fbpx

#1 for generating return on innovation investment

Banner Image

Unitywater Quenches its Thirst for Innovation with Brightidea’s Flexible Platform for Project Pipelines

Posted 10 months ago

Unitywater connected with Impact Innovation Group to provide training and ideation workshops for its 27 innovation champions embedded across different departments, as well as install an engaging and effective system which would allow the momentum to remain strong.

 

  • 1530+ ideas submitted
  • 60% company-wide engagement
  • 8 new technology trials

 

The Challenge

Multi-award-winning utility company Unitywater delivers essential water and sewerage services 24/7 to the communities of Moreton Bay, Noosa, and the Sunshine Coast in South East Queensland, Australia.

This sub-tropical region is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with residential and tourism development responding to increasing demand for healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle experiences.

Unitywater plays an integral role in supporting the region’s many beautiful natural water assets while ensuring the ready supply of fresh and affordable potable water to some 330,000 properties.

Its priority is providing customers – 17 percent of Queensland’s population – with high-quality, safe and reliable water and sewerage services that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Unitywater’s continual pursuit of operational excellence achieves this by exploring new ways to innovate how it operates and how it delivers value for customers, stakeholders and its people.

With one of its core values being “Innovation: We seek new ways of doing things better”, Unitywater researched options for improving staff engagement in innovation and building a culture of intrapreneurship.

It needed a systematic approach to capture and consider the ideas of its 680+ people working across all company departments, including workers in the field, at the frontline of customer service, and in management roles.

 

The Solution

In 2016, Unitywater connected with Brightidea’s premier Australasian partner, Impact Innovation Group, to provide training and ideation workshops for its 27 innovation champions embedded across different departments, as well as install an engaging and effective system which would allow the momentum to remain strong.

The Brightidea system has allowed Unitywater to harness ideas from all staff no matter where or when they are working, removing the risk of valuable input being excluded or missed.

It provides a creative space for people to connect, share ideas, and contribute towards innovation that will benefit their own work as well as other challenges for the organisation. The Brightidea Suggest app that allows 24/7 crowdsourcing ideas for online challenges is particularly popular.

The innovation champions that sit directly within the customer call centre, for example, can now feed ideas into the portal that are prompted by community concerns and suggestions.

Brightidea also supports Unitywater’s dual pipeline approach to innovation: ideas that are engineering-focused are now funnelled differently to the ones with affordability solutions, which allows ideas to be investigated more efficiently by relevant teams.

The Outcomes

Brightidea has helped Unitywater embed innovation in the company culture and business processes.

Luisa Magalhaes, Unitywater’s Innovation & Research Specialist, says Brightidea has made it easier for staff to understand that “innovation does not have to be a new rocket” and that even the smallest improvement idea can make an big difference to efficiency and customer experiences.

“To have our people understand this context around what innovation is and how it relates to their jobs, particularly for our field people, empowers the organisation.”

Having the system already established enabled Unitywater to rally quickly and harness ideas for addressing new challenges that were brought about by the COVID 19 crisis, for both the company and its stakeholders.

The connective nature of the platform meant that existing challenges provided a sense of continuity for teams that had to disperse during the pandemic – confirming the value of Brightidea for employee engagement as well as innovation programs. The portal continues to help executive managers understand the sentiment of their people around new project ideas.

Luisa says that she is extremely proud that by choosing and using Brightidea ‘the seeds have taken root’ and Unitywater can deliver on its vision and values for the communities it serves.

 

“To have our people understand this context around what innovation is and how it relates to their jobs, particularly for our field people, empowers the organisation.”

– Luisa Magalhaes, Innovation & Research Specialist at Unitywater

 


Contact us to find out how Impact Innovation can help you foster an innovative organisational culture and build capability for identifying new ways of adding value.

Back