Change and Transformation in the Private Sector Winner 2022: PwC with National Grid

Change and Transformation in the Private Sector

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world, and sits at the centre of the transition to a clean, fair and affordable energy future, where tackling climate change and reaching net zero is a key priority.

National Grid established its MyFinance programme in 2018. The objective was to improve business decision making by providing more timely, accurate and company-wide business data – to be achieved by modernising ageing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The need to do this quickly was driven by major changes needed to its operations to maintain a leading role in decarbonising the UK to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, changes were needed to enable the legal separation of its Electricity System Operator (ESO) business, as part of bringing greater transparency and promoting competition in the UK energy market.

From 2018 to 2021, National Grid partnered with PwC to create and implement the MyFinance solution, using SAP S/4HANA in one of the most complex and challenging digital finance implementations of its kind, covering 22 business functions, over 1,700 business processes and 7,000 UK personnel.

The planned solution involved implementing a world-class, company-wide digital technology platform (SAP) as the basis for capturing and reporting all of the group’s financial activity in real time. The timelines would be challenging, to meet the ESO separation deadline within nine months as a first phase, and then enhancing the solution to meet the additional objectives of the MyFinance transformation programme.

With such a tight timetable between appointment in July 2018 and delivery in April 2019 for the first release, PwC had to mobilise very quickly and help National Grid to define and devise the minimum viable ‘core’ platform needed for ESO to go live on time. The firm then had to build out from that initial rollout, to create the right platform to help National Grid deliver on its ambitions as a leader in the transition to Net Zero in the energy network. This required a complete transformation – not only of the technology, but also the underlying ways of working and the accessibility of reporting.

The MyFinance solution was successfully implemented for ESO in April 2019, and the main National Grid implementation went live in July 2021, with the new digital solution rolled out to over 7,000 users. That solution retained much of its out-of-the-box functionality, to ensure cost effectiveness, rapid deployment, and the adoption of improved business processes. It is one of largest ever SAP implementations (and likely ERP implementations) of its kind in the UK, and the biggest ever business change for National Grid. It delivered improvements across all National Grid functions, including Projects, Assets, Real Estate, Reporting and Finance.

National Grid was delighted with the result. It provided the company with single-view financial information, enabling improved decision making underpinned by simpler, more automated and more standardised processes. This is helping National Grid to live up to its vision and strategic objectives, and is paving the way for future improvements.

View the PwC profile in the MCA Members Directory.