Before the city of Shelby implemented its mobile service order system, service calls involved a lot of paper, a lot of trips to and from customer sites and the office, a lot of time, and a lot of room for error. “It was very cumbersome,” explains Sam Clark, customer services manager for the city of Shelby. “But at the time, that was just our ‘normal.’” Upgrading the city’s CIS to NorthStar provided an opportunity to create a new normal, thanks to mCare, NorthStar’s add-on mobile workforce management app.
“Now everything is digital,” Clark explains. Each field tech has a tablet or a laptop, and they receive work orders from CSRs in real-time. The field techs enter service notes, including photos, directly into a customer’s account. They can even warn other techs about rowdy pets at a residence. “Techs are basically CSRs in the field now,” Clark says. The result is quicker response time, huge cost and time savings, and accurate and consistent messaging across all levels of the municipality. As far as advice on implementation, Clark recommends using iPads and says on whatever device you choose, be sure to budget for Wi-Fi cards so your field techs can stay connected.
Clark says, “If you’re still printing work orders, no matter what size utility you are, you need to make every effort possible to go digital.” He says the significant return on your investment makes the cost on the front-end well worth it. “It’s a no-brainer.”