Developing a commercial approach and establishing a commercial function

How we negotiated and set up outsourced arrangements, led the function that managed them, and built the client’s internal capability.

The Context:

In 2008, the UK Government announced that it intended to mandate the roll out of Smart Meters to every home in the country. The programme of work needed to implement it represented the largest change to energy suppliers since privatisation. It included changes to the customer relationship, an order of magnitude increase in the volume of data to be managed, and the introduction of a new critical national infrastructure challenge to the security of supply.

The Challenge:

Having traditionally developed many of its solutions in house our client recognised the need to outsource much of the delivery of the smart programme but, with the exception of small scale pockets of excellence, did not have the necessary capacity to manage commercial arrangements of this number and scale.

Cross 8’s Approach

We led the team which:

  • Negotiated, contracted and manged the supplier arrangements across Big 4 Consultancy, Global System Integrator and 30+ supporting parties including delivery and software over multiple large scale releases
  • Implemented and led a delivery assurance function based on 3 lines of defence including PWC at 3rd line based on their external auditor position
  • Led selection process, negotiation and approval of field force providers delivering metering installation services to cover the 50% plus of the country outside the Supplier’s home areas.
  • Led negotiation and contracting process for delivery of Smart meter assets including meters, comms and payment vending services

The Results

The tight commercial arrangements which we put in place remained the basis of the programme until the operation of the smart rollout became a part of the BAU business.

In parallel we were able to build the internal capability within the client through a mixture of mentoring, training and shadowing to enable a handover of the function to permanent staff.


To find out how we can do the same for you, get in touch.