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20/06/2016 | FLS NEWS

Cogas Infra Services chooses FLS mobile workforce management software

Cogas is responsible for developing, constructing, managing and maintaining gas and electricity networks in the municipality of Hardenberg, The Netherlands. Cogas provides gas and electricity to nearly 140,000 customers and, as an independent operator, provides an important link between the customers and energy suppliers.
Energy is a basic need and a stable supply is of great importance. For this reason, Cogas Infra Services’ activities represent an important public interest. Cogas fulfils this task with maximum openness and transparancy; working continuously to provide a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy network. The safety of its customers and employees are its core value.

The challenges

Cogas’ maintenance and management projects and services are broadly similar to the processes in many other service organisations in the utility industry; namely a combination of ‘long-cycle’ and ‘short-cycle’ commands. Workforce scheduling for multiple days and multiple engineers has been a daily challenge in combination with many incoming emergency assignments requiring a response time of 1 hour; efficient planning is crucial.

Cogas needed to purchase a planning tool with mobile workforce management capabilities in order to efficiently utilise its time and resources for both ‘long-cycle” and ‘short-cycle’ tasks. ‘With FLS VISITOUR we expect to make significant efficiency improvements,’ said Ivo Schreven, Cogas Maintenance Team Leader Electric.

In addition, Cogas wanted arrival and resolution times for its various contracts to be shortened. There are many actions needed to get the assurance that an incoming ad-hoc task requirement will be picked up by the right employee and started within the agreed time. ‘With the FLS software, we expect shorter arrival and resolution times’ indicated Arnold Brouwershaven, Team Leader, Gas Maintenance & Management.

It is essential that the office staff have a current view of the activities that take place out in the field. For the engineers it is important that they have all the information needed to carry out the work, to give the correct time feedback, to plan for further advancing work and to enable the possibility of creating a follow-up task, without the intervention of a scheduler.

The solution

It is a noble goal to spend less time spent on planning activities and to reduce the mileage and CO2 emissions, but this is of little use if contrasted by a decrease in customer satisfaction. Timely troubleshooting, performing within the scheduled maintenance times and reduced late arrival times contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, if this creates additional administrative tasks and work for engineers it will have consequences for the employee. It is a dilemma for many field service organisations to manage balancing these aspects.
FLS mobile workforce management software VISITOUR is characterised by its modular template for utility companies that offers solutions to business problems. The heart of the solution is achieved by the configurable PowerOpt® algorithm which can be simply selected to balance the ‘Field Service Dilemma Triangle’ of; employee satisfaction, the customer experience and business processes.

The Advantages

The PowerOpt® algorithm within FLS field service management software is specifically designed for organisations that require a dynamic approach to their operational day. The domino effect ensures that the potential for productivity and resource capacity is fully and continuously exploited by fully utilising the allocated capacity within the specified constraints. By integrating the PowerOpt algorithm between the scheduling application FLS VISITOUR and FLS MOBILE more synergy is been created. Real time confirmation of progress in the field ensures continuous field service optimisation. The domino effect of the application also delivers an immediate redistribution of available staff; enabling ad-hoc assignments and general maintenance tasks to both be performed. An additional advantage is that engineers have to carry out fewer administration tasks on a laptop computer. These tasks can be carried out on a mobile phone or tablet.

The Project

After an intensive selection process Cogas Infra Services selected FLS VISITOUR. Cogas employees from its various departments were unanimous in their opinion on the choice of FLS MOBILE and its workforce management software.

‘In the selection process, FLS was head and shoulders above the competition. We saw the right answers with regard to the RFP, the standard features of the software and the rapid response to our business issues’ Arnold van Brouwershaven form Cogas stated. ‘It was not only the in depth response on the Request for Proposal but mainly the out-of-the-box functionalities to support our processes, the simple user interface, the credentials and the experience gained in using the software during the reference visits’

Ivo Schreven and Arnold van Brouwershaven stated that ‘FLS VISITOUR and FLS MOBILE software meets the standard on almost all the functionality that we require.’

Ivo Schreven also added ‘we got to know FLS as a professional partner that can communicate effectively with the multiple layers of our organisation and that it can provide or bring quick solutions to our business requirements’.
Gerald de Haan (CEO Cogas) and René Ebeltjes (CEO FLS Netherlands) are looking forward to a strong partnership between the two companies.