Dominion Resources supplies power to the states of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio. The need to provide a robust level of service had placed the company in extremely challenging conditions, especially in the areas of generation, transmission, and distribution, as well as the supervision of their extensive list of commercial and domestic customers. In fact, the complexity of their infrastructure is a perfect example of the challenges that many companies are facing today—in particular, their ability to embrace cross-department collaboration to streamline their production, distribution, and Customer-Relationship Management (CRM) services. In 2013, CapTech Ventures realized the importance of such an approach to Dominion Resources.
Defining the Problem and a Plan of Action
As for any digital strategy, we needed to address the core business metrics of Dominion Resources by
- listening and responding to the needs of the customer
- assessing the challenges and opportunities
- collating the responses of consumers
- integrating disparate operations within the company
- achieving the necessary agility and flexibility to meet changing demands
- offering Dominion Resources the clarity and insight necessary to adapt
- optimizing current, in-house strategies while creating new operational models
- implementing their digital technology in a novel and yet streamlined manner
After identifying these and other key metrics, CapTech Ventures entered into an eight-week engagement, establishing a veritable war room at the headquarters of Dominion Ventures, which is located in Richmond, Virginia. Achieving this level of collaboration enabled us to discuss strategies, highlight the company’s options, and deal with issues as they arose. Without such an approach, it would have been all but impossible to enact the necessary digital changes effectively. The intended outcomes of the five-year plan that we subsequently delivered would build upon these core principles:
- providing an excellent customer experience
- building strong brand identification and relationships
- fostering recognizable community awareness
At this stage, we were still looking at the tasks that lay ahead of Dominion Resources rather broadly. So CapTech Ventures developed a step-by-step plan that would successfully enable the necessary shift in their digital domain over the allotted five-year time period. What were the key takeaways from this plan?
A Three-Phase Approach
We developed a three-phase approach. Phase 1 centered around gathering data. This included assembling a core team, setting a viable schedule, conducting peer and competitor reviews, and documenting the current state of their digital capabilities.
During Phase 2, it was necessary to analyze all of the data that we had gathered during Phase 1 and establish key metrics. Phase 2 encompassed reviewing customer expectations, observing industry trends, defining guiding principles, identifying the key areas of strategic focus, and developing initiatives to close operational gaps.
The primary focus of Phase 3 was planning. We needed to define the most critical factors for success, finalize the strategic priorities, map out the ultimate goals, and present the data to executive stakeholders and relevant sponsors.
Of course, this is just a rough outline of the numerous tasks that it would be necessary to complete along the way. Because the progression of our digital strategy was extremely longitudinal in nature—five full years in duration—we needed to further break down our approach, so there would be little confusion, and to streamline adoption along the way.