Accelerating innovation is a constant challenge faced by field service organisations in the utilities sector. This is because customers and businesses alike have been pressurising mobile workforce management in the utilities sector to deliver more personalised services at lesser costs. What started with aim of achieving efficiency and reducing costs, has now opened up scope for actionable analysis and a continually evolving field dynamic.
Emergency Response Systems
In the face of emergencies, the responsibility of restoring normalcy falls on the shoulders of in-field technicians in the utilities sector, whose quick response is essential to ensure that bare minimum normalcy is restored as quickly as possible. To put things into perspective, Cyclone Debbie, which affected Queensland in March & April 2017, caused $3.5 billion in damage.
Hence, it is imperative that the disaster management and workforce management systems of utilities companies be optimised to handle all kinds of emergency responses. Keeping a workforce pool of freelance contract response workers is one measure your field service company can employ to handle the flood of job requests in the event of a natural disaster.
When it comes to workforce management, the adage ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ cannot be understated. Being a field technician in the utilities sector can be a high-pressure job, as they are often overworked. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your workforce is more proactive than reactive. In other words, if pressing workforce management issues are identified before they create bigger problems, it can save a lot of cost and effort both for your organisation and your clients. In this same proactive vein, many field service companies are employing predictive maintenance processes to improve efficiency and deliver better results to clients.
The importance of cloud-based systems is a trend that is being seen consistently in all field service companies regardless of sector. The same kind of trend is being seen in the utilities space as well. For example, utilities companies are now using drone-mounted cameras to gain a better idea of field equipment and prevent wasting excessive manpower in scouting job locations. In such scenario, cloud-based storage of such images may be the ideal solution as the need for the images and videos captured by the drones is temporary. Commercial cloud-based services will enable utilities to solve many problems related to their daily affairs in a faster, more efficient and cheaper manner.
Energy Storage Systems
Utility workers are expected to increasingly need more aid when it comes to working with solar and battery storage, given their complex nature. Under these circumstances, field service providers are expected to deliver complete end-to-end solutions for outage response and map-based work. Vendors with experience in distributed asset service can leverage their position to deliver complete end-to-end solutions for outage response and map-based work.
Digitising Field Technicians
With time, both field service companies and the clients have grown to appreciate the advantages of digitising utilities. Field technicians outfitted with smartphones and other smart devices like variables are better equipped to deal with their client’s problems, and this situation leads to lesser costs for clients as well as the field service companies. While this digitisation itself remains a challenge in terms of the execution, the determination to achieve a holistic digital worker strategy is unprecedented.
Utility mobile workforce management is accepting digital innovations at an unprecedented rate. Given how utilities have an everyday impact on our lives, this is a welcome development.