Mobile enterprise applications are transforming businesses across all sectors. Manufacturers deploy them in factories to track supply chain continuity, multinational firms use them to connect remote workers around the globe and retailers employ them on the sales floor, adding web flair to the traditional brick-and-mortar experience.
With new success stories cropping up every day, many are turning to these digital tools. In fact, almost half of all businesses have increased their spending on enterprise mobile applications by at least 30 percent this year, according to recent data from Gartner. And some utilities have even hopped aboard the bandwagon. A little more than 20 percent now use mobile applications, Statista found. Why?
They present new opportunities for lineman, giving them the field communication tools they need to save time, escape old-school processes, gain new outage insights and better navigate their communities.
Saving precious time
Service crews spend a lot of time simply testing the validity of the information they’ve received from dispatchers, especially those who work for aging utilities with little modern technology. In many cases, a member will call to report an outage and then regain power soon after hanging up. The dispatcher, not realizing the power has come back on, assigns the job to linemen, who then investigate the outage, only to find that the member no longer requires assistance. This occurs too often and wastes considerable time.
Enterprise mobile applications equipped with outage mapping capabilities and communications tools prevent these situations, as lineman can consult an outage map and quickly determine that power has been restored. Even those en route to false alarms can avoid making unneeded trips. Dispatchers who receive follow-up calls from members can relay updated outage information to service crews on the road, conserving time and utility resources.
Streamlining backend processes
Many utilities still function with paper-based internal systems that require administrators, dispatchers and linemen to maintain physical logbooks and keep track of printed trouble tickets. While this tried-and-true technique may still work in certain situations, many practitioners run into trouble when it comes time to address widespread outages in a timely fashion.
With enterprise mobile applications, dispatchers can send digital, updateable job requests with real-time outage activity. When linemen finish assigned jobs, they can close them out on their mobile devices – not handwritten trouble tickets or overstuffed work logs required. Everything is recorded and updated in real time, and viewable for administrators auditing utility activity.
Leveraging actionable outage insights
When crews go out into the field, they often have only a rough idea of the problems that lie ahead. This can be particularly nerve-wracking, especially when adverse weather conditions factor into the equation.
Enterprise mobile applications get rid of the guesswork, equipping linemen with the information they need to safely perform their duties without risking injury. Users can access satellite views and Doppler radar, while also viewing outage predictions and confirmed outages, along with impacted devices. Plus, if service crews require assistance from colleagues on the ground, they can access a street map, look for nearby crews and reach out via the platform.
As suburban and rural populations expand and more members sign up for services, utilities without the latest technology will feel the strain, and so too will their linemen. Enterprise mobile applications can offer relief, giving service crews the communication tools and real-time data they need to effectively serve their communities.
Interested in empowering your linemen with an enterprise mobile application designed with utilities in mind? Contact DataVoice International today. Utilities across the country use our technology to serve their members and keep their crews informed and safe in the field.