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Why customer stewardship matters

Building a National consensus for infrastructure

Our fourth Outlook Policy Paper proposes the establishment of a customer stewardship framework for infrastructure assets that aims to strengthen the chain of responsibility, accountability and transparency for long-term customer outcomes.

Date of publication: October 2017

Building a National consensus: Why customer stewardship matters was written by the Better Infrastructure Initiative's, Garry Bowditch and Gordon Noble in collaboration with Glen Kierse.  

Customer stewardship is the collective management principles and practices that focus on delivering quality long-term customer outcomes. Embedding a customer stewardship culture into infrastructure management offers the opportunity of more timely, scaled and feasible infrastructure.

Customer stewardship principles


Rights and fairness

Infrastructure plays a critical role in the lives of its customers and the community. An explicit accountability to customer rights and guarantee of fairness engenders trust and confidence.


Informed with choice

In the wake of technology transformation, empowering customers to be informed about when, where and how to access infrastructure services benefits customers and suppliers alike.


Stakeholder management

Stakeholder management is about establishing the systems, structures and processes to listen and work with stakeholders. Stakeholders can oppose any change if not properly consulted.


Human capital

People matter in infrastructure. Ensuring a clear and public alignment of systems and processes is essential in shaping a well-balanced and integrated culture that champions long-term outcomes.


Customer-centred design

Good infrastructure goes beyond just customer service in a transactional sense. It must account for the long-term security and trust of customers that is pivotal to fulfilling stewardship.



Customers and stakeholders are more likely to support change when a culture of transparency is present.



Strategic planning identifies challenges and opportunities that may not be affecting the asset today, but may in the future.



To extract the full long-term benefits of infrastructure, its services must be dynamic and adaptable to the shifting needs of customers and the economy.



Risks constantly evolve and require infrastructure service providers to be vigilant, scanning for future risks while managing existing risks.



Infrastructure is connected to networks of other assets, and relies on quality collaboration for these to function. High quality leadership ensure these interfaces work effectively, are cooperative and synchronised.

Why customer stewardship matters

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The importance of customer stewardship

Garry Bowditch on the importance of customer stewardship in infrastructure

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