Operations Lead – Water Utility Company

Published: 5 September 2011

A leading water utility; our client manages the collection, treatment and distribution of water, supplying around 1.24 billion litres of drinking water each day. They also collect, treat and dispose of about one billion litres of waste water safely back into the environment each day. Through their grid system they operate more than 700 water and sewage treatment works, 120 reservoirs, and 40,000 miles of water and sewerage mains. Their role is to maintain these in good working order and continually improve them for future generations to protect public health, the environment and public water supply.

To ensure the business achieved its goals of delivering 100% asset availability and sustained business improvements to contribute to its £multi-million savings target, the group decided to appoint a new Operations leader to its management team. Despite a culture of developing its leadership capability from within, the group made the decision to find a candidate with experience from a ‘best-in-class’ engineering and process industry sector that could enhance its existing operations processes and strategy.

This was a business leadership role, where the successful candidate would need to be instrumental in delivering change and maximising performance through their teams. The candidate required a successful track record as either an Operations Manager or General Manager with significant line management responsibility gained within a recognised leader within the Utilities or Process Industry sectors. Key to this appointment was the need to appoint an individual with the ability to develop and thrive within an organisation unacustomed  to integrating senior external talent.

Our process, which incorporated advertised selection and approaching candidates within our extensive network across the process industries and utilities markets, attracted experienced operations leaders from the petrochemical, FMCG manufacturing, and water utility markets. The successful candidate was appointed from a leading international process industry manufacturing group, and brought first-class experience of developing effective asset management strategy and excellent man-management qualities. These traits subsequently enabled the individual to thrive in this role and add demonstrable value across the group. As a result he is regarded as a key change leader and has since progressed into a key functional leadership role.

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