Driving digital adoption in utility field operations

A “high-touch, low tech” approach.

Unique Challenge

A Pacific Northwest-based utility company was struggling with inefficiencies caused by using paper forms and manually coordinating field crews. Scheduling was manual and inflexible, and workers’ time and location were not accurately captured leading to loss of efficiency, poor resource allocation, and poor customer relations. The organization recognized the behavioral and cultural shift from paper-based processes to digital would be immense. They needed help with the transition to a digital-enabled field operations workforce. 

Bespoke Approach

Unify facilitated an Integrated Work Management (IWM) initiative to transform the way the organization worked and led the change and adoption strategy and execution. The team performed an assessment of end user personas through digital readiness surveys and identified areas of impact. A communications plan was developed that included training and digital magazines to promote the new behaviors. Based on cultural insights gained from leaders and stakeholders, the team developed and implemented a change management and adoption plan with a “high-touch, low tech” approach to field crew engagement. The plan involved “ride alongs” with field workers and intimate “coffee chats” to share and gather information. Unify deployed a streamlined SAP work order structure that utilized a ClickSchedule workforce optimization tool. An SAP Work Manager mobile interface was used to coordinate field workers along with rugged mobile devices to enable reliable communications between crews.  

Proven Impact

The holistic change plan Unify implemented positively impacted teams across the work management lifecycle. Scheduling reached 85% data accuracy by the end of week two. The organization reached 100% adoption by end of the first month. With the adoption of the new digital methods, the company was able to gain efficiencies and reduce the cost of field work.