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Australia’s infrastructure service providers innovating for customers

13 October 2017
Infrastructure provider's untold innovation success stories

Big data, digital technology and other innovations used by infrastructure providers are delivering better customer outcomes, according to a new paper by the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership.

Australia’s infrastructure success stories are brought to light in a new paper by the University of Sydney’s John Grill Centre for Project Leadership.

“Listening to the day-to-day discussion about infrastructure it would be easy to conclude that we have more problems than solutions. Our research demonstrates that we have much to be proud of,” said lead author Garry Bowditch, Executive Director of the Better Infrastructure Initiative, John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at The University of Sydney.

The Better Infrastructure Initiative’s fourth Policy Outlook Paper, Building a national consensus: why customer stewardship matters, will be released today at the Australian Infrastructure Dialogue 2017.

The new report proposes the establishment of a customer stewardship framework of principles for infrastructure to strengthen the chain of responsibility and transparency for long-term customer outcomes. 

The good news is that many Australian infrastructure firms are already making the change to customer stewardship, but there is no room for complacency.
Garry Bowditch, Better Infrastructure Initiative at the John Grill Centre

“Relationships with customers and community is critical to success, and there are many ways to achieve that.”

The report outlines eight customer stewardship exemplars that demonstrate quality infrastructure services management across Australia.

“These exemplars are using big data, sensors and smart phone technology to find new and purposeful ways to make their assets flexible and adaptable to customer needs.”

Australia’s most mature privatised east coast marine port, Port of Brisbane, was one of the eight organisations assess in the paper. Port of Brisbane is using big data and real-time sensors to create more flexible access to its channels for the world’s largest ships, generating cost savings, network benefits and lower risk. 

City space from above at night.

Similarly, Sydney Airport recalibrated its entire business through its recent Airline Services Agreement that has generated new data and KPIs that ensure it is customer centred. Transport for NSW is using its open data to drive innovation that empowers and creates choice for its customers.

Transurban and EnergyAustralia are creating new ways to enhance customer access with data and apps that ensure customers are more informed and in control. EastLink is addressing long-term risk by investing in new tunnel ventilation that adapts to changes in the vehicle fleet to hybrid and electric power.

South East Water is doing long-term planning so that it responds proactively to Melbourne’s population growth, availability of potable and other water sources to meet demand. 

“Australia has much to gain from accelerating this transition and ensure customer stewardship takes root. It will help navigate an increasingly uncertain future and bring greater astuteness to investment decisions,” said Garry Bowditch.