Case study: combatting price controls through increased manager spans of control

  • + 20 %

    increase in site spans of control

  • £ 4 .2M

    in annual benefits realised

  • 10,400

    fieldworker hours saved

  • Industry

    Gas distribution

  • Deployment size

    750 users

  • Overview

    Gas distribution network in the South of England and Scotland

The challenge

In 2021, OFGEM set challenging price controls (RIIO-2), which required operational transformation from SGN to reduce costs. A key component of the response strategy was to increase manager spans of control through remote site visibility of fieldwork activities, coupled with intelligent prompts about where attention should be focused. Other areas to improve productivity and efficiency included: 

  • Reducing risk assessment process time
  • Focusing in-person site visits to only high-priority sites, targeting
    travel time savings and reduced mileage claims
  • Recording and analysing issues which prevented work from being completed, and redesigning processes as a result of identified job blockers
  • Providing evidence of how sites were left, thereby reducing fines from local authorities

SGN needed a scalable mobile workforce solution that would provide a real-time view into job site activity in order to increase spans of control allowing managers to cover more sites, while simultaneously improving the safety and productivity of fieldworkers. 

FYLD’s impact

The roll out of FYLD across 750 workers drove significant productivity improvements, resulting in improved operational costs and greater spans of control. 

  • 10,400 fieldworker hours saved across the workforce through FYLD Video Risk Assessments (VRAs) 
  • Increase in first-line manager spans of control for repair activities from 1:5 to 1:6 
  • FYLD analysis of 16,000+ hours of job blockers and idle time indicated that over 75% could be addressable and deployed back on the tools with process redesign 
  • 36% reduction in mileage and targeted first-line manager safety interventions by prioritising site visits with higher risk hazards to eliminate unnecessary trips 
  • Improved evidencing site condition at wrap up resulting in a reduction in potential fines

Proven impacts

Real-time visibility

  • 80% of risk assessments signed off by managers 
  • 20% more sites reviewed remotely

Increased productivity

  • 75% reduction in risk assessment process time through VRA function
  • 10,400 fieldworker hours returned

Cost savings

  • £4.2m cost benefit realised
  • £240k avoided in fines in first three months
£4.2m annual benefits achieved through increased spans of control, reduction in operating costs and improved contractor management.

“Continuously improving spans of control can be difficult. FYLD has been a key enabler of improvements that SGN has made over the last couple of years. Through real-time site visibility, Video Risk Assessments (VRAs) and job blocker alerts, managers can focus their time on high- priority sites while staying connected with field teams and resolving any issues they may have without being physically present. Both managers and fieldworkers can maintain a high standard of safety, all while improving day-to-day efficiencies to boost operational productivity.” 

Martin Holloway

Executive Operations Director, SGN


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