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Going for Gold Part 2: Marginal Gains

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Chris Broadhurst, ENSEK | Head of Sales & Marketing

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Following the success of Team GB at the Rio Olympic Games, resulting in the best performance in over 100 years, we take a closer look at what was behind their astounding achievement, and what lessons energy suppliers could learn.

Last week, we analysed Team GB’s use of target setting, the impact it had on their performance in Rio, and how energy suppliers could apply the same principles to achieve their own success.

This week: Marginal Gains

The concept of marginal gains – the compound effect of multiple small improvements – isn’t new to Team GB. Marginal Gains was the defining reason behind the British cycling team’s victory in the 2012 Olympics, taking 70% of the gold medals available, and the first ever British winner of the Tour de France.

To give you a flavour for how seriously Team GB have taken the concept, marginal gains meant choosing the best pillows for a more restful night’s sleep, and the use of alcohol gel when washing hands to reduce the number of days in a year an athlete was ill.

It sounds over the top, and each improvement does seem truly marginal, but add those small gains together and you end up with the world’s best cycling team.

Marginal gains has it’s place in energy too, and given the complexity of the industry there’s plenty of areas for marginal improvements. By focusing individually on areas such as settlements, operations, billing, and revenue assurance, and using data to analyse and identify the areas for improvement, it’s possible to achieve significant gross margin improvements.

The compound effect that marginal gains can have over time is dramatic – the chart below illustrates the kind of advantage that’s achievable by continuing to focus on marginal gains:

At ENSEK we use our leading energy reconciliation Libra to do just that – by breaking down every constituent piece of the energy supply puzzle, and intelligently putting it back together, we’re able to provide invaluable operational and financial insight into every area of the business, powering a step change in the way a supply business operates, and delivering real, tangible value to the bottom line.

Want to find out how we can help your business target marginal gains and become the next Team GB of the UK energy industry? Get in touch today on 0115 710 0180 or send us an email.

Over the coming weeks we will be exploring the remaining Olympic parallels and how the UK Energy industry can embrace and apply the same thinking.