Utility Week

Utility Week 8th November 2013

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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Operations & Assets Pipe up Mark Forrest Advanced workforce management solutions help field crews clean up after extreme weather events. L Charlie Jordan, Scottish Power Renewables project director, said: "This is another major milestone for the West of Duddon Sands project, and testament to the hard work of both Scottish Power Renewables and Dong Energy, as well as the contracting teams and suppliers working on the project. "The operations at Belfast Harbour have been working well, and we are delighted with progress on the project." If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, please send your pictures and details of the project to: paul.newton@fav-house.com ast week southern England was brought to a standstill as hurricane-force winds and torrential rain battered the region with gusts of almost 100mph ripping up trees and causing flash flooding. There is a lot of pressure on field service organisations to respond to such disasters, and telematics, geographic information systems (GIS) mapping, GPS and cellular communications have all been playing an increasing role in guiding field service teams, tracking progress and assigning workers in the aftermath of extreme weather events where safety is a concern. Such technologies are becoming more sophisticated, offering new ways to be efficient and responsive. Next-generation workforce management solutions leverage fleet management technology and GPS data to deliver real-time information about worker and vehicle locations and the progress of their work. They provide dynamic scheduling tools to optimise in-day and scheduled Centralised work, and performance analytconsoles and ics that help make on-the-spot dynamic GIS resource deployment decisions maps offer as well as prepare for future events. real-time The technology provides visibility on dispatchers and managers full crew locations visibility into work in the field so they can better plan and track it. Centralised consoles and dynamic GIS maps offer real-time visibility on crew locations. A dispatcher knows exactly when workers arrive at a job, how long they spend there, and when they leave. So when an assignment is completed, the dispatcher can send the crew to the next task in a smarter, more efficient way. As the workday progresses, managers and dispatchers receive a constant stream of information on GPS location co-ordinates and the amount of time spent on each assignment. If certain roads are impassable, dispatchers can plan alternative routes to avoid delays. Using fleet management, dispatchers can route drivers around roads shut by fallen trees or flooding. This helps optimise routing and worker productivity, while improving worker safety. Beyond field situations, workforce management delivers analytics about the performance and responsiveness of each worker and team. Utilities can use this data to compile reports for review to spot trends and the need for improvements. Use of analytical data helps improve productivity and control costs, and also creates goodwill among customers, who can get frustrated when service restoration takes too long. Mark Forrest, general manager of Trimble Field Service Management UTILITY WEEK | 8th - 14th November 2013 | 23

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