Utilities have much to gain from mobile workforce management software.

Organizations with extensive field operations often devote significant resources to transportation activities. This spend is necessary, of course. However, many incur extra costs as the result of ineffective management practices. This wastage adds up over time, eventually weighing down the bottom line. With this possibility in mind, some operational leaders turn to mobile workforce management software. Such solutions allow businesses to monitor field crews and cut down on waste.

Power companies have largely embraced MWM platforms. In fact, utilities worldwide are expected to spend more than $420 million per year on the technology by 2020, according to market projections from Navigant Research. That said, some remain on the outside looking in, reluctant to set aside money for tracking tools alone. While this reticence is understandable, the fact of the matter is utilities have much to gain from MWM software.

Understanding MWM systems
MWM systems leverage mobile technology and sophisticated software to facilitate offsite worker monitoring, according to TechTarget. Utilities primarily use such systems to collect data on vehicle speeds and routes. During outages, power providers can oversee service crew movements in real time. This kind of up-to-the-minute monitoring is achieved via vehicle-based tracking devices or mobile equipment such as smartphones or tablets.

The advantages of MWM systems
The monitoring capabilities available through these platforms can transform the operation in a variety of ways. First off, MWM software can drastically reduce expenses, HR Magazine reported. Utility managers are able to monitor fuel consumption rates and review the routes linemen take when navigating the field. Using this information, these organizational leaders can fine-tune the operation for efficiency. Additionally, many MWM solutions record vehicle idle times, meaning managers can address instances of unnecessary stoppage and help field crews manage their schedules more effectively.

In addition to leveraging such systems to improve efficiency and cut costs, utilities can bolster worker safety. More than 1,200 workers perished in vehicle accidents in 2015, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Power companies can avoid contributing to this unfortunate statistic by using MWM platforms – specifically their speed-tracking features – to monitor the driving habits of their linemen and correct reckless behavior that may lead to an accident.

Selecting a MWM system
With these improvements up for grabs, many utilities rush to implement the first cost-effective MWM solutions they can find. However, this adoption methodology can lead to long-term struggles and turn an opportunity for improvement into another setback. Instead, it's best to take variables such as software format, security and integration into account, Energy Central reported. Most importantly, electric companies must partner with vendors that understand the industry and offer proven MWM technology that really works.

Here at DataVoice International, we provide cutting-edge, field-tested MWM software. We partner with utilities across the country, deploying systems that benefit both the power provider and the customer. Connect with us today to learn more about our industry-leading solutions.

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