February 01, 2008
South West Water Taps Accenture to Enhance Its Customer Service

LONDON; Feb. 1, 2008 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) will provide South West Water with customer-care and billing services and manage South West Water’s back-office operations under a 10-year outsourcing agreement the two companies signed recently.  

Under the agreement, Accenture will help South West Water enhance its technology, business processes and workforce performance to improve service levels for its customer base in Devon, Cornwall and parts of Dorset and Somerset counties in England while controlling service-delivery costs.

South West Water will leverage the process models, training methods, applications and assets developed by Accenture Utilities BPO Services, (formerly Accenture Business Services for Utilities), which provides similar services to more than two dozen utility clients in North America and the United Kingdom.

“We are delighted to have chosen a partner whose strategic objectives to deliver high-quality, cost-efficient customer services and collections align so closely with our own Pure Service objectives, said Monica Read, customer service director of South West Water. “We believe our partnership with Accenture will deliver an enhanced customer experience and a reduced cost to serve, confirming to our customers our commitment to provide them with the quality service they expect at the right price.”

Keith Mueller, managing director of Accenture Utilities BPO Services, said, “Utilities like South West Water, with plans to become high-performing organizations, are taking the initiative to modernize, innovate and seek the most efficient and effective ways to deliver outstanding services to their customers. We will be creating a UK showcase of the processes, technology and performance models Accenture Utilities BPO Services has developed and refined over the years with utility companies around the world and share these with South West Water and other utility clients.”

Over the next 10 weeks, Accenture will be undertaking a phased transition of South West Water’s collections and front- and back-office customer contact activities ready for the new contract to start on April 1.

Accenture will provide these services through Accenture Utilities BPO Services, one of the largest and fastest-growing providers of outsourced customer care, technology and business services to utilities globally. 

About South West Water

South West Water is part of the Pennon Group Plc and operates wholly in the South West of England supplying water and sewerage services to over 750,000 customers. It is the sole supplier of these services in its area of operation. With over 60% of customers receiving water on a metered basis, South West Water has one of the highest percentages of metered water customers in the UK and the meter base continues to grow at nearly 4% per annum. This change in how customers pay for water presents new challenges for successful management of billing and customer relationships.

South West Water issues over 2 million bills; receives around 1.3 million operational and billing telephone calls; and deals with around 200,000 written billing contacts each year.   

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  With more than 175,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$19.70 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007.  Its home page is www.accenture.com


Christine Fields
+1 (330) 234-6406