by Adam has resulted in savings of £1.6m across Network Rail’s water and electricity portfolio in Wales.
- Freed up time — Adam can focus on proactive water and energy reduction projects now that his water estate is in order.
- Issues are resolved quickly — Due to the clear route of communication with his account manager, Adam can pass on any query and know it’ll be responded to promptly.
Adam De Benedictis
Energy and Carbon Manager for Wales Network Rail
I inherited a fairly unwieldy water estate, which needed a very nitty gritty approach to improving our data accuracy over the course of around 18 months. The Welsh Water team has been there for me every step of the way, enabling me to really streamline my water estate right down, saving plenty of money in the process. I finally feel on top of water. My relationship with my account manager has been phenomenal — the responsiveness and efficiency has really improved our day-to-day operations. My account manager is driven to solve our problems quickly while also keeping one eye on the bigger picture. I can also trust them to deal with queries from my colleagues. Because of the relationship we have with Welsh Water, Wales is now leading the way in terms of managing water in Network Rail.