GPG Director wins Energy Services Leader award for dedication to continually improving Compliance standards

Leah Barrett, Global Procurement Group’s (GPG) Global Operations Director, has been voted the Energy Services Leader of the Year by the prestigious CEO Today publication.

In the 2021 Business Women of the Year Awards, CEO Today’s C-Suite readership voted her the Leading Female in the Utilities sector for her dedicated commitment to compliance and customer and supplier relationships.

GPG operates across three continents providing professional, expert support on procurement and energy management to its 20,000 customers. Its growing portfolio of energy assets currently stands at 30TWhs.  Headcount for end of 2021 is projected to be circa 1,000 people, with a further recruitment drive taking place throughout the summer in advance of its move into its stunning new HQ on Gateshead Quays. Northern Gas and Power (NGP) is the UK arm of the global group set up in 2012 by founder and CEO Fokhrul Islam.

A stellar array of awards helps reinforce the work the business does on behalf of its customers and also its people. Its dedicated focus to work/life balance was recognised in Glassdoor’s recent 2020 lockdown survey, where it came 2nd nationally above Google and Sky Gaming. Its philosophy of meritocracy means the business frequently promotes from within, with Leah Barrett providing an excellent case in point.

At just 28, Leah is one of the youngest female business leaders in the global utilities sector. Leah joined NGP in 2016 as a Sales Team Manager, where her focus on customer service was quickly recognised. A year later she was promoted to Service Operations Director, where she was tasked with building on the already stringent compliance standards in the sales journey. In 2019, she was promoted again, this time to Global Operations Director, with a greater emphasis on the French and American operations, ensuring a consistency of standards across the global group.

A key component of Leah’s role is the implementation of quality and compliance standards that ensure the very highest levels of transparency for GPG’s customers. It has created an independent compliance department which contacts all its customers once a contract has been agreed, to reconfirm all details and ensure complete satisfaction in the process.

She helped oversee the development and implementation of a bespoke 100-point checklist to raise the industry standard, monitoring the group’s sales processes end-to-end, creating a self-regulatory framework to strengthen trust and transparency.

The checklist includes cross referencing contract validity, cost-comparison checks, termination agreements and bill validation; right through to extensive call-listening to ensure full compliance with protocols. Regular energy consumption checks are undertaken via customer invoices to ensure its offers are as accurate as possible. The business provides its energy supplier network with unrestricted access to its internal systems, including the ability to access all compliance calls.

Leah states: “Our customers need absolute confidence in the contracts NGP broker on their behalf and a clear understanding of what specialist support they can rely on throughout the contract. We developed our own bespoke CRM system to integrate strict compliance processes, so every single contract negotiated meets our rigorous standards.”

Delivering ‘energy with ethics’ has been the bedrock of Northern Gas and Power’s philosophy since its inception in 2012. NGP’s comprehensive framework of relationships with suppliers across the energy spectrum allows it to tailor its advice and support, whether for a small start-up with a single site requirement, to a multinational corporation with hundreds of sites.

Commenting on the success of all the business leader winners, CEO Today Editor-in-chief, Mark Palmer, said “At CEO Today, we are honoured to be able to celebrate the world’s most powerful female CEOs and leaders who are leading the way for women around the globe and are changing the business world for the better.”

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