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Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Improves Service to Taxpayers While Reducing Costs

HP recently released a new case study outlining how they utilized enterprise architecture to improve Detroit’s Water and Sewage Department’s (DWSD) service to taxpayers while reducing costs. DWSD is the third-largest water and sewer utility in the United States, pumping 595 million gallons of clean drinking water each day to Michigan residents and providing wastewater service to Detroit and 76 neighboring communities. Contracted in 2006, HP had three main objectives to improve operational efficiency:

  1. Modernize aging water-meter infrastructure;
  2. Integrate critical systems for real-time data access; and
  3. Create self-service customer dashboard.

Their approach was to design and deploy automated water metering infrastructure, with follow-on system integration, worker mobility, and customer dashboard projects. Following this approach, HP was extremely successful in both improving operational efficiency and increasing customer satisfaction.

In implementing the new infrastructure and system, HP focused on improving DWSD in two integral areas: (1) IT matters and (2) business matters. IT matters specifically concerned how the new infrastructure and system increased efficiency. In this area, HP made five major improvements:

  1. Eliminated error-prone manual processes;
  2. Enabled continuous, real-time data reporting and access;
  3. Integrated critical systems to provide single view of customers;
  4. Streamlined field-service operations with mobile tools; and
  5. Minimized estimated bills.

Business matters directly concerned how the new infrastructure and system reduced costs. In this area HP made six major advancements:

  1. Increased employee productivity;
  2. Accelerated cash flow cycle;
  3. Decreased meter reading and system maintenance costs;
  4. Reduced water leaks and theft;
  5. Reduced billing disputes; and
  6. Improved customer service through accurate billing, data availability, and service response time.

By implementing a new infrastructure and system, HP was able to improve service to taxpayers while reducing costs. Rodney Johnson, Assistant Director of DWSD, further reinforced this accomplishing and stated, “Over the years, DWSD has relied on HP expertise to modernize its meter infrastructure, streamline field services, and enhance customer service through self-service data access.” As organizations work to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs, it is important to consider improving access to data, which gives employees and customers self-service access, mobile tools, and integrated views of data. Ultimately, like DWSD, this will improve efficiency by eliminating paperwork, backlogs, delayed data access, and error-prone manual processes.

To learn more about DWSD and how the system was implemented, checkout the full case study here.

HP's mission is to invent technologies and services that drive business value, create social benefit and improve the lives of customers — with a focus on affecting the greatest number of people possible. Check out their HP for Gov group on GovLoop.

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