As part of its unique multiutility model—delivering water, wastewater, gas, and electricity services—Utilities Kingston provides safe and reliable gas services to nearly 15,000 customers in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The company routinely inspects customer appliances and replaces gas meters.
Recently, Utilities Kingston switched from a manual, paper-based process to a mobile solution for gas meter inspections and replacements. Using Workforce for ArcGIS®, a location-based app designed to improve coordination and teamwork, the utility was able to complete more than 60 percent of its meter inspections and replacements within four months. Additionally, the teams collected key data not previously available.
“We hired eight employees on contract to get 5,300 gas and water meter changes done within six to eight months,” explained Jordan Rogers, GIS technician at Utilities Kingston. “We created all 5,300 assignments in Workforce for ArcGIS and then categorized them based on the type of work that needed to be done. Within four months, we had already completed 3,100 assignments.”
The eight employees travel in teams of two, using work vans and tablet computers. Each day, the teams open the Workforce app on their tablets to see what they have to do and where they have to travel to do it.
At each assigned stop, the workers use Workforce for ArcGIS and the Collector for ArcGIS app to directly access and collect relevant data. Within the Workforce app, workers can add important notes such as when the gas was turned off and back on and whether appliances need to be relit. This information is then immediately available to the back-office staff.
“Workforce is allowing us to collect important information that is currently not available in the field and will now be available for use by our service technicians,” said Karen Santucci, manager of service and gas operations, energy operations, Utilities Kingston. “This is the big selling point for our field staff.”