After announcing our partnership with Clevest, we’ve been excited to educate our customers about how its enterprise mobile workforce management system integrates with Hexagon’s network model and outage management solutions – allowing our customers to move all field activities onto one platform.
Beyond the obvious benefits of system integration and a single mobile platform, I want to expand the discussion on the additional benefits organizations can realize when adding an enterprise mobile workforce management system and how these benefits would improve utility field operations. I recently posted on the “5 Emerging Trends for Enterprise Mobile Workforce Management.” And one of those trends was Focusing on Operational Gains. I wanted to give some more details on what is being asked of solutions like Clevest’s mobile workforce management system to offer innovative features that help utilities achieve greater efficiencies.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, mobile workforce management systems were deployed as mechanisms to replace paper-based processes and improve data capture. As second and third generation systems became available, the feature-set has refocused on increasing operational gains. During a session at EDIST 2019, Julien Marin, vice president of sales and strategic partnerships for Clevest, detailed the most popular trends and customer requests Clevest receives when it comes to crew management and planning features, integrated inventory tracking features, and time and expense capturing features that support a utility’s operational efficiencies.
Crew Management and Planning Features
When focusing on crew management and planning features, Julien discussed how utilities are looking for better ways to view short-term and longer-term work plans. This would allow network operators to plan and ensure crew capacity is properly forecasted to support future work. This feature is useful when an area is predicting a large storm or if there are plans for longer-term work. Within Clevest’s mobile workforce management system, the mobile application has new capacity planning features that provides a resource planning view of staff required for future work. A utility organization can configure their mobile workforce management system to specify shift loading, reserving capacity (or cutting off capacity) down to level of job codes. In specific scenarios, dispatchers with the proper administrative rights can override worker plans – like changing shift rotations, area assignments, or work assignments – to temporary move or refocus workforce when needed.
Integrated Inventory Tracking Features
Modern mobile workforce management systems, like Clevest’s, integrate into asset management systems to track inventory deployment, removal, and return merchandise authorization (RMA). Features within Clevest’s inventory tracking would allow utilities to keep track of inventory across fixed storage locations, for example in warehouses and stockyards, as well as mobile locations, like trucks. It also allows field users the ability to generate a list of equipment needed for the day’s work orders and compare it to the trucks inventory. Workers are then able to realize if they have the items on their truck already or not, and if they don’t, they can use their mobile application to search for inventory locations nearby.
Time and Expense Capture Features
Time and expense capturing features were also a very popular topic during our discussion with Julien. The time and expense capturing trends simplify the task of timekeeping for field workers and improve cost data related to specific work and work events. Clevest supports this trend by offering integrated timesheet functionality where timesheets can be pre-populated as the worker goes about their shift and completes orders. This helps utilities separate and track drive time, wrench time, lunch and breaks, providing improved KPIs. Clevest’s system also supports a feature that allows for crew-leader cascading for multi-person crew composition. A lot of these time and expense capture details, like job and pay codes, can then be synchronized back to a utility’s HR system, along with the rest of the timesheet data to determine pay rates. These synchronizing features save utility organizations significant amounts of time and reduces the chance of data error, which ultimately leads to operational efficiencies.
If you would like to learn more about the Hexagon and Clevest partnership, visit us together at TechAdvantage (booth #547) or check out our joint webinar. If you’re interested in implementing a mobile workforce management solution at your organization, please reach out to your account executive or feel free to contact me directly.
Pamela Bernier is a senior marketing specialist for Hexagon's Safety & Infrastructure division. Bernier has five years of experience in the public safety and utilities industry including police, fire, emergency management, and distribution – gaining valuable insight into the global business. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.