Our Journey: From data analysis to value delivery in the bioresource value chain: PRESENTATION ONLY

Oosthuizen, S.1 and Riches, S.2, 1Business Modelling Associates, 2Anglian Water


Context: Traditional wastewater biosolids operations result in processes and products in the value chain being managed in individual business functions / siloes.  This separation of a single product stream into different operational streams is sub optimal and creates barriers to efficiency in the value chain and performance improvement. Significant additional value can be unlocked from existing wastewater assets through application of a whole systems approach to operational planning. In this presentation we outline how Anglian Water (AW) have achieved this whilst working together with Business Modelling Associates UK (BMA) over the last few years – a journey that started with strategic model in 2017 and is continuing with an evolving production planning platform.

Solution: Aligned with their cloud based digital strategy AW engaged BMA UK to create a unique Digital Business Twin that takes a systemic view of the biosolids process, assets, finances and organisational context. The platform optimises biosolids processes for the next 12 weeks whilst incorporating a dynamic representation of cost including sludge transport, direct and indirect operating costs as well as detailed unit costs. It allows for the inclusion of planned and unplanned downtime. Detailed unit cost is built up from all activities that occur in the wastewater distribution and treatment network considering seasonal profiles for sludge production.

Outcome and Benefits: The platform has facilitated changes to organisational design, created new roles and skills and facilitated collaborative working across previously siloed business departments, which delivered increased efficiencies and synergies between the various related business streams. Since March 2019 AW have reported:

  • 5.7% reduction in the end-to-end unit cost, helping us deliver more for less
  • 5.4% increase sludge throughput delivered through greater asset utilisation
  • 5% increase in sustainable renewable energy generation from biosolids, through the targeting of the most efficient sites

Other non-financial benefits to the organisation include central planning enabling better internal alignment, increased asset and process resilience, and the organisational ability to rapidly reconfigure the operation of the business in the event of major asset outage.

This project delivered a sustainable, enduring advanced analytics solution with ROI in less than 6 months.

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