Like most utilities, water utilities face many challenges in supporting their efforts to give first-class customer service. Whether it is in managing a customer’s account or responding to a routine or emergency service call most companies solve these and other issues with new software.
These challenges come in many forms including customer education, customer outreach, reforming internal processes and teamwork with outside stakeholders. These external stakeholders are commercial customers and multi-family residential customers along with regulatory authorities.
Water companies that address these issues often turn to software solutions that integrate service dispatch software, billing software, management reports and more.
Choose Cloud Software
Since water and other utility companies have people in the field, the best choice is software that is cloud based. Field people can easily access the software from any device that connects them to the internet. There are no hardware costs when implementing a cloud based software solution and as utilities rent the software instead of buying it, companies expense the monthly affordable rental fee instead of depreciating the cost of bought software.
Cloud based software is easily updated as only the cloud copy, not every computer and device in use,needs updating. This saves time and money for the IT department of the utility company. Finally, Software as a Service or SaaS is cloud deployed which it makes it highly scalable.
Water companies need service dispatch software to serve all customers well. Customers expect water to flow without interruption and when there is a break in service, customers expect technicians to arrive on the sce
ne soon after reporting an issue.
Minimum Expectations for Field Service Software
Water companies own a great deal of off-site assets that must have maintenance and repair – even rebuilding of water lines is on many company agendas. In addition, service people go to customer sites to install or repair service. This makes the mobile workforce a mission critical part of the company. Accordingly, service dispatch software needs to produce results such as
- Faster response time and better compliance with regulatory authorities
- Optimal scheduling occurs so that automatically the software follows scheduling policies whatever the issues are – from customer service to distribution outages.
- Allow for visibility of field apps that is real-time so that dispatchers, customers, and regulators stay informed. Knowing where service technicians are, makes for better service and scheduling judgments.< /p>
- Allow for planning and scheduling going out years and on an ad hoc emergency basis.
Integrating Front and Back Office Functions
When water utility companies choose a path for field service optimization the leaders in service dispatch software view the software as an integral part of a total software package that consolidates front and back office operations. From the call center, dispatching the field technician using work order management software handles scheduling, dispatching, and mobility.
From the field documentation of customer interactions occurs, and may become billing data or a work order for repair of a company asset in the future. Field technicians become a major source for inputting information that becomes management reports. Enterprise mobility coupled with cloud collaboration is the perfect soultion for integrated efficient field service management.
About the Author: Michael Runshe is an expert in feid service management solutions and ClickSoftware implementations. He currently serves as the marketing manager for Euclides Technologies Inc. You can follow Michael’s blog posts at www.euclidestech.com/blog.
License: Creative Commons image source