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Louisville Water sets stage as Utility of the Future with KloudGin as Single Cloud-Based Mobile Work and Asset Management Platform for Digital Transformation

Dec 11, 2020

Company Name: Louisville Water

Industry: Energy & Utilities

Headquarters Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Digital transformation is helping us maximize our scheduling, asset reliability and uptime, reduce capital and operational expenditures, extend asset life, reduce unplanned downtime and provide superior customer service – all without increasing operational, safety or environmental risks. KloudGin has a deep understanding of how to effectively deploy mobile field asset management for seamless adoption and their team has extensive experience servicing the utility industry. We have a billion dollars’ worth of assets to manage and KloudGin has allowed us to make informed decisions, so we are able to evaluate and extend the useful life of our assets.

KloudGIn

Dave Vogel
Executive Vice President
Louisville Water Company

Louisville Water Company provides safe, high-quality drinking water to nearly one million people every day. They have a 159-year history of quality, innovation, value and service. The company began operations in 1860 as Kentucky’s first public water provider and today supplies water and fire protection to communities in Louisville Metro and parts of Bullitt, Hardin, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties.

Challenge

Louisville Water has a strong sense of pride in their company heritage, brand, and technology. They wanted to embrace these values while transforming their operations to be the utility for the next generation. They saw a digital transformation project as the nexus to provide insights into all connected things for the organization – assets, work and customers.

Digital transformation presented challenges for Louisville Water. Current systems were over 30 years old and mostly paper driven, inflexible, and manual with too many handoffs. There was no mobile integration for field workers to communicate and record their work. Data was stale and did not adequately represent the activities taking place in field operations. Finally, there was limited support and no opportunities to get enhancements to the current systems.

With consumers and employees demanding more services while pressure was high to drive lower rates, Louisville Water decided the time was right to embark on what would become a multi-phased digital transformation project to streamline operations and boost efficiencies. Their driving mission was “Doing the right thing – in the right place – at the right time.”

Louisville Water selected WAM for enterprise asset management and began Phase 1 of the project which involved Plant and Facilities work. From a field operations standpoint, they were receiving work tickets from a homegrown legacy application that generated tickets but had no way to tie any of the work back to the assets that were being serviced. The work tickets were distributed with Oracle Workforce Management (WM), and they were using a separate GIS platform which was unable to share files back and forth with WM.

For the project to move forward, Louisville Water needed to be able to track the work performed on different assets – what work was performed, why they were doing the work, and why the assets were failing. They began looking for a new solution for work management to replace Oracle WM.

Solution

Louisville Water chose KloudGin based on recommendations from their project implementation manager and other water utility companies. There were three driving factors in their choice. First, KloudGin was developed as a mobile first, cloud first application. Second, the KloudGin team has deep understanding and experience with the utility industry. And third, KloudGin was integrated with Esri ArcGIS both in online and offline modes.

Initially, in Phase 1 of the project, KloudGin was implemented to handle work management in the treatment facilities where there is typically poor cellular service. Work activities were created in their asset management system, and they needed to schedule that work out to the crews while they were in a disconnected mode. KloudGin was used for scheduling, and the mobile app filled the void for the field workers.

Phase 2 involved expanding from their plant and facilities maintenance to distributed asset maintenance. They use WAM to manage preventive and corrective maintenance on their assets including water mains, services, valves, hydrants, etc. KloudGin is providing the mobile work execution and automated scheduling engine for that work.

For GIS integration, KloudGin primarily uses Web Services to call and render maps through the mobile app and this is built into the workflows and processes. Secondarily, offline GIS files are accessed through the mobile app for crews working without connectivity. With distributed assets, the crews need to know where they are going and which assets they are working on. They can view their work orders on the mobile app, and as the work is completed, they can reference and glean data from the GIS map and update work activities. This is a huge benefit – the mobile app can be used to pinpoint where the repair was made, which valve, which main, etc. KloudGin enabled this process so they can update the work activity with the exact location of repairs, all as part of their mobile process.

With the KloudGin mobile app, the team designed a workflow for Louisville Water’s Valve Trace process. This provides the ability for a crew to simply drop a pin on a map to select a main that is indicating a leak. KloudGin can then initiate a trace to tell them which of the valves in the system need to be shut off to isolate that leak. In addition to the affected valves, the trace also provides a list of services (customers) and fire hydrants that are impacted. This allows them to proactively reach out to their customers and fire departments to alert them to a service outage or give them updates on repairs to be done in their area. Other workflows for Redlining and GIS Attribute Correction have also been adopted which empower crews in the field to trigger updates to GIS data.

With the positive user adoption of KloudGin during Phase 1, Louisville Water decided to take it a step further. They were currently using Oracle Mobile Workforce Management (MWM) for CC&B-related (short cycle) work orders and decided to replace it with KloudGin in the same timeframe as the Phase 2 project. This involved implementation of the CC&B integration adapter along with configuration and testing that was all accomplished in a very compact 12-week timeframe. With the completion of that project, KloudGin field service management is now used by all of Louisville Water’s customer-facing field service representatives.

Finally, Louisville Water is also using KloudPlatform technology. This means they can create their own custom workflows. For example, they designed custom workflows for water quality flushing and tank sampling processes. Louisville Water employees designed, built, and tested those workflows without using KloudGin resources or professional services.

Using KloudGin’s Platform, Louisville Water is now able to

  • Manage all work on the same platform with a single mobile interface for all field resources;
  • Eliminate paper trails and optimize labor and inventory;
  • Schedule employees and work orders more effectively, with progress tracking for future benchmarking;
  • Automate timekeeping and approval process;
  • Prioritize work orders by both system criticality and work order criticality;
  • Allow field crews to update work activity with exact location of repairs via Esri GIS integration and;
  • Implement a Single Sign-On (SSO) that allows crews to use existing network usernames and passwords – making their jobs easier.

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