In July 2018, Flemish distribution grid operators Eandis and Infrax joined forces, merging into a new company called Fluvius. Its main purpose? To distribute electricity and gas to individuals, companies and local administrations, as well as provide them with other public facilities such as heat networks and telecom. In addition, Fluvius acts as a social and fall-back supplier and supports local and regional authorities in their sustainability and rational energy & water use policies through awareness campaigns and incentives including energy grants and green power certificates. The 2018 merger is expected to save 110 million euros each year, meaning that consumers will see their gas and electricity bills drop by about 36 euros.
Initially, Eandis contacted AE in the context of the Central Market System (Atrias CMS) and the implementation of the accompanying new market process and communication standards (MIG6), which will become operational on the Belgian gas and electricity market in a few years’ time. After the merger with Infrax, Eandis once again called on AE’s expertise to help Fluvius with its Enterprise Transformation. AE’s mission: to help shape the new business architecture in cocreation with Fluvius, thus facilitating its transformation to one unified company.
Transformation with a long-term vision
More specifically, a team of business architects consisting of both AE and Fluvius experts made sure Fluvius’ strategy is properly translated into the transformation plans of the individual departments, securing significant savings for the newly founded company as well as future-proofing it. The team is currently helping each department to develop a long-term vision, providing support in creating processes and systems and in setting up the right organisational structure. Aligning these visions with Fluvius’ broader company strategy enables the business to better frame and evaluate future projects in terms of how they fit into the predetermined strategy and what it aims to achieve.
Obviously, a merger brings about a lot of changes, not in the least because of each company’s singularity in terms of organisational management. Thus, finding the best match in terms of methodology and approach was one of the main challenges the team of business architects faced. And though embarking on a transformation journey is never easy, Fluvius’ trajectory is even more complicated due to other important projects that require attention. There’s the MIG6 project and the preparations for introducing digital meters in Flanders to think of, as well as Fluvius’ evolution towards a more client-centred approach which involves a transformation of the current business processes. AE colleagues are involved in these projects as well, primarily as business and functional analists.
AE consultants Johan Huysmans and Ruben Vuylsteke explain AE’s approach and stress the importance of a close collaboration with Fluvius:
“To help our customers successfully carry out their Business Transformation, AE applies a five-step plan in which business architecture plays a crucial role. This allows us to clearly map out the desired strategy for every aspect of the company (processes, organisation, systems) and to make sure the organisation takes the right steps throughout its transformation. We are firmly embedded in the Fluvius team, working in constant cocreation to get the new business architecture just right. We take the AE methodology with us, yet we also tap into the knowledge Fluvius already possesses.”
Ilse Rubben, head of Business Architecture at Fluvius, elaborates on the recent collaboration with AE:
“Right from the get-go, our relationship with the AE consultants has been excellent. We work in cocreation, where AE keeps a good balance between introducing their expertise and knowledge, and respecting what we have built up here. Listening, understanding, gaining insights and responding flexibly to our needs: these are just some of the things that characterise AE’s approach. Thanks to their collegial attitude, the consultants have become full members of our business architecture team.”
Needless to say, AE is proud of its collaboration with Fluvius. Together, we are drawing up a road map for profound change, gaining insights along the way to help achieve our common goals.