Know; Leverage deep technology for a more sustainable future
Saur has launched a very ambitious CSR program with the corporate positioning of standing for water. “We’re not just talking about providing water. We talk about how to to preserve water in terms of quality and quantity because we know that all over the world there is climate change. And this has a very important impact on water resources. And the question is, how are we going to manage the volume of water relative to the population in the future, knowing that we have very dry periods in summer and flow problems in winter, and that winter overflows cannot? not be used to drink water for the summer. This is a huge challenge posed by climate change, and at Saur, we’ve made it our mission to be the only water utility company that will save and help win the water war.
Success, built on trust and alignment of values
Saur believes that their core values and strong corporate culture give them a competitive advantage that has built the strong bonds of trust that can be found throughout their ecosystem. For almost 90 years, Saur’s values of responsibility, sense of service, transparency, solidarity and proximity have been the basis of its success.
Ms. Guehennec herself is president of the Diversity Network at Saur and works to foster greater diversity. “In particular, we are working to change the balance between men and women in the company. Our industry is historically a business where there are many men, and we therefore all strive to have a balanced rate of men in the company, especially at the management level.
To ensure full alignment of values, personal commitment and clarity of expectations across the organization, Saur published its ethics charter in 2014 and its code of conduct in 2018. Guehennec states that “in terms of ethics and compliance, we must be clear, transparent and comply with regulations. There is no option.“
Communication – the key to change management
“Change management is very important in the business, because the whole business changes at the same time: business, finance, logistics, operations, customer relationships. “
“Success is an accumulation of parameters. First, the support of shareholders and General Management, because without strategic alignment, it does not work. Second, the team, because of course you are no one on your own. Success is the ability to mobilize and explain first, because if you have people who are not confident and don’t understand the targets, then again that doesn’t work. Ultimately, I think mental teamwork is the key to success.
She guides us through the most critical step, communicating with the team. “It is important that the people in the company understand where we are going, because if you are able to make them understand that, even if they are a little lost during the trip, they can refer to that vision and say: alright we’re in a bit of trouble right now, but we know we’re gonna get there. “
“And then the training support during the deployment of all the solutions. So step by step we will say, okay, we will share this with you in a month. In two months we will recheck this for you. And then, six months, we’ll change that for you.
“We have to be very person-oriented. What does this change for me as a professional field worker, dispatcher or financier? Ms. Guehennec explains that fear is the second step in the change curve, so communicating is vital. exactly what the change means, in ways that are relevant to employees and letting them know what the next steps are so they know what to expect.
An ambitious vision; Take advantage of major technologies for better working methods
“To understand what digital transformation looks like at Saur, you have to understand what we are managing,” explains Guehennec. “We manage the customers and we manage the infrastructure. That is, water plants and networks (pipes). Our digital transformation therefore has two components.
“Operationally, which is above all the digital experience of our consumers, B2B and B2C. For B2B, this means things like the ability to manage their facilities and infrastructure remotely with full data transparency, predictive modeling and prescription analysis. For B2C this also means full transparency and consumption and how to use nudge exercises to change consumer behavior to save water.
“And then there is the operational part with infrastructures and factory networks), where the objective is to automate the operating modes of our factories and our network.
The aquatic ecosystem depends on a multitude of factors such as weather and population movements. Guehennec explains that in tourist areas, for example, between summer and winter, water consumption is completely different. “So the setting of the plants can be different. A storm a dry period, anything can very strongly influence the water ecosystem.
To better forecast and plan, she seeks to leverage advanced technologies such as predictive modeling and prescriptive analytics to help determine action plans, mitigate risk, and optimize operations.
Selection of suppliers: major ambitions, major suppliers
“It was the biggest challenge of my career,” says Ms. Guehennec. “Because I had to manage two transformations at the same time: business transformation and IT transformation. When you have such a big challenge ahead of you, you can’t just choose just any partner. My experience is that there are only a few companies in the market that are capable of handling this size of transformation. We therefore selected two large companies, one for the transformation of the company [Capgemini] and one for IT transformation [Accenture], with a part for the relocation of IT services. They are therefore big partners because it is a very big transformation.
“The choice was the right one because they have standard industrial processes that we were able to implement quickly. In this very strategic and demanding transformation with very extensive planning, it is really important not to waste time defining how to work. So they came armed with their industrial style, and from day one we started with standard processes.
Optimizing costs with Coupa
In order to better control expenses and reduce costs by optimizing volumes, Saur started looking for a P2P provider and found Coupa.
“We started by issuing a tender on the procurement project with different tools, and Coupa was selected to become Saur’s procurement tool for the entire P2P process. It was then deployed in the field for purchase requests to be made via the catalog. It is the interest of this kind of solution. And then the group’s workflow. Thus, the validation of the order is fully implemented in Coupa, as well as the validation of the invoice for payment.
For Guehennec, the objective was to rationalize the product catalog and to better control expenses in order to better take advantage of volumes with a few key suppliers. “So a little discipline so that people use the same product catalog and the same suppliers allows you to reduce and optimize costs in the end. “
Whether it’s cost, diversity or digitization, it seems to me that Ms. Guehennec has no problem rallying her team and achieving goals, however ambitious they may be.