THE SOURCE - Summer 2015 - (Page 16)

feature Home-Based Reporting C 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 response efforts." 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

Problem Solving
First Person
APGA Events
Q&A with Chairman Bay
Natural Gas: The Fuel of Choice
Volatile Oil Prices
Home-Based Reporting
The Learning Curve
What Is Net Zero?
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
Advertisers’ Index/
At Last

THE SOURCE - Summer 2015