This special interest group covers mobile technologies and approaches that are helping utilities do business today. 

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Utility Field Service Management Best Practices

Energy company field service has always been challenging because it has so many moving parts: taking a call, collecting equipment, tracking assets, dispatching technicians, completing the work, and gathering customer input. The pandemic exacerbated such hurdles, so here are some tips to reduce the process’ friction.

Time for a System Upgrade

Many utilities dispatch operations have been running in largely the same manner for years, even decades. They have a centralized source to place personnel, manage parts, submit reports, and receive customer feedback, but in many cases, the business processes are based on Old School technology, like stand-alone spreadsheets, paper, and even sticky notes. Such an approach is no longer feasible for a variety of reasons, including pandemic social distancing mandates.

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So, the time has come to upgrade to digital technology, which offers many benefits. New solutions rely on smartphones and cloud and automate traditional business process. You not only boost productivity but also reduce paper waste.

Equip Every Technician With Time Tracking Tools

Keeping track of your technicians and their work orders requires a huge amount of manpower. Mobile time tracking tools are easy to use. They automate and streamline data entry, so workers spend more time fixing equipment and less inputting information.

Managers also gain access to real time work orders progress.  Many solutions include (or can be linked to) applications that track billable hours, so you relieve your staff of that task. Such solutions often include real-time analytics, so managers track individual performance and efficiency and make changes as needed.

Digital Inventory Manages Parts

Utilities have large volumes of parts and pieces. With access to these centralized office and warehouse more limited, technicians find it difficult to secure parts for service orders. A digital inventory management solution automates stockroom management, so it becomes easier for field techs to determine parts availability, minimize fruitless trips to the warehouse, and maximize their workday.

New Collaboration Systems Ease Pandemic Concerns  

Many customers understandably are wary of directly interacting with your technicians. New collaboration solutions perform virtual site inspections and offer remote product demonstrations. Consequently, they help prevent employee exposure to the Covid 19 virus and make customers feel safer.

Field service teams play an important role in servicing utility networks. In many cases, they have fallen behind the times and have inefficient business processes. Now is the time that utilities should embrace new technology and use automated and virtual communications to improve traditional workflows.

 

Paul Korzeniowski's picture
Thank Paul for the Post!
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