NEMEPA

A year after rolling out a powerful mobile workforce system, the utility meets the crush of back-to-school electric service with a leaner staff and faster response times.

North East Mississippi Electric Power Association‘s new mobile workforce software from SEDC is delivering improved efficiency and cost savings allowing the utility to respond to more than a thousand service calls a day, providing same-day responsiveness even to calls coming in as late as 4 p.m.

North East Mississippi EPA, which serves four counties including the University of Mississippi, each year faces a dramatic spike in service orders as the more than 20,000 students attending Ole Miss move in and out of rental properties. Coordinating the service starts, stops, and continuations under new tenants all within a concentrated timeframe requires sizeable resources.

In 2013, North East Mississippi sought a new, more powerful means of collecting, distributing and fulfilling service orders for the benefit of the entire customer community. The co-op found the mobile workforce management software from SEDC, whose UPN software suite already provided their core billing and accounting solutions, to meet the challenge.

With the software in place for a year, North East Mississippi CEO Keith Hayward says the improvements were evident in the back-to-school process this fall, allowing them to meet student needs while also servicing customers across four counties and more than 2,000 miles of power lines.

“One of the biggest benefits we have seen since switching over to mobile workforce is the organization of the daily work and that it all stays in one place,” said Hayward. “SEDC’s mobile workforce technology allows us to do a whole lot more work with a whole lot fewer people. We can now accept over 1,000 service orders a day — and make sure they all are addressed — with only three people in our office running the system and two service reps in the field.”

The co-op is seeing substantial savings since it no longer has to use extra employees or construction crews to help out during rush periods. The whole service order process is paperless, yielding additional efficiency gains. Everything is organized on one screen, allowing dispatchers to sort jobs based on location and manage all disconnects and reconnects optimally. The new mobile workforce software has reduced service orders that require fieldwork by an average of 97 percent.

Hayward continues to see benefits from the decision. “SEDC provided us the best technology to serve our customers. Being able to provide our customers with same-day service up to 4 o’clock in the afternoon is a luxury our customers have really appreciated since we made the switch.”