In the age of digitization and remote work, it can be easy to forget how reliant we are on physical infrastructure. The roads we drive on, the buildings we live in, the public transit that we use, and the systems that provide our energy and water are all built and maintained by skilled professionals. And when this infrastructure stops working, we are left quite literally in the dark. And that’s before considering issues of replacement part wait times and shortages of the very professionals that carry out this work.
With the challenges posed by the economy, many companies have been forced to re-scale their operations. The utility industry is no exception. Utilities need to find ways to reduce costs while meeting high standards of reliability, safety and service levels as they grapple with changes in consumption patterns and the advent of alternate energy sources. Smart technology coupled with real-time data sharing and communication platforms has created a fresh way for utilities to connect with field workers who are involved in meter reading, parts repairs, and other highly technical processes.
Digital transformation initiatives aren’t just for financial, tech, and consulting firms anymore; they are crucial for operational success and a sustainable, profitable business model in the utilities sector.
Digital Transformation in Utilities
Even during the best of times, it can be difficult for utility operators to keep accurate tabs on the status of both their workers and their assets. Through the use of dynamic tools such as mobile platforms with smart technology, utilities stakeholders can drive greater efficiencies while reining in costs. All while providing expected, safe, and reliable service levels. From safely navigating extreme weather to predictive maintenance scheduling, here’s how digital transformation, and cloud-mobile technology, in particular, are driving the industry into new operational models.
Extreme Weather Resilience
Extreme weather wreaks havoc on-field workers everywhere and those in the utility segment in particular. While workers in other industries may be able to push deadlines, utility workers need to go out in the middle of dangerous weather to try and restore power. It is as necessary as it is hazardous.
Cloud-mobile technology can help. For instance, Connixt’s mobile suite can be used to onboard mutual assistance crew, temp staff, and even day workers on the field. Once onboarded, they are connected to back-end systems for managing work, incident reporting, damage assessment, crew dispatch, and more.
Real-Time Status Tracking
Another aspect of utilities operations and maintenance that negatively impacts operations is a lack of access to quality real-time data for field workers.
If you are still using printouts of timesheets, maps, work orders, and invoices in the field, you know how frustrating it can be to manage your workforce when you don’t have access to real-time data. This is especially true when problems arise in the field that affects production.
Utilities wait for no one. Seasonal demands, weather, and inevitable disrepair are constantly putting strain on these systems. Fieldworkers must be armed with the tools to meet the challenges of their jobs, but more often than not, they are hindered by incomplete work orders and inaccurate maps.
We all know that communication is key in business, especially in this day in age. If your field workforce has tablets or smartphones, you can give them access to real-time information, allowing them to better manage the demands of this dynamic industry.
Simplifying the utility management process is no easy feat when using traditional methods. That’s why mobile-first capabilities integrated with back-end systems are so key for streamlining fieldworker operations. One of the easiest ways to ensure that each utility is operating optimally is by digitizing maintenance.
Utilities are under increased pressure to meet the demands of their customers for affordable power and environmentally friendly operations without skimping on safety, reliability, and efficiency. One of the most effective strategies for meeting these competing needs is overhauling an existing system before it becomes an issue.
While many utilities are using integrated computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), cloud-mobile technologies such as those from Connixt can leverage those CMMS investments far more. Assert maintenance is more than automating schedules – and these technologies are key to balancing asset uptime within optimizing maintenance costs.
Bringing Profitability and Safety to Utilities Fieldwork
Bringing profitability and safety to utility fieldwork requires workers to access the same information as those in the office. In today’s mobile world, that can be easier said than done. That’s where Connixt comes into the picture. To learn more about how our iMarq system is streamlining operations in the utility sector, reach out to our expert team today!