When water service outages occur, the water utility for the region is judged by the comprehensiveness and speed of its response. Organizations that have not yet updated their technology to incorporate effective outage management systems (OMS) may fall short in these ways, while those that make the upgrade gain effective new response options.

An OMS connects data with the people who need it and allows water utilities to automate many elements of their disruption responses. Handling a water outage is never easy, but it becomes simpler with this technology.

What does a modern OMS consist of?

Implementing a cutting-edge OMS means giving a utility all the tools it needs to manage a disruption response. By connecting with 24-hour customer care tools such as interactive voice response (IVR) systems, the OMS allows utilities to both receive reports from members and give those customers alerts when service is known to be out in their area, or when it is restored. By taking manual steps out of these processes, providers become more agile and can redirect employee efforts to other tasks.

When service calls do have to go to agents instead of being satisfactorily answered by the IVR, personnel have access to real-time data about the status of ongoing problems affecting the caller. This allows staff members to resolve questions quickly and accurately, helping members get through an outage with less uncertainty.

Better communication with an OMS doesn’t just go between companies and customers. Internal comms may also improve drastically. By using mobile applications with their OMS deployments, utilities can connect office and field personnel and ensure both groups are working from the same accurate data. Workers responding to an outage to perform emergency repairs can view the problem on a Google Map, pinpointing the issue and getting to it in a hurry.

Not only do field personnel have a better view of information from the office, the enhanced visibility goes in both directions. Employees back at headquarters can also track team members responding to outages through automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems. It’s easier to keep teams safer, and to direct them more precisely, when their position is clearly visible.

Why commit to a new OMS deployment?

The many features that come with an OMS deployment can change a water utility’s outage response approach for the better. Quicker, more accurate responses to outages enable prompt restoration of service and increased revenue. Furthermore, the greater efficiency enabled by customer communications automation is a cost-saver over time, as companies can give quicker, improved responses with the same levels of staffing they currently employ.

Due to aging, failure-prone water main infrastructure and high customer standards – fueled by the convenience of businesses in other industries – utilities must be ready to respond optimally to a potential water outage. Pursuing a technology upgrade and selecting a new OMS is a way to deliver this level of performance when conditions are at their worst.

Contact DataVoice today to learn about how your utility business can respond more effectively to water outages, and look at our client success stories to see what other organizations have accomplished.

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