Improving customer service and increasing operational revenues are goals of every utility. This month’s feature article, “Improving Operations With Telematics” by Wyn Partington, discusses how power and utility operations can maximize revenue and increase operational efficiencies with a comprehensive global positioning system (GPS) fleet tracking solution. Employees many times are required to travel to distant areas, and businesses must continue to operate smoothly while they are in the field. Partington presents how managers can be provided with a clear view into operations-including the location of employees and assets, fuel usage and equipment performance-with one telematics solution.
Also in this issue is an informative lineup of product focus articles. “Rugged Tablets, Mobile Apps Make Utility Work in the Field Easier” outlines the importance of apps and how they help technicians do their jobs more efficiently, faster and more economically. The article reviews the many common uses for apps and why the mobile devices they run on-such as rugged tablets-must be considered.
Jay Cadman’s article, “The Benefits, Challenges of Integrating Consumer-driven Technology Into Utilities” addresses how, as utilities adopt consumer-driven innovations, benefits are being seen that include significantly enhanced asset management, proven compliance, improved safety and more. Because utilities provide services critical to everyday life, however, they sometimes have been hesitant to introduce new technology solutions. As Cadman points out, these challenges mean a more careful, measured approach to rolling out new technology and an intense reliance on proven methods-which can fuel the adoption of consumer-driven technologies.
And “Lighting the Way: Four Questions to ask When Selecting a Light Tower” by Deree Bivins, discusses the importance of light towers on jobsites when working at night. Bivins addresses how to identify the best light tower model for the job and determine your exact needs.
Rod Walton’s article, “transMission Possible: T&D Experts say Buildup Crucial,” takes a look at the nation’s power transmission systems and issues the country faces. With much of the infrastructure aging, we must make a significant investment in the next five to 10 years. As Walton points out, there are many reasons to make the investment: increased demand, retirement of historic coal-fired generation, new natural gas generation coming online, power from wind farms, the ravages of aging, and more.
Another great article is “Redefining Customer Loyalty Through Telematics,” by Joe Castelli. While the advantages of fuel savings and reduced maintenance spending with fleet telematics are obvious, one of the less discussed benefits is customer service. “Addressing client needs quickly and reliably can help create a competitive advantage, and could even result in more business and growth,” Castelli said. When fleet managers need to make quick decisions, telematics systems help utilities be more responsive to customers and create a more effective business.