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Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
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Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
Register
Join us for the webinar
on Thu, Feb 15, 12:30 PM ET:‚Ä®
‚ÄúRevolutionizing Utility Field Service Management with New Technology‚ÄĚ
Register
13 Jul 2023
7 min
Best Practises

Field Project Deployment: Ensuring Success at Every Stage

Deploying AMI project on the budget

The success of any field service business relies on its ability to meet customers' needs. And a crucial part of achieving that is having an effective work order process and documenting all project data. But how exactly is it to set up a system, what steps should utilities and vendors take, and what data they need to create a digital platform that reflects all customer requirements? And how precisely isa service software platform like Fieldman establish business processes for a successful AMI field project?

Step 1: Field project SOW evaluation

Before diving into the field service project, it is crucial to evaluate the Statement of Work (SOW). At this stage, Fieldman's project manager interviews stakeholders and asks questions about project goals, timeline, inventory supply, and pain points that are different for any field service project. In some cases clients want in addition to AMI meter deployment perform a lead pipe audit, in others there is a need to evaluate what maintenance should be scheduled for next year.

One of the most important stages is to establish clear guidelines for a process to document locations where meter exchange was not possible. This will prevent issues that usually happen at the end of the project when the field contractor has already left and the utility realizes that number of meters that were not installed is greater them anticipated. 

The project evaluation also involves carefully reviewing data formats, establishing technical contacts, and ensuring the secure exchange of data channels. By thoroughly understanding the SOW, the Fieldman team can create accurate work orders and lay a solid foundation for the project's success. 

Step 2: Field management software integration 

Integration plays a vital role in field project deployment. During this stage, the Fieldman team focuses on establishing data mapping, importing customer data, and conducting end-to-end data exchange tests. When integration is done effectively, it enables different components to work together harmoniously, maximizing productivity and optimizing outcomes. 

Most common integration required data exchange with utility billing systems, think of each meter as a tiny cash register. Accurate meter readings before and after meter exchange are crucial. Because inaccurate bills may cause negative sentiment among customers and result in a higher rejection rate of AMI meters. 

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Fieldman field service management platform set up
Fieldman

On the other hand, if integration fails, it can lead to significant challenges and setbacks. Data discrepancies, communication breakdowns, and operational inefficiencies may arise, hindering the project's progress. Moreover, without successful integration, stakeholders may struggle to access and utilize the necessary information, resulting in delays, errors, and decreased overall performance. 

Therefore, prioritizing integration efforts and ensuring its smooth execution is vital to avoid potential disruptions and set the stage for a successful project implementation.

Step 3: Project SystemConfiguration

Configuring the project system is a critical step to tailor it according to the specific field service project requirements. The Fieldman team needs to establish job roles and import or configure blackout schedules, customize workflows, and configure the project's dashboard. Additionally, configuring inventory management ensures proper tracking of resources throughout the project lifecycle. 

For example, in the city of Statesville Fieldman created three different team roles, one for meter readers, another one for a contractor, and another one for water department employees.This allowed the City employees to use one system for separate city projects. 

Step 4: User Training

 A well-trained workforce is key to a successful field project deployment. This stage involves identifying power users within the organization who can act as trainers and conducting a train-the-trainer course. By onboarding all users, the client team ensures that everyone is equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively utilize the project platform.

Numerous companies that have utilized field service software from other providers have encountered a sense of being ill-equipped when it comes to going live with the system. This is precisely why it is crucial for companies to capitalize on our training offerings. For those lacking substantial IT support, having an on-site expert to supervise the deployment process may not be feasible. However, with the Fieldman deployment team, extensive training is provided to ensure that every member of the staff feels confident and at ease when using our product.

Step 5: Go Live 

When it's time to go live, it is crucial to closely monitor the system and make necessary configuration changes as required. The team should be prepared to provide standby support for end users, addressing any issues or queries that arise. Last-minute workflow updates may be necessary to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Ongoing support throughout the project ensures the smooth operation and maximizes the project's overall success.

For example, when the City of Thompson, GA decided to exchange several thousand water meters, after going live many meters in the field could not be located by a utility contractor. It turns out the city did not have a way to mark meters inactive that were no longer in use or removed. Fieldman's team added a custom data process that analyzed meter usage and included only meters in use within the last year for the meter exchange project. This illuminated unnecessary visits and got the field service project back on track. 

By following these essential stages in field project deployment, the team can establish a strong foundation for success. From evaluating the project SOW to providing ongoing support, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring seamless collaboration, efficient workflows, and successful field project outcomes.