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How Coops and Municipalities can Embrace Integration and Solve Work Management Challenges

By March 18, 2022Blog

Grant County Public Utility District had to solve a common dilemma: managing a limited number of people and an infinite amount of work. In their case, it was covering 4,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines across Washington State with only 15 field engineers. They also had a non-supported, rudimentary ticketing system and a time-consuming manual process of procuring paper maps, plans, and job packets. Communicating job statuses was tedious and inefficient.

A typical Work Management System can cost more than $10M dollars, and many utilities have already spent more than that on a variety of other legacy systems that won’t talk to one another. Thankfully, ARCOS solves challenges with cost-saving solutions that offer a high ROI for our partners, while supporting remote work. Grant County PUD required more wrench time, agile job creation and crew deployment, and a way to track and complete work faster – preferably all in one robust system. We had a solution.

A Seamless Integration
ARCOS met those challenges head-on with ARCOS Mobile Workbench. Mobile Workbench connects the back-office staff to the field in real-time, providing information back and forth instantly. It helps track employees, assignments, and equipment with ease, while empowering field workers with all the information they need to get the job done quickly and report the job status.

Mobile Workbench was able to be integrated with Grant County PUD’s existing GIS and customer service/billing system. This meant they weren’t starting over, but instead streamlining their current process and legacy systems. That made the adaptation of the new software quick and easy, and eliminated manual data entry, paper packets, making multiple trips back and forth to jobs, and lessened the need for face-to-face communication during a dynamic global pandemic.

Derin Bluhm, chief technology officer for Grant PUD, says: “There are other field service solutions, but Workbench does exactly what we want without making things overly complicated.”

Quicker Job Completion
ARCOS provided the ability for dispatch and field engineers to acquire digital real-time location services, as well as customer information for daily jobs. Schedulers were freed from trying to determine assignments for jobs as Mobile Workbench created the notifications and sent them to all available crews. Supervisors in the field were able to review the work tickets and accept them based on the crews they had on hand. If they couldn’t accept, the job was still in everyone’s job list until another supervisor could undertake the project. This sped up the receipt and completion of jobs considerably.

Once a job was marked as complete, supervisors were also able to enter timesheet information for everyone on the crew. They ensured that hours worked were captured quickly and tracked accurately. They had instant, reliable reporting for every aspect of the jobs worked.

This information was used for future benchmarking that helped define factors such as travel and response time, average time to complete certain job types, and inventory used. The data was essential in reducing costs and allowing Grant County PUD to run leaner while delivering faster day-to-day and emergency restoration services.

ARCOS Mobile Workbench is a proven asset for resource and work management. Find out the ROI and mobile work management capabilities this all-in-one solution can deliver by checking out our quick 15-minute on-demand demo.

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