Our specialist utilities team here at DDC OS have been vital in delivering great results for our clients, and a key element of that is Client Relationship Manager, Jade Gash. We recently took the time to sit with Jade and learn more about her work and experience in the energy sector…
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Jade. To get us started could you give us a brief overview of the role you play here at DDC OS?
My current role within DDC OS is about building and growing client relationships in the utilities industry. A key part of this role is to proactively understand the wants, needs and motives of all clients and to build and maintain relationships between the customer and the company.
I manage multiple utility clients, and each has a tailored solution to meet their requirements. A robust onboarding programme is followed to identify the suppliers` needs, I then work closely with the Operations and Shared Services team to deliver exceptional service.
It’s been over two years since you found yourself in the world of suppliers, how do you think things have changed in the industry during that time?
It has been a fast-growing industry with more and more suppliers joining as new entrants. Unfortunately, with the wholesale prices increasing, industry challenges and changes in regulations, it has made it incredibly hard for those new entrants. It has led to us directly being involved in a number of Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) situations.
With an ever-changing industry, it is key for suppliers to have access to the right skills and expertise, which we know are hard to come by in such a complex industry meaning I have seen a rise in both new entrants and established providers looking to outsource their business processes.
Given current trends I expect to see more suppliers merging, creating a bigger threat to the big 6.
Being based in the UK, how do you find working with the team based over in Bosnia? And how do your clients benefit from their work?
Effortless! It is a pleasure working with the team, they have a highly skilled workforce and my clients are able to utilise their knowledge to bring process efficiencies and add value to their business. Our hybrid model allows us to deliver great results at a reduced cost to the client.
I receive regular positive feedback from clients as their work ethic and knowledge is faultless and attrition (less than 4%) and sickness (less than 2%) are extremely low. I visit the team regularly with my clients and can’t wait for my next trip.
We love to visit with our clients and prospects so they can see first-hand the fantastic work ethic and environment in Bosnia.
Do you find that there is a reoccurring theme in terms of the reason’s suppliers outsource, or don’t for that matter?
With the established providers and fast growth suppliers, we tend to be brought in to help with a specific process such as billing management. Once we have shown our added value and full capabilities, it has often been the case that we have taken on more and more work, not necessarily at the cost of their internal team, but to support growth.
For new entrants, unfortunately, it has usually been after they have hit the problems and we have then supported with building a strategy, reviewing processes and providing access to industry experts to meet their requirements over a short time frame. After nearly 2 years of working with suppliers, I am now starting to see more new entrants outsource from pre-CME and it is great to support them from this stage and create a strong partnership aligned to their business growth plan.
OK, nearly done… where do you think we fit into the supplier’s business? What role do we serve?
Outsourcing isn’t about reducing a suppliers’ internal teams and working against one another. It’s about understanding what works best for their business to meet their requirements, bring process efficiencies, add value and reduce the cost to serve.
In some cases, suppliers do outsource the end to end solution to us and we work hard at CEO level to understand their business plan and review performance against this on a regular basis. However, in other cases we work closely with suppliers’ internal teams utilising a modular approach, focussing on specific targets and are seen as an extension of their team to meet the same targets.
Finally, slightly off topic, if you could enjoy a dinner date with anyone who would it be?
Tough one… I really appreciate great food and a nice bottle of wine so, I’d go for someone like Gino D’Acampo. I always find his TV appearances hilarious so I’m sure he’d be great company. And food aside I’m sure he has great stories of his life in Italy.
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