SPOKANE, WA, Nov. 5, 2003 -- Itron Inc. announced the signing of a contract with Philadelphia Suburban Water (PSW), a subsidiary of Philadelphia Suburban Corp., to supply workforce automation technology to the investor-owned water utility in the coming year.
Service-Link,™ Itron's mobile workforce automation technology, uses wireless communications and the Internet to provide real-time data to technicians in the field. It enables dispatchers to automate the scheduling and dispatching of work and more effectively track and monitor the status of field service operations.
Employee productivity and customer satisfaction increases while the costly paperwork and time associated with traditional manual work order processing is eliminated.
"We want to move from a paper environment to a paperless environment," said Larry Doyle, PSW's Manager of Customer and Field Services. "Our goal is to improve efficiencies and work smarter. We believe we can save time in the field and in the office with Itron's ServiceLink."
Doyle said his company generated about 125,000 pieces of paper last year in service orders to about 35 field technicians reading and installing meters only. Service orders are generated for every task, whether it is to install a water meter, remove a meter or change a meter. "The current system is burdened under an avalanche of paperwork," said Doyle.
PSW has been an Itron customer since 1999, and is approximately halfway through the installation of Itron's Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology on 260,000 meters currently scheduled for conversion to AMR in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
"We have considered implementing workforce management for some time," Doyle said. "We foresee significant operational and customer service benefits by moving forward with Itron's workforce management tool at the same time we are completing the remaining installation of Itron's AMR technology at PSW."
John Hengesh, Vice President and General Manager of Itron's Water, Public Power, and Gas Systems Business Units said the selection of Service-Link by PSW for their field workforce application represents an important step in the utility's commitment to using innovative new technologies to improve business operations.
"The implementation of Itron's AMR system, when combined with the real-time benefits of the ServiceLink system, will enhance PSW's customer responsiveness, improve field operations and leverage the return on investment for both systems," said Hengesh. "We are excited to implement our leading-edge Service-Link system with an important partner of ours in the water industry."
Off-the-shelf simplicity and web-based architecture makes it easy for PSW to interface Service- Link with its Customer Information System (CIS) network, enabling implementation with minimal cost, minimal difficulty, and minimal IT resources.
To meet PSW's needs, Itron is working with Indus (formerly SCT Utilities) to build a standardized interface between Service- Link and Indus' Banner CIS System, currently in place at the utility.
Itron is a technology provider and critical source of knowledge to the global energy and water industries. More than 2,800 utilities worldwide rely on Itron technology to deliver the knowledge they require to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water.
Itron provides solutions for meter data collection, energy information management, demand side management and response, load forecasting, analysis and consulting services, transmission and distribution system design and optimization, web-based workforce automation, C&I customer care and residential energy management.
To know more, start here: www.itron.com.
About Philadelphia Suburban Water
Philadelphia Suburban Water Company is the largest operating subsidiary of Philadelphia Suburban Corporation (NYSE:PSC). PSC is the nation's largest U.S.-based publicly-traded water utility, providing water and wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Maine, Missouri, Connecticut, New York, South Carolina and Kentucky.
To learn more, click start here: www.suburbanwater.com.