SUNNYVALE, CA, Feb. 27, 2012 -- El Paso Water Utilities in Texas has successfully implemented Trimble® (TRMB +0.16%) Fieldport® software to enhance its utility field operations. The Trimble Fieldport software is an interactive Geographic Information System (GIS) map-based mobile work management solution for utility field workers.
"El Paso Water Utilities is committed to improving our efficiencies, reducing costs and better serving the needs of our community. We believe that Trimble Fieldport software is helping pave the way for improved customer service and field service activities," said Armando Renteria, Chief Information Officer of the El Paso Water Utilities.
With the deployment of the software on field crew mobile computers and integration to its Customer Information System (CIS), El Paso Water is optimizing its processes for customer service and field operations work planning in real-time. In addition, enhanced management reporting functionality is now helping the utility improve operational efficiency, reliability of service and increase worker productivity by ensuring that the right resources are available at the right time. The software enables El Paso Water to improve critical work processes such as customer field service by efficiently dispatching field crews as well as optimizing field inspection activities and field data collection for better asset management.
El Paso Water Utilities customer service field crews are equipped with mobile computers and Trimble Fieldport software, which they use to record updates about service calls and synchronize with the customer service system from the field. Back in the office, customer service representatives have access to the updated information, which they can share with customers calling to inquire about their accounts throughout the day. The software also makes it easy for El Paso Water Utilities' workers to see updates posted by customer service quickly and easily from the field.
In addition to streamlining communication between the field and the office, Trimble Fieldport has also enabled more effective distribution of work orders, both at the beginning of the shift and throughout the day. Previously, work order completion information was manually entered into the CIS by office staff the following day. Now, with Trimble Fieldport's wireless synchronization, work orders are closed within minutes of the work being completed. Since dispatchers can now see the progress of each field worker, this also means they can distribute new work orders as soon as they are generated throughout the day, rather than handling work communicated over the radio and jotted down on a piece of paper by the service worker.
Trimble Fieldport is also helping the utility increase worker productivity by ensuring that the right resources are available at the right time as well as optimizing field inspection activities and field data collection.
"Being able to synchronize data and have real-time updates between the field and the office throughout the day makes us more efficient on a number of levels," said Renteria. "For example, it's easier to get through our backlog of lower priority work - things like fixing a cracked meter box - because we can easily track the progress and reassign those jobs based on workload and location of our employees in the field, rather than leaving those work orders in the service trucks to be completed at the discretion of the worker."
In addition, the implementation of Fieldport has enabled El Paso Water Utilities to eliminate a variety of administrative processes. In the past, office administrative personnel would take radio calls continually throughout the day from field service workers and update their progress on a paper log. Trimble Fieldport's wireless synchronization means that these calls are no longer necessary.
Also, prior to implementing the technology, hundreds of paper work orders would be reviewed by hand each evening to see if any had incorrect account balance information. Since Trimble Fieldport imports work order data, the calculation of amounts due is done automatically and the hand vetting processes is no longer needed.
"Now that so many of our processes are automated, we can allocate the time we used to spend calling back and forth, looking at work orders and keying in data for more useful projects," said Renteria.
Trimble's Fieldport software is currently used by public and private utilities throughout the U.S. that serve millions of residential and commercial customers nationwide.
Trimble's Utilities Field Solutions group specializes in field and office solutions for GIS mapping and work management, field data collection, design and inspection, outage management, and vehicle tracking for electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities around the world. Trimble's solutions integrate advanced positioning and mapping technologies with software and hardware to automate utility mapping, design and operations, enabling increased field worker productivity, enhanced regulatory compliance and improved customer service and response.
For more information about Trimble's utility enterprise solutions, visit: www.trimble.com/ufs .
El Paso Water Utilities serves over 200,000 commercial, industrial and residential customer accounts by providing reliable water services, engineering, construction and maintenance. El Paso Texas has more than 700,000 residents that live in the greater Metropolitan area. For more information, visit: http://www.epwu.org .