ENERGIZING

Stakeholder Engagement

ENMAX’s Stakeholder Relations team wanted to improve its efficiency in managing the company’s many stakeholder relationships. Its Customer Intake team also needed more complete records of all the incoming calls it receives from residential and commercial customers.

Solution

Borealis Stakeholder Engagement and Land Management.

Results

“Everything is in the system and allows you to look at it in a number of different ways. Borealis improves both the efficiency and quality of the service you’re delivering as well as the relationship you have with customers on the ground. It’s an endless list of opportunities.”

Judy Morgan
Manager, Customer & Stakeholder Relations at ENMAX
stakeholder-engagement

All stakeholder engagement activities are recorded

details-engagement

Details of all engagement activities are accessible in just a few clicks

stakeholder-questions

Stakeholder questions are answered quickly

activities-teams

The activities of the teams in the field are easily tracked

Imagine this scenario

You’re the Director of Stakeholder Relations for an energy company, which is presenting its proposed energy application at a public hearing before the governmental energy regulatory commission and 3,000 interested community members. You get a call from one of your colleagues at the hearing, who says: “There’s a stakeholder here voicing concerns over potential noise and traffic. He’s saying we didn’t consult anyone in his condo building. Do we have any records for this address?”

You’re well aware that the commission requires energy companies to make reasonable efforts to consult all affected community members on planned projects. Not simply to just inform them about the project, but to listen to and address the concerns they may have. Otherwise, the project may not be approved.

Meanwhile, the commission is waiting for documented evidence that the company did in fact consult the residents of this particular building.

If this were you, how long would it take to pull up this specific information? How complete and accurate would it be? Would it be in a format you could immediately present?

This was the exact situation ENMAX’s Stakeholder Relations found themselves in not that long ago.

Fortunately, they were ready for this type of call. They simply entered the address of the condo building in their Borealis stakeholder engagement software and in just a few clicks was able to email a professional-looking report with all the required details:
  • The date the Stakeholder Relations team
    visited the condo building
  • Who exactly the team spoke with, with their contact information
  • What comments and concerns arose from these conversations
  • What commitments were made, if any
  • Whether there was any follow-up
    on these commitments
  • Whether there are any grievances
    still open, etc.

The report showed that when ENMAX’s Stakeholder Relations team visited the condo building, the building manager refused to let them knock on doors or organize a formal meeting with residents.

The building manager had insisted on sharing the information internally himself. The Commission was satisfied that the company had made reasonable efforts to consult community members and the project application was subsequently approved.

The entire matter took just a couple of minutes.

Main challenge

Improving stakeholder records to allow for seamless hand-offs between the company’s different teams.

ENMAX Group

The ENMAX group of companies safely generates, transmits, distributes, and sells energy to Albertans. Our more than 1,800 employees help bring electricity, natural gas and renewable energy to more than 900,000 metered sites across Alberta.

A long history of stakeholder engagement

ENMAX has long been committed to practicing responsible stakeholder and community engagement. This commitment was solidified in 2007 based on a number of factors:

  • A changing regulatory environment
  • An emerging power generation business unit
  • A renewed corporate desire to hold open and transparent communications with communities

Among other things, these changes prompted ENMAX to improve its stakeholder relations. The team initially worked with another stakeholder management information system, but it failed to deliver the level of efficiency and productivity the team needed to improve reporting or the engagement experience of stakeholders. Then in 2014, the team heard about Borealis stakeholder engagement software and made the switch. It has never
looked back.

In the last 5 years, ENMAX has used Borealis to meet its management, reporting, and engagement needs on more than 100 projects.

The Stakeholder Relations team uses the system to simultaneously manage the stakeholder relationships surrounding its numerous transmission, substation and generation projects.

Thanks to Borealis software, the team is able to:

  • Map all assets, both existing and planned
  • Access visually compelling information in just a few clicks
  • Accurately monitor indicators of community concerns and company perceptions
  • Improve its stakeholder management strategy and adopt a more personal approach to engagement
  • Strengthen regulatory reporting
  • Better secure stakeholder support for its projects
  • Create an institutional memory of interactions per project, area, stakeholder, etc.
  • Improve internal processes

Borealis Stakeholder Software

is an integrated information management system for managing all aspects of stakeholder engagement according to industry best practices and international standards.

“If a customer forgets the details of a previous conversation, we can look back at our records of that conversation in Borealis and say, ‘Last time, we talked about this and this.’ It shows stakeholders that we’re paying attention and that we care about continuing to engage with them.”

Judy Morgan
Manager, Customer & Stakeholder Relations at ENMAX

Empowering the engagement experience for stakeholders

Leveraging the information stored in Borealis to meet provincial requirements for approval in a project application process is just one side of the coin. The other is improving the engagement experience for stakeholders.
Borealis gives ENMAX a truth point for all things related to projects and customers. Rather than having this information in files all over the place – in different folders, inboxes and emails strings, and so on – the team just looks in Borealis to see what happened for any given project, customer, or engagement: How the team engaged communities and community associations, who they talked to, how they reacted, etc.

“Borealis has improved the quality of what we do. We’re now spending more time doing what we should be doing – engaging stakeholders and addressing issues – as opposed to wasting time filing information and then searching high and low for this information later on. If you want to know what happened, you just look in Borealis.”

Judy Morgan
Manager, Customer & Stakeholder Relations at ENMAX

“You can learn from this information because a) you’ve got it there and b) when you go back to that same neighborhood for another project, you can see what happened last time. It gives us some sensitivity regarding any problems or issues that may have occurred. We can be more aware and respectful of what the community has gone through. We can tailor our engagement program to stakeholders.”

ENMAX Stakeholder Relations Team

Boosting the power of data

The ENMAX Stakeholder Relations team uses a number of tools in Borealis to derive more meaning from all the data it carefully records in the system. The most frequently used tools are the dashboards and widgets the team created for the company’s projects.

For example, when talking with city councilors,
the team can show them:

  • Which communities are impacted by which projects
  • What their concerns are, be it environmental, related to the facility’s construction, etc.

The team also makes good use of Borealis’ communication calendar. At a glance, the team can see:

  • What’s happening when
  • How projects are aligning with engagement timelines
  • How long things take
  • Where the peaks and valleys are
Members of the Stakeholder Relations team also use the mapping functionality in Borealis to map assets. The team can simply click on any substation to see everything that happened at that facility.

“By using the mapping feature, we can map key infrastructure and attach photos and newsletters from past projects. That way, when new projects come along at that site, others can easily see what was previously done and when. This information can be helpful as possible inputs for engagement and awareness for the new project. We’ve done more than a hundred projects in the last seven years and we can see everything about each project. This gives us more insight into what was going on and who was involved. We’re able to get information in a much quicker, more precise, and more accurate way.”

ENMAX Stakeholder Relations Team

Engaging meaningfully by stakeholder and by piece of land

The team’s successes have not gone unnoticed by other departments at ENMAX. Just recently, the Customer Intake team has implemented Borealis’ land management module so that it can link conversations not only to people, but also to pieces of land – of which the company owns a substantial amount.

ENMAX's customer intake team

The Customer Intake team at ENMAX triages incoming residential and commercial customer requests for:

  • New services
  • Temporary services
  • Power upgrades
  • Relocations or modifications of existing

ENMAX infrastructure Whenever ENMAX has a new development project, business owners, potential land owners, lawyers, architects, and others will typically reach out to the Customer Intake team to understand what the company’s intentions are for connecting to the grid, such as how many lines, what voltage, where posts will be installed, etc.

This team may end up talking to dozens of people all enquiring about the same piece of land. Borealis’ land module is allowing the team to easily organize and leverage this information in a way that’s meaningful to these stakeholders.

‘‘We now have a seamless record. If a member of our Customer Intake team is away or leaves, you can just jump on Borealis and see exactly what happened, who we need to talk to or follow up with and in which order, complete with their contact information and any special notes. It’s all there and easy to find.”

ENMAX Stakeholder Relations Team

ENMAX’s Customer Intake team simultaneously tracks about ten or eleven different kinds of projects. Thanks to Borealis’ land management module, they will now be able to look at their dashboards and in a minute answer questions like:

  • Trends of number of communications in the last weeks
  • Communications by subject categories and communication type
  • Number of communications by day of week
  • Map of communications using the parcel location
  • Number of communications by parcel in the last week

Adding this module has created more consistency across the group. After the Stakeholder Relations team does the front-end stuff, there’s a clean hand off to the Construction team, which picks up the project and takes over engaging people on the ground.

Generating new opportunities with meaningful data

Still other departments within ENMAX have begun to take notice of Borealis’ impressive functionalities, which open the doors to implementing new methods and processes that the company could build upon over the long term.

“We now have other people in the company asking: ‘Where else can we use it? What about this process over here?’ Once they see what the software can do, their response is usually: ‘Okay, then that’s our next top priority.’ If you know how Borealis works, it can help business departments and processes in endless ways.“

Judy Morgan
Manager, Customer & Stakeholder Relations at ENMAX
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