Now it’s here.
The digital revolution has increased employee, regulator, and customer expectations The days of utilities taking a back seat to other industries are long gone.
Challenges and incidents get magnified in real-time. Look at last year’s cold snap and power outages in Texas. And the recent West Coast drought and heat wave. The world is changing around us.
As service providers, we must focus relentlessly on deploying Modern Mobility tools that will create a dramatic leap in user experience, employee productivity and resilient Utility operations.
- In a time when worker shortages are common, maximizing productivity is critical.
- Data security and protection are vital.
- Newer workers want and rely on simplified instructions – from directions to how-to reminders.
- Customers expect an “Uber-like” experience with modernized service and support. At the touch of an app.
- The biggest problem is strategy. Strategy is tough. Especially between private and public sectors.
- Climate change will affect user demand for an operations’ resources and ability to deliver.
- Data can help you create extreme efficiency and modernized service and productivity.
- Digital transformations can be conducted with baby steps. Start with creating Modern Mobility for your field service and technician operations. Then expand.
In today’s economy, utilities and commercial service-focused operations will not be able to achieve operational growth, or customer and field service improvement via the same old workforce and methods. Look at our cars – in ten years, we will have autopilot. And your infrastructure will need autopilot to anticipate issues, eliminate incidents and plan maintenance.
You will not be able to achieve what you want to achieve by the same old workforce and methods. Systems are very complex nowadays. We will have to put modern systems in to share information – that’s how we will have efficient scheduling and service. You cannot measure, predict, and respond if you don’t have the data.
There’s no alternative – modern technology will play a huge role in time and budget savings. Work will get performed on time and overcome the cost barriers. The digital modernization doesn’t have to be conducted all at once; work with an experienced integrator or company to map out your immediate and long-term requirements and set measurable ROI objectives.
Once these improvements are in place, you will have the capability to build a sustainable and
“evergreen” infrastructure, one that you can easily expand, grow and update as needed in the future.
10 Steps to Help You Create an Efficient Operation of the Future
- Get rid of paper – in your scheduling, service and workorder operations
- Paper deployments are time consuming, And there’s the. “Where’s Joe?” challenge. If Joe’s day off is on a paper schedule, you have to find it, change the deployment, and perhaps even reschedule the customer field service work.
- There’s the task of getting the right technicians to the right job at the right time. And re-deploying the crew once the workorder is completed. In real-time.
- A friendly user interface streamlines training and instantly boosts field employee productivity by decreasing the system learning curve, and reducing the need to manually track parts and inventory or write notes.
- Provide dynamic worker/crew, workorder scheduling flexibility.
- What happens when a customer calls and they’re not ready, available? Does the truck / technician show up anyway?
- What if you don’t have the materials needed to conduct the job – and you’ve already printed out the day’s assignments on a piece of paper?
- Dynamic Modern Mobility scheduling and workorder management can increase productivity and reduce workorder backlogs. If you’ve got a truck and crew down the street, deploy them to handle the closest service challenge.
- Digitize your customer service. Connect Customers, Contractors and Employees. With real-time communication
- Operations need to be much more interactive in real-time. Connect your most valuable stakeholders and assets all into one system.
- The easiest example is Uber. When there were taxis, you had to call a call center. Now with Uber, you use a phone to connect. The modern application finds you. It’s frictionless and easy to use.
- When Customers, Contractors and Employees are connected, there will be shared knowledge. And knowledge is power.
- Make your field and customer systems easy to use. Simplify.
- Back-end systems are very complex nowadays. We will have to put modern systems in to share information – that’s how we will have efficient scheduling and service.
- As more and more new people enter the field service workforce, the requirement for simple, easy-to-use, app-like solutions will be mandatory.
- These solutions can be easily implemented with a proven, cloud-based solution that takes a “worker-first” approach to provide operations with a Single View of the Customer.
- Create Real-time Asset Visibility
- Equipment visibility will overcome many challenges: Visibility can save time on locating assets for maintenance schedules and allocating work to the closest technician or one with specific skills to do the job.
- Digitized location, status, use and maintenance tracking can help you track the long-term value and depreciation of the asset.
- Real-time visibility will also help prevent loss or theft of equipment; the precise location will always be known.
- Implement progressive sustainability and carbon reduction planning. Develop sustainability programs with your community.
- Each truck roll costs between $500 and $1,000. New digitized systems will help you service more customers, provide greater service, faster and more comprehensively. At a lower cost.
- At the same time, you can reduce your carbon footprint. Roll technicians only when needed. Provide them with service and infrastructure background. And conduct once-and-done job completion.
- Asset visibility, workorder planning, and real-time updates will help schedule work based on what tools and parts are needed, which in turn will remove unnecessary travel or technicians turning up to a job without being able to complete work the first time.
- Think more broadly about opportunities to increase your revenue and modernize.
- Create a one-stop-shop for your related products and services, as well as contractor information. Provide a Shopify-type portal that provides your customers with timely product offers and info. And create new trust and “servitization.”
- Manufacturers are providing funds as are contractors. There’s a new revenue stream plus customers are happy – one stop shop for all their services and products.
- Your customers will appreciate the opportunity – so they don’t have to turn to Yelp or Nextdoor. Everything is in one process. It opens a new revenue stream.
- Create an operational efficiency mandate – especially when faced with fewer workers.
- Operational efficiency critical to lowering your costs, and increasing efficiency, competitiveness and growth.
- Use AI and ML to track historical data about specific sites, operations, businesses or customers that were created or serviced at the same time.
- Become smarter about servicing certain areas and customers based on predictable events, requests and product lifecycles.
- Design your new sensor and data-based efficient systems to utilize predictive maintenance for your assets and equipment.
- You cannot measure, predict, and respond if you don’t have the data. Once you connect your systems and assets, your operation will become more efficient.
- Early signals will provide predictive repair and incident prevention. Systems will become faster and smarter.
- Sensors will provide signals and your predictive maintenance app will dispatch a crew to make sure an incident is prevented.
- As the system gets smarter, your predictive asset maintenance will deliver the right person at the right time with the right tools.
- Develop tight, cloud-based security measures to protect your infrastructure, customers, technical info, and data.
- If you’re hosting data in an old system, your infrastructure is vulnerable. What is your line of defense for these? The risks will increase.
- Advanced, cloud-based hosting systems, such as Amazon AWS, have full time awareness and defense mechanisms. They protect your data.
KloudGin Boiler – Learn more, etc.
About the Author
Vikram Takru is CEO of KloudGin, Inc. He co-founded KloudGin with the vision of creating transformative field service and asset management technology that eliminates silos, connects people, process and technology, and creates access to information where and when it is needed. He is committed to delivering solutions that work for field crews in the toughest conditions.