Ho Yin Shan, Head (Operations), SP Services, Singapore

By Chia Jie Lin

Women in GovTech 2018 Special Report.

How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I oversee operations in SP Services, a member of SP Group. At SP Services, we provide market support services such as meter reading and billing to 1.5 million customers in Singapore.

Our customers can look forward to greater convenience as we move towards digitalising operations and customer service delivery. For example, our SP Utilities mobile app is centred on customers’ growing needs and changing lifestyle to help them to save energy and cost. Customers can make transactions on the go, get timely reminders on bill payment, track their utilities consumption and compare it with their past usage as well as that of their neighbours. For our customers’ greater convenience, the app also has a ‘live’ chat function for their queries to be addressed promptly.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2018?

Since 2016, we have been preparing for the rollout of the retail electricity market to all consumers, from households and businesses. My team laid the groundwork to ensure that the market support system was adequate and robust enough to meet customers’ queries, and allow them to switch seamlessly and choose electricity providers based on their consumption needs and preferences. Previously, only businesses with an average monthly consumption of 2,000 kilowatt hours per month could choose their electricity retailer.

The soft launch of the Open Electricity Market began in April this year in Jurong in west Singapore, and was made available to the rest of Singapore progressively, starting from November.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2018, what would it be?

In the digital age, with disruption all around us, companies are transforming to serve customers better. Digital transformation creates opportunities for all to upskill and add value to our careers. So, seize the upskilling opportunities that come your way!

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2019?

Blockchain technology, which can potentially be used to enhance our billing system, making it more convenient and cost-effective for customers. We are keen to explore this, along with any other technology that could benefit our consumers.

What are your priorities for 2019?

By early 2019, all parts of Singapore will benefit from the full rollout of the Open Electricity Market. We are working on further scaling up the market support system to ensure that it is robust enough to support the needs of our customers.

What is one skill that has helped you the most throughout the course of your career?

Over the years, I’ve learnt to identify the strength and weakness of my team members. Using this knowledge, we work together to overcome obstacles. This is how I have been building up my team to handle all kinds of challenges.

What advancements do you predict will happen in your field in the next ten years?

I can see the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation in operations and customer service delivery. Right now, we use AI to screen through thousands of requests to check meters. Using data analytics and AI, we can improve productivity by screening out the false positives, and therefore reducing the number of meters that our technicians have to check.

We started implementing RPA in our work processes this year to reduce the number of steps taken in the backend to open a new utilities account.

I believe there is greater scope for the implementation of AI and RPA in our work processes, to make it more convenient for staff and customers.

Coffee, yoga, music... what powers you through your day?

My colleagues! Good team spirit fosters innovation and creativity.