Tech Company Saves British Gas £3.4 million With One Idea
A LONDON tech firm has saved British Gas an estimated £3.4 million by capturing an idea from their frontline employees which the utility company is turning into a reality.
Sideways 6, recently named in StartUps 100 index for 2017, helps large organisations to collect, manage and act on employee ideas, insight and feedback. Often called ‘idea management’ or ‘innovation management’, the aim is simple: to help its clients build better companies with happier employees and customers.
With several FTSE100 and FTSE250 companies among their clients, British Gas, the largest UK energy and home services company, has become one of the latest to benefit from working with the young tech firm, which is based in Shoreditch.
In an increasingly competitive utilities market, British Gas is constantly searching for ways to improve their performance and provide a better service to their customers. So with the help of Sideways 6 they turned to their workforce, made up of over 30,000 employees, and invited them to give their ideas for improvement based on frontline experience. The aim was to create a ‘culture of innovation’ within their organisation, where employees feel confident and able to share their ideas on how the business could be run for the better.
By creating and using a group called ‘Make A Good Idea Count’ (MAGIC) on Yammer (the existing social network employees were already using), Sideways 6 are able to engage with British Gas employees working in numerous job roles throughout the business to share and discuss ideas for improvement touching on all aspects of the company’s operations. Sideways 6 then helps British Gas to identify, analyse and act on the most promising ideas.
After 10 months of the campaign run by Sideways 6, over 6,700 ideas and posts have been shared, with over 250 ideas now in development and 60 already put in place. Incredibly, one particular employee idea to do with the customer complaints process is projected to reduce costs by up to £3.4 million over the next five years alone. The idea has made lodging a complaint easier and has already proven to reduce waiting times and improve satisfaction for customers who have a problem with their service.
Dan Mason, Business Change Manager at British Gas, said: “As a Member of the Change community, I find MAGIC one of the most useful tools we have in the business today. The feedback and insight we get from all on here is of huge importance.”
Will Read, Founder of Sideways 6, said: “In using Sideways 6 to de-centralise innovation and capture ideas from frontline staff, British Gas have demonstrated just how powerful employee ideas can be.
“Even aside from the huge savings they will make from the ideas implemented, they have also embedded a culture of innovation and improvement in their business, which can only be good news for the 11 million homes and businesses they provide a service to.”
For more information on Sideways 6 please visit www.sideways6.com.
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