Východoslovenská distribučná, a.s. (VSD, a.s.) is an energy company whose core business is electricity distribution to final consumers through its own distribution system. VSD, a.s. is a member of the VSE Holding Group. It owns an almost 21,000 km long distribution system in eastern Slovakia and distributes electricity to more than 600,000 delivery points.
In 2012 a PosAm solution for management of field workers (EWO) changed a complex “paper-based” process of handling work orders for the then-current VSE to an automated and electronic procedure. The system allocated the right workers with suitable tools and knowledge to the appropriate work at the right time for optimum performance. In 2018 a new generation of such system brought a full technological upgrade and new functionality. The customer expressed their satisfaction with the project through long-term cooperation with “Reliable innovation supplier” recognition.
In the past, 70 measurement service workers handled over 100,000 requests and work orders in eastern Slovakia per year. The entire process of work order processing was performed in a paper form. Such procedure was demanding in terms of planning, execution and control, as well as human resources. The planning officer had to print work requests and allocate them to individual field workers who had to record all outputs in their reports manually on site and then transfer their content to the information system. Such process was not only laborious but also ineffective. It was faulty, it did not provide for consistent record-keeping of material and it did not enable optimum use of work capacities.
Goals and requirements
The customer summarized their goal in one sentence: “Ensure allocation of work to the right workers with knowledge suitable for the work assigned at the right time for optimum performance.” Expectations were targeted mainly at process management optimization, control improvement and facilitation of work of field workers. Changes were expected to decrease costs, increase performance and enhance customer service quality.
After proper analysis of the possibilities offered on the market, the customer chose the PosAm Servio solution. It was convenient from the point of view of its functionality, its ability to adapt to specific requirements as well as its particularly competitive price. Servio is a system developed for managing tasks and people with automatic monitoring of defined quantitative and qualitative parameters.
The most demanding part of the project in the first generation was integration in the company´s IT environment with more than half a dozen systems operating mainly on the SAP platform. They included SAP IS-U, a system enabling communication with field workers’ mobile equipment, a GPS system, an attendance system, ERP and a printing system.
The result represented a revolutionary change in the management of field workers. After the system was implemented, work orders were made in an electronic form and delivered via a GSM network directly to field workers’ mobile equipment. When making a decision about to whom a particular work order will be assigned, data on the availability of workers from the attendance system, their work position and competences from the HR system, and their scheduled tasks and journeys across the region were considered. Automatic identification of measuring instruments, automatic reading of their registers, digital scanning of customers´ signatures and photographs from delivery points were provided.
Use of the system in practice has brought new experience and requirements. Technology has progressed as well. A shift in business needs and significant technological changes led to major innovation of the entire solution. Functional capabilities were extended by external readings, self-readings, failures, emergencies, improvement of functionality for readings, assemblies and disassembly.Its design improved, its control was simplified and became more transparent, and its personalization increased. From the point of view of the user, the system was fine tuned. In fact, it was a generation upgrade. It involved a full technological upgrade of the central client as well as of the application for field workers.
Results and benefits
Implementation of the PosAm´s Servio solution has brought about convincing positive effects. The planning process has accelerated, the work of employees has become simpler and easier, allocation of work tasks to employees has become more detailed, it has enabled effective use of field workers, shortened the period for addressing customers´ requests, specified service planning and provision, improved record-keeping of the measuring instruments used, and considerably increased the quality of information for effective management of all activities. Electronic work orders have thus helped increase cost effectiveness and savings, leading to a seamless and quick return of investments made.
In 2018 the new generation improved both quantitative and qualitative indicators. The technological upgrade enabled a smooth transition between platforms from Windows to Android, making room for a much larger selection of mobile devices. Performance and configurability have increased as well. Certain processes have accelerated; efficiency and performance have increased. Better design of user interfaces has increased work comfort.
In 2019 the customer expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the work and our adherence to payment deadlines and costs, with the project and our long-term cooperation being recognised with “Reliable innovation supplier for 2018”.
“This project was a great example of how a supplier and customer may cooperate also beyond the expected extent, and thus give life to a product which is one of the crucial systems in our company.”
“In this cooperation I would like to emphasize the team spirit and enthusiasm of the entire project team, which contributed to successful implementation of EWO2. I particularly appreciate the transparency and supply of services in the agreed volumes and by the agreed deadlines.”
Main benefits of the solution
Automation of the entire process which has:
- Shortened the planning process to one third of its original length;
- Increased productivity by more than 15%;
- Decreased the administrative work to less than one half;
- Reduced the costs of paper documentation by 95%;
- Minimized the error rate caused by the human factor;
- Improved the overview of the work of field workers;
- Introduced an objective efficiency assessment of workers and workplaces.