Melbourne-based water utility uses FICO Blaze Advisor to save time, money and the environment
SYDNEY—23 July, 2014—FICO (NYSE:FICO), a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company, announced that Yarra Valley Water has automated 80 percent of its development applications since it implemented FICO’s powerful decision management technology. Using FICO® Blaze Advisor® business rules management system, Yarra Valley Water has reduced the time required for land and water use application approvals from several weeks to two days – speeding up project time, improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs associated with processing paperwork.
The technology transformation at Yarra Valley Water — Melbourne’s largest water and sewerage utility, serving more than 1.7 million people and 50,000 businesses — was directed by Australian consultancy Wise Technology Management, and took three years to complete, from design to final testing. The original development application process involved sending paper documents to various parts of the organisation for assessment and then returning decisions to the applicant by fax or mail. With the new easyACCESS system, applicants submit their applications online, and the FICO® Blaze Advisor® business rules management system processes the application, accessing core data including the GIS, property and encumbrance information.
Yarra Valley Water led the business change program to streamline the ‘easyACCESS portal’ for the conveyancing, land development and plumbing industries. Its close collaboration with Wise Technology Management ensured the data path and business processes were smoothly integrated into the FICO business rules engine.
“Processing new applications had been a labour-intensive process and we felt developers were waiting too long,” said Sam Austin, general manager for sustainable development services at Yarra Valley Water. “We have made a significant effort to map our processes and decision-making. Previously, much of this resided in people’s heads or was scattered in documentation. Now, with the new system, this information is built into a robust, rules-based solution, yielding significant rewards for Yarra Valley Water and developers alike.”
John Wise, principal at Wise Technology Management, added, “The new system has produced numerous operational savings, brought consistency to development application decisions and allowed Yarra Valley Water to plan the use of water, recycling and storage up to five years ahead.”
With water industry standards basically the same across Australia, Yarra Valley Water’s rules engine is essentially a water industry module that can be universally applied. Other water utilities can use the system with only minor adjustments required for their own level of risk or specific water specifications.
This technology transformation is closely tied to Yarra Valley Water’s vision as a progressive organisation with a strong sustainability and efficiency mission. Yarra Valley Water is invested in providing zero emission operations and ‘Integrated Water Management Services’ such as recycled water to 100,000 customers in the high-growth corridor to the north of Melbourne. The easyACCESS system helps the organisation do this by improving its ability to handle long-term planning, shifting resources from administration to front-line services and accurately billing developers and plumbers.
“What Yarra Valley Water and Wise Technology Management have achieved is incredibly innovative,” said Dan McConaghy, president of FICO Asia Pacific. “They have managed to combine numerous complex data sets in a way that has modernized the process, increased user satisfaction and delivered a measureable return on investment. This is a great example of the value and power of analytics-based decision management technology at work.”
About Yarra Valley Water
Yarra Valley Water is Melbourne’s largest water and sewerage business. It provides water supply and sewerage services to over 1.7 million people and over 50,000 businesses in the northern and eastern suburbs. Learn more at www.yvw.com.au
About Wise Technology Management
Wise Technology Management is an Australian management consultancy specializing in radical business process redesign and design of systems for competitive markets in utility and financial services industries with clients in Australia, the US and Europe. Learn more at www.wisetechnology.com
FICO (NYSE: FICO), formerly known as Fair Isaac, is a leading analytics software company, helping businesses in 90+ countries make better decisions that drive higher levels of growth, profitability and customer satisfaction. The company’s groundbreaking use of Big Data and mathematical algorithms to predict consumer behavior has transformed entire industries. FICO provides analytics software and tools used across multiple industries to manage risk, fight fraud, build more profitable customer relationships, optimize operations and meet strict government regulations. Many of our products reach industry-wide adoption. These include the FICO® Score, the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the United States. FICO solutions leverage open-source standards and cloud computing to maximize flexibility, speed deployment and reduce costs. The company also helps millions of people manage their personal credit health. FICO: Make every decision count™. Learn more at www.fico.com.
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