Callaway Electric Cooperative wanted to update its fleet of analog radios before the January 2013 FCC narrowbanding deadline. As a cooperative that distributes power to more than 13,000 residential, agricultural and commercial customers across central Missouri, Callaway’s adoption and integration of MOTOTRBO radios from Motorola with NISC’s software improved workflow and communications between the office and the field.
“Whether crews are working in a severe storm or on a simple meter change, MOTOTRBO allows them to do their jobs safely and efficiently and restore service to our members as quickly as possible,” said Tom Howard, CEO/General Manager, Callaway Electric Cooperative.
NISC’s Mobile WorkForce enables Callaway employees to access service order scheduling information from the field, alleviating lost paperwork since tasks are managed electronically. How does it work? The streamlined process starts at the very beginning of the day when Callaway field employees boot up their radios and laptops and log on.
“Service orders are transferred to the laptop in the truck via the MOTOTRBO radios. When our field employees start their day, they turn on their radios, power up their laptops and sign in,” said Lesa Akers, Operations Support at Callaway Electric. “Then they connect the Bluetooth to their MOTOTRBO radios and sign in to NISC which communicates with MOTOTRBO via Bluetooth.”
The Bluetooth connection enables service orders to be pushed out to field workers, including additional requests throughout the day, which they see on their iVUE screens. “Our linemen enter their data right into the computer instead of having to write it down on a service order. Everything is sent back to the office electronically,” said Akers. “We no longer have trouble reading their writing and actually get much better information from them.” No numbers need to be transcribed; they simply update tasks as they are completed.
As a result, Callaway customer service representatives have real-time communication with field workers and can complete and close service orders electronically. “The beauty of that is our customer service reps can complete and close those service orders. They do not have to wait until the end of the day to get a pile of papers,” says Greg Salmons, Manager of Operations at Callaway Electric. “Now our total service order process is paperless.”