The New Age Workforce
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The energy & utility sector globally is technologically advancing at a rapid pace in response to industry change, aiming for a customer centric business model and process efficiencies. Analytics, Mobility, Cloud and IoT are no more novel aspirations but instead requirements for the sector. The rise of the tech-savvy, digitally empowered customers has further given momentum to this transformation because of their high expectations of quick service and self-service demands. Arguably the most important for utilities is to manage mobile workers so that they deliver the experience the customer is expecting from them. Adopting mobility, analytics, cloud and big data gives an opportunity to utilities to take advantage of expanded capabilities and value additions that these technologies can deliver.
For instance – outage management is becoming a major concern for utilities today and they are now turning to mobile solutions. Mobile platforms allow utilities the opportunity to quickly assess damage, report such damage in real time and understand exact requirements for restoration. If an outage is detected, crews in or nearby areas can be dispatched quickly to address the problem, which in turn will improve customer satisfaction with the realization of faster response times. It also provides repair crews a clear idea of the extent of the outage and allows them to quickly determine where and how restoration should begin. When outage notifications are paired with a mobile workforce management system, utilities can gain even more benefits.
Mobile workforce management systems not only help in managing outages better, but also enable utilities to manage their workforce more efficiently. Utilities can automate and streamline their business operations by managing, scheduling and dispatching work orders in real time. They also allow field workers to access information in the field about company assets that leads to more informed decision making. In addition to that, these platforms facilitate an immediate access to training and safety manuals to field workers and enables them to find similar people and connect with them instantly, irrespective of departments and geographic location. The reduction in manual work also eliminates associated errors, redundancy, and manpower resulting in better resource allocation, cost savings and enhancing operational efficiency. Having such key information always available to field workers increases productivity, but more importantly decreasing safety risks.
New technologies such as smart grids and smart meters, which generate huge volumes of data based on behavioral patterns also can benefit from mobile workforce patterns. Mobile workforce management platforms have the capability to analyze and keep digital records of this data, retaining the institutional knowledge of the network and removing dependency on field workers to collect such data, which in turn is automatically reduces the response time to field incidents as field workers will have the most up-to-date records.
To stay relevant in this digital age, utilities cannot afford to ignore the importance of mobile solutions. According to a report by Navigant Research, global utility mobile workforce will grow from about 1.2 million employees in 2013 to more than 2.4 million by 2020. Utilities must be innovative in looking for mobile workforce management solutions to remain competitive in the future and excite a new generation of utility workers.
At Smart Energy Water, we build one of the most comprehensive mobile field workforce engagement platforms. It provides real time information, mobile access, elimination of manual process and paperwork, safety and compliance information, asset tracking, operational analytics and work order management. This cloud based platform allows utilities to track job performance of each employee, gather job related intelligence for effective decision making through live dashboards, trends, data and other parameters with the ability to send them personalized alerts to minimize the communication gap between the employee and the enterprise, thereby increasing workforce productivity and engaging workers to become more productive. Visit us to know more.