Mobile Connectivity Optimizes Productivity for the Utility Workforce

As our mobile utility workforce looks for ways to resolve problems quicker and reduce costs while meeting customers' needs, mobile devices and other tools play an important role.

Mar 1st, 2013
John Tabor

John Tabor
Associate Editor
johnt@pennwell.com

As our mobile utility workforce looks for ways to resolve problems quicker and reduce costs while meeting customers' needs, mobile devices and other tools play an important role. This month's Utility Products brings you several great feature articles to help the mobile workforce remain productive, flexible and safe.

In Getac's "Tools for the Mobile Worker: Mobile connectivity and reduced downtime a must for the mobile workforce," the growing need for increased response times is addressed. Like other industry sectors, utility companies are doing more with less and moving from analog or manual processes to digital or electronic processes. Utility workers' trucks are equipped with rugged laptops and handheld data devices, and, when accidents occur, they need electronic devices that hold up to drops, shocks, spills and more. Getac ensures its units will operate even when dropped onto concrete or used in harsh environments. And, if the device is damaged or requires hardware/software upgrades that can't be done locally, the company incorporates repair, refurbishment and logistics services by FedEx TechConnect-providing unprecedented turnaraound times.

Contributing editor Paul Hull's article, "On the Move: Tools for workers who are constantly mobile should suit the situation," discusses the importance of ensuring mobile workers have the easiest-to-carry, lightest, most comfortable tools for their jobs. Utility customers are everywhere, and mobile workers must have tools that are suited to their constantly mobile work style. Hull presents a variety of tools, from reputable companies, that will make mobile workers' jobs easier, more productive and safer.

In "Mobility on the Front Lines: Optimized, Cost-effective and Flexible" by Jason Brewington, how field crews can more easily transmit and share real-time, secure data is outlined. Whether collecting routine data for an inspection or responding to a natural disaster, how quickly and reliably the data is gathered determines how well the team moves from one project to the next. Brewington presents how our industry is beginning to see more technologies that address persistent data collection problems, and, as tools are considered for field teams, features that will directly affect your utility's performance and bottom line.

And speaking of mobile devices and tools for utilities, don't miss "UPCE 2013 Featured New Products, Training and More in San Diego." The Utility Products Conference & Expo (UPCE) brought together buyers and sellers in the electrical, cable, telecom and other segments of the utility industry to network and learn. With conference sessions and solutions for everyday problems encountered on the job, there was something for everyone. If you missed this year's UPCE, you won't want to miss next year's event in San Antonio.

Our March issue also brings you a variety of informative product focus articles. Learn more about how to care for and maintain rubber goods, protect wood utility poles from wildfires, select the right mechanics truck, combat winter fuel costs with global positioning system (GPS) fleet software, green your fleet with biobased chemicals, and find your all-in-one power unit in one compact configuration.

More in Vehicles & Accessories