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Meet Catherine

Read Catherine's interview to see what she thinks about working with us at Western Power Distribution.

Excellent company to work for, well known, benefits were excellent and the part time hours at the time suited my needs, due to young children.

I am a Team leader of Dispatch and the CCTV department. The Dispatch Cardiff team is responsible for all HV faults and Substation Access during office hours and responsible for all incident creation, running and completion of incidents out of hours for South Wales and South West. The CCTV department monitor most depots and grid substations which are monitored 24 hours a day and responsible for booking staff into depots, liaising with Reliance Hitech to ensure all cameras are in working order and making sure faults are reported and fixed as soon as possible.

I am responsible for the day to day running of Dispatch and CCTV, along with 2 other team leaders on a 2 shift pattern. This involves ensuring all shifts are covered and providing training and quality feedback.

We monitor incidents that are created by our Dispatchers, to ensure they have the most up to date information and ensuring the information is correct.

Also monitoring the TCS alarms that are received and to ensure they are acknowledged and actioned by the team.

These alarms vary from Estimated Time of restoration that are due to expire, critical information is received i.e. line down, to the Contact Centre adding vulnerable customer information into the call where a customer is in a vulnerable situation at the time of the power cut.

We monitor incident duration times to ensure we are within the Ofgem Guaranteed standards and receive and give information to the engineers on site when applicable.

Any critical information i.e. line down, cable damage is passed to myself from the Contact Centre to check location, also to see if it is part of a known fault and pass the information through to Control so they can action/drop the circuit if needs be asap, this is to protect the safety our customers, staff and our network.

Every part of my role is to ensure the information we provide on the incidents is correct. These incidents aid our Contact Centre’s, Social media team the Outage Map on our website and also provides information to our customers via the messaging service.

So whichever avenue the customer wishes to take they will consistently receive an excellent customer service experience.

I enjoy coming to work as I enjoy the job and the company. We work together to get the job done, especially in storm conditions, everyone around the business helps out, from taking calls, to local fault desks staying open till early hours, it’s like a big family.

The culture is very positive, happy and enthusiastic, everybody is happy to help each other in order to get the best results.

Hard working, a good work ethic and a willingness to learn.

Western Power are very keen to support staff in getting the skills they need to carry out their roles efficiently and successfully. They also provide training courses to aid development throughout the business.

I would say my progression through Western Power, I have been given opportunities, but I have put 100% in to get it, I’m not afraid of hard work and you are recognised for it by Western Power.  I started as a Part time Call taker in the Contact Centre 15 years ago, to a Dispatcher, then team leader in the Contact Centre, Special projects for approximately 2 years and then back in Dispatch as a Team leader, so I have had quite a lot of experience with in Western Power. I’ve also with the aid of my employer, carried out and passed my City & Guilds 2339 in Electrical Engineering, which has helped me massively throughout my career, as although I’m not working as an engineer, I have a better understanding of the network and understand the importance of the safety around the network.

My biggest challenge was when I was put on special projects within the Contact Centre. We had a number of new things being implemented - a new telephone system within the Cardiff Contact Centre and the introduction of the 105 Single Emergency Number was also being introduced UK wide.

I was responsible for that implementation into the Contact Centre along with my Manager ensuring that testing, training and the roll out of the new phones within the Contact Centre was completed. We are a 24hour Contact Centre so everything had to be tested, worked on and implemented with minimal disruption.

Also the introduction of 105 (Single Emergency Number). I was working within the team  carrying out training and the roll out throughout both Contact Centre’s, liaising with DNO’s throughout the UK and phone providers with regards to the testing we had carried out, to make sure it was all working as it should and providing evidence of any issues that arose and feeding this back to the phone providers so that they could be rectified before the Go Live date.

 

It was a lot of responsibility and I was happy and excited to take it on, but also apprehensive, but the only way I can explain this was to look at the bigger picture. You have to ask yourself if this went wrong, if every eventuality is not tested thoroughly how detrimental would it be to the company. I believe I have benefited massively from this role/experience I was given. It’s has helped me get a much better understanding of the business.

I would say it is an amazing company to work for, you still have to work hard and give as much in as you get back, but you will reap the rewards, as you will be working for a successful, well known company, who look after their employees and they are at the top of the industry.