Yarra Valley Water Wins FICO Decision Management Award for Automation of Development Applications

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Melbourne-based water utility uses FICO Blaze Advisor to save time, money and the environment

SINGAPORE — 25 November 2015


  • Yarra Valley Water has reduced the time required for land and water use application approvals from several weeks down to hours or even minutes.
  • Using the FICO® Blaze Advisor® decision management system, Yarra Valley Water now fully automates 80% of the 25,000 submissions it receives every year.
  • The business has increased annual revenue from an expected $1.5M to an actual $2.5M (AUD)
  • Using the solution, Yarra Valley Water has also improved its customer satisfaction.
  • This business transformation project has seen Yarra Valley Water win FICO’s 2015 Decision Management Award for Decision Management Innovation, which is independently judged by leading industry experts.

For more information: http://www.fico.com/dmawards/

Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne’s largest water and sewerage utility, serving more than 1.8 million people and 50,000 businesses, has transformed its business by using decision management technology from FICO. Yarra Valley Water has reduced the approval time for land and water use applications from several weeks to hours or even minutes. The project has seen the company win a FICO Decision Management Award for Decision Management Innovation.

The business goal was to automate the development application process. Yarra Valley Water led the business change program to streamline its self-serve, customer-facing ‘easyACCESS portal’ for the conveyancing, land development and plumbing industries. The project was directed by Australian consultancy Wise Technology Management.

Using FICO® Blaze Advisor® decision management system, Yarra Valley Water now fully automates 80% of the 25,000 submissions it receives every year. The business has increased annual revenue to $2.5 million from an original estimate of $1.5 million. It has also improved its customer satisfaction.

With the new easyACCESS system, applicants can now submit their applications online, and the FICO® Blaze Advisor® decision rules management system processes the application, accessing core data including the geographic information system (GIS), property and encumbrance information.

FICO Blaze Advisor separates business logic from the underlying mechanics of the software so that Yarra Valley Water employees can change business rules as required without needing to know application development or programming languages. The team has taken knowledge that was in the heads of the engineers or in scattered documentation and built that into the rules of Blaze Advisor.

Sam Austin, general manager for sustainable development services at Yarra Valley Water, said, “Processing new applications had been a labor-intensive process and we felt developers were waiting too long. 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. 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, said, “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.”

Dan McConaghy, president of FICO Asia Pacific said, “What Yarra Valley Water and Wise Technology Management have achieved is incredibly innovative. 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.”

Michael Wu, chief scientist at Lithium Technologies and one of the award judges, said, “Yarra Valley Water is using analytics and decision management technology in a very unconventional way to improve their complex application process. The judges were impressed by their creative solution.”

The FICO Decision Management Awards honor companies that have achieved outstanding business results using FICO predictive analytics and decision management solutions. Winners will be featured in presentations at FICO World 2016 in Washington D.C., April 26-29.

Winners were selected by a panel of esteemed industry leaders, analysts and journalists; Philip Alexander of the Financial Times; Joel Wells from Discover Card, Michael Versace from IDC and Michael Wu of Lithium Technologies.

About Yarra Valley Water
Yarra Valley Water is Melbourne’s largest water and sewerage business. It provides water supply and sewerage services to over 1.8 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

About FICO
FICO (NYSE: FICO) helps individuals and businesses worldwide make better decisions by applying data science to solve human problems. Using predictive analytics, FICO has dramatically improved profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for companies in 100 countries across financial services, telecommunications, health care, retail and other fields. Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, FICO holds 168 US and foreign patents for technologies that have transformed entire industries. Whether protecting 2.5 billion payment cards from fraud, helping hundreds of millions of people worldwide obtain credit, or ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time, FICO powers decisions that help businesses and people prosper.

Learn more at http://www.fico.com

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