The £5 million idea

The story of how a single employee idea helped save Centrica over £5 million.





Use case

Process Improvement


Viva Engage

Key results


Repeat customer outreach


Increase in customer satisfaction


in cost savings so far

Section Topic

Section Title

The challenge

Inspiring innovation

With an ever-increasing rate of change in the energy utility sector, the need to focus on operational efficiencies and continual business improvements has become more important than ever.

As one of the largest multinational energy suppliers, Centrica knew they needed to innovate to stay on top.

The innovation team were therefore challenged with finding new ways to improve processes and customer satisfaction to reduce costs and increase revenue.

Prior to the introduction of Sideways 6, our business had not taken advantage of Yammer’s functionality and infrastructure to successfully crowdsource ideas.
Jenny Jarvis, Employee Insight Analyst Centrica

THE solution

Engaging employees

With an active Yammer network already in use that could integrate with the Sideways 6 platform, the innovation team had an accessible, intuitive and social solution for setting up an employee idea programme.

To kick off the campaign, a Yammer group called ‘Make A Good Idea Count’ (MAGIC) was set up, where employees were encouraged to post and discuss any ideas they have.

Given Yammer's open and social nature, the team were able to capture more ideas and of better quality from employees across the whole business. 

The Campaign

The magic of an idea

During the campaign, three call centre employees shared an identical idea independently of each other in the Yammer group.

Manish from Mumbai, Sadia from Leicester, and Wayne from Cardiff all put forward “a small change with a potentially big impact.”

Centrica would text customers to advise them when the company had tried to phone them, but didn’t give the customer the option of texting back. Why not give the customer this option? 

Due to the automation of many tasks made possible by Sideways 6, we could focus their energy on challenging users to come up with solutions to their feedback.
Jenny Jarvis, Employee Insight Analyst Centrica

The results

Making good ideas count

The innovation team took forward the idea to allow customers to text back, trialling it in the call centre offices in Cardiff and Mumbai.

Since its implementation, this simple change produced an estimated business value of £5 million in cost savings through higher productivity and increased customer satisfaction!

The idea was just one of hundreds that have been successfully implemented through the MAGIC campaign, demonstrating just what's possible when employees are given a voice.

Download a copy of the case study

The Centrica Story