Energy & Utilities, Operations Excellence

Mobilizing multiple suppliers to transform a utility’s customer experience and save millions

Mobilizing multiple suppliers to transform a utility’s customer experience and save millions

Our Impact

A large investor-owned U.S. utility provider is paving the way toward a clean-energy future. They are in the middle of a multi-year initiative to deliver an industry-leading experience to their customers, with a primary goal of becoming digital. Part of this effort required a new customer information system (CIS) and other technology to drive front- and back-office customer service and billing platforms.  

Success depended not only on selecting the right suppliers but also ensuring high performance and collaboration among them. That’s where West Monroe came in. 

We have partnered with this utility for almost a decade to drive critical change. Our track record, combined with utility infrastructure and strategic sourcing expertise, made us the ideal partner. Over a few years, we helped the utility select and orchestrate the work of 10+ suppliers to bring its operational and service vision to fruition—with measurable precision. 


total savings, representing multiple millions, achieved through supplier management best practices


milestones met on time with the primary SI


successfully negotiated commercial agreements across the supplier ecosystem

The Full Story 

The Challenge 

The utility’s journey to modernize front- and back-office operations required a significant investment of time and resources. In turn, the company’s board expected broad and significant impact: greater business agility, more efficient operations, and enhanced data and capabilities for creating personalized offerings and new revenue streams—among other benefits. 

To deliver on these expectations, the utility needed to be sure it had the right suppliers in place—organized and managed in the right way to meet specific commitments and milestones. 

In particular, the utility sought outside expertise for:  

  • Selecting best-in-class suppliers for each element of the program 
  • Executing comprehensive and robust commercial supplier contracts with clear roles and responsibilities  
  • Holding suppliers accountable to commitments, ensuring the project met established goals and milestones

That’s why the utility turned to West Monroe. 

An Undeniably Different Approach

This was a complex challenge—but exactly the type of situation for which we’ve built our sourcing and supplier management capabilities. We were equipped with deep experience and a diligent, detailed, and objective approach for guiding selection and governance in a multi-supplier environment with key milestones that spanned multiple years. Our team: 

  • Aligned diverse stakeholders on a common course, using workshops to agree on supplier management requirements and goals 
  • Developed reporting and governance mechanisms to ensure these stakeholders were well-informed and involved when necessary 
  • Raised awareness around potential risks that could occur during large, transformational programs—and best practices to address them based on extensive CIS, complex implementation, and commercial governance experience 
  • Leveraged West Monroe’s proven tools and accelerators to define supplier roles and responsibilities, project deliverables, service and performance criteria, and technical and pricing schedules for all aspects of the project 
  • Led objective supplier sourcing, selection, and negotiation—ensuring all were accountable to consistent milestones and evaluated equally and contract negotiations would remain competitive 
  • Developed statements of work and overall commercial framework with selected suppliers—with a particular focus on scope, distribution of responsibilities, deliverables, pricing, activities, and performance expectations that ensured consistent measurement across suppliers 
  • Provided ongoing commercial governance support for managing changes, negotiating additional contracts as needed, escalating issues, and confirming completion of stage gates to ensure quality delivery that remained on track and included cost visibility 
  • Created commercial governance playbooks to equip managers and executives to manage program and supplier performance going forward

Project Timeline

Phase 1
Develop sourcing strategy and approach
Phase 2
Facilitate supplier sourcing, selection, and negotiation
Phase 3
Establish commercial governance processes for supplier management
Phase 4
Execute commercial governance

Real Results

With our guidance, the utility negotiated more than 25 statements of work across 10+ suppliers. Having flexible, accountable, above-market agreements with key partners brought clarity and a required level of accountability to a multi-implementation partner model, fostering the cooperation necessary to progress on schedule toward its goals.  

Our work also brought significant efficiency to the project, including: 

  • 16% total savings, representing multiple millions, achieved through supplier management best practices 
  • 100% milestones met on time with the primary SI 
  • 50+ successfully negotiated commercial agreements across the supplier ecosystem 

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