The 2012 merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR Electric & Gas created Eversource Energy, the largest energy delivery company in New England. With more than 3.6 million natural gas and electric customers across Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Eversource is a regional leader in the energy marketplace and operates New England’s largest energy delivery system. The company’s mission to deliver reliable energy and superior customer service is visible in its supply chain activities, vitally important for the millions of homes and businesses they serve every day.
As the merger created a larger and more effective organization, it also created opportunities to align and streamline the supply chain operations of the merged companies. That’s where Director of Procurement Annemarie Hitti has concentrated her focus since joining the company in 2014. She says the merger presented Eversource with the opportunity to streamline its supply chain activities, and tap into the wealth of expertise in the supply chain team to build a one-company process.
A Team’s Path Forward
When Hitti joined the company, she saw customers’ rising expectations as an opportunity to create more value across the board. She started to help guide Eversource’s procurement toward a more strategic, integrated supply chain model, rather than simply managing the company’s spending. “We are at our best when we have a competitive advantage for Eversource, our customers, and the suppliers in our network,” Hitti says. “Working with Eversource provides many of our suppliers with greater opportunities for business success right here in New England.”
As the company continues to implement changes across its procurement and the rest of its supply chain operations, Hitti and her team are forging the elements that existed before the merger into an integrated organization that will continue to drive value. She says the company’s efforts already have borne fruit and demonstrate that Eversource is on the right track for the future.
“Transformation is a team effort, and making any transformation a positive experience involves hearts and minds,” Hitti says. “By charting a new course together, we are implementing shared goals, a shared vision and a full team approach – with everyone’s commitment.” Hitti knows a successful approach connects a team’s dedication and expertise to clearly defined goals.
Building Each Success
One of the first projects Hitti and her team took on was to reduce the impact of increased prices for gas main and services components. Under a status quo model, Eversource would have absorbed the added costs from price increases, but Hitti and her team knew another way. They met with both the company’s internal business partners and external supplier partners to change the purchasing and delivery models and identified significant cost savings. By working closely with supplier partners, Hitti says, Eversource was able to complete one-third more gas construction work in Connecticut in 2015 at the same spending level as the year prior.
“These are the successes we are driving for with our business partners,” Hitti says. “Our team is a hub for innovative and progressive thinking.”
Internally, Eversource has also reorganized the supply chain group, aligning goals and job descriptions and implementing a standardized documentation process.
Well beyond ensuring all compliance and data requirements are fulfilled, the results include more effective benchmarking and performance monitoring. “This team has a proven track record of working steadfastly to find the best suppliers, products and services,” Hitti says. “Today, with a refreshed internal focus, we are providing a clear progression for our sourcing staff, something we all recognize and appreciate as dedicated professionals.”
Preparing for Future Success
The next phase of Eversource’s transformation focuses on talent development and a new training curriculum, Hitti says. The company just introduced new training for its supply chain professionals that she says will help drive greater recognition of best practices throughout the entire organization.
By early 2017, Eversource will also turn its attention to management of its supplier relationships by category in concert with introducing a new supply chain management system.
Another significant enhancement is the replacement of legacy systems with a one-company technology approach to ensure that data is being utilized consistently and accurately throughout the company.
Hitti explains that she is excited about the new information platform Eversource will bring online soon, and the company is hard at work sorting all of its available data to support the upcoming transition to the new system.
Hitti is proud of the work Eversource has accomplished for its customers.
“We are a business partner in every sense of the word,” Hitti says. “We help companies grow their businesses in our region by providing reliable energy, and we cultivate and grow a diverse supplier network.
“Eversource was recognized by Business Insider as a Best Company to Work for in America, and in 2014 the company was honored with the Buyer of the Year award by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council. These are the accomplishments of a great team.”