Smart devices have connected people to a greater degree than ever before. If your utility staff members are still in contact exclusively via radios or other legacy technology and not harnessing the communication power of smartphones and tablets, they are missing out on the ability to share data more effectively and improve their performance accordingly.
Each utility stakeholder, from linemen in the field to office personnel coordinating operations, can make use of a few particular features of mobile technology. The most important part of deploying a mobile app environment involves ensuring that these team members can communicate with one another and share information seamlessly. With that contact established, all groups can thrive in their individual roles.
The following are a few of the most relevant and impactful benefits to field technicians and office staff, showing the range of process improvements that add up for utility providers.
In the field
Linemen and other utility field personnel have to perform demanding tasks on tight schedules, whether they are pinpointing and repairing the sources of outages or doing something more routine, such as auditing a power meter. When a utility has not updated its technology to support mobile apps, linemen may be slowed down by old-fashioned communication workflows, consulting and filing paper records.
In addition to speeding up linemen’s duties by giving them quick access to information such as precise outage locations and enabling them to file tickets and work orders digitally, mobile apps can keep these team members safer. It is easier for managers to track the location and status of every on-site worker if these individuals are in contact via apps.
In the office
When utility managers deploy modern mobile app technology, they put a detailed view of real-time data into their hands. These personnel can call up maps of outages or track the locations of their field personnel, directing operations effectively from their smartphones or tablets. By integrating these apps with the lineman apps used by the field teams, managers can ensure the whole organization is working with the same data.
While an emergency outage scenario will tax these managers’ organizational powers to the fullest extent, they’ll also find value in mobile apps during day-to-day operations. Using a simple visual interface, these leaders can view accurate information from smart power meters and grid infrastructure, calling the shots for their field crews with high accuracy.
In consumers’ hands
Utilities that want to fully embrace the connective potential of mobile applications can release a customer-facing mobile portal. Enabling community members to contact their utility providers through mobile devices and perform account management features may reduce stress on traditional communication infrastructure such as phone exchanges, free up office personnel and improve the provider’s customer service reputation.
Wherever utilities need connectivity
Smart devices can go with their users wherever they’re needed. Taking advantage of this capability to extend communications and data access is a potentially valuable approach for providers to take. The devices are there – companies only need to harness them.
If mobility sounds helpful for your organization, email or call us at 888-328-2864 to learn more.