THE SOURCE - Summer 2015 - (Page 16)
ustomer service technicians at
metropolitan utilities District (m.u.D.)
in Omaha, Neb., are reporting to
their first jobsite directly from their
homes through a pilot program the
utility launched in January 2015. The
program is expected to provide quicker response times, increased
productivity, and overall improved customer service.
The home-based reporting program initially involves seven
field service technicians driving their m.u.D. vehicles home and
starting and finishing their regular work day from that location.
The public natural gas and water utility notified the local
media and customers in advance of the launch. "We wanted to
let customers know that they may see an increased presence of
m.u.D. vehicles and technicians in their neighborhoods," said
senior Vice-President and CFO Deb schneider, who oversees
the utility's Customer services and Field services divisions.
16 THE SOURCE | THE vOICE and CHOICE Of pUblIC gaS
m.u.D. recently implemented new technologies and business
processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its mobile
workforce. m.u.D. is in the process of testing and putting mobile
devices in the hands of its field service technicians. For example,
technicians in the backflow prevention division use tablets to
complete the required processes instead of manually filling out
paper forms for each backflow test. scheduling this backflow
work now is more automated and can be assigned easily and
quickly to technicians.
The utility installed a global positioning system (GPs) into its
fleet of more than 400 vehicles, including service vans, pick-up
trucks, crew trucks, and other vehicles.
"GPs allows us to identify the location of our vehicles
and employees at any time, which results in more efficient
dispatching and emergency response," schneider said. "In the
event of a major outage or disaster, our field service technicians
would be positioned across our service area for quicker
Before the end of the year, m.u.D. plans to fully implement
a new order scheduling software with the goal of reducing the
work window for service calls to two hours-currently it is a
four-hour window. "Our customers have asked for smaller time
windows for service work and this new system should allow us to
offer this convenience," schneider added.
In addition to providing quicker response times, m.u.D. can
spread its fleet throughout the service area to improve business
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Summer 2015
Q&A with Chairman Bay
Natural Gas: The Fuel of Choice
Volatile Oil Prices
The Learning Curve
What Is Net Zero?
Advertisers’ Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Summer 2015