How Peco Vendors Fully Automated Scheduling and Field Work Dispatch for a Gas Regulator Inspection Project

As part of PECO's ongoing maintenance and safety program for its gas infrastructure, the utility employed several contractors to schedule appointments and inspect gas regulators across households in the Philadelphia region. Connecting and streamlining workflows and operations for separate teams proved to be a challenge.

Project: Audit and Replacement of gas regulators

Solution: Work Order Management

Key Feature: Smart Appointment Scheduling

Location: Pennsylvania, USA

-60% travel time
2 months appointments booked out
+40% tech's productivity

The gas regulator inspection challenge 

The audit of gas meters began easily: technicians had to identify whether the gas regulator met the criteria for replacement and confirm if the gas regulator information in PECO's system was correct.

The challenge arose from the necessity of scheduling appointments following a gas meter audit, a task managed by Contract Callers, a call center vendor. Once an appointment was confirmed with a customer, the work order was assigned to a technician crew from General Asphalt, a local vendor based in Pennsylvania. Technicians were tasked with replacing gas regulators.

In cases where homeowners failed to show up, the task was supposed to return to a call center database for another attempt to schedule an appointment for gas regulator replacement.

Initially, all operations were tracked on a master file. Vendors spent hours manually inputting addresses, meter numbers, customer names, phone numbers, and locations spread over several townships around Philadelphia. This not only resulted in time loss but also led to numerous errors and typos in the data. Frustration mounted among call center workers, technicians, and managers, increasing the likelihood of missing deadlines.

Conducting in-depth data analysis of replaced gas regulators and scheduled appointments was impossible using Excel or Google Sheets. Additionally, delivering the final report with data on replaced regulators for Peco's system posed a challenge.

Previously, we kept an appointment calendar in a spreadsheet and used to email it to a utility vendor daily. Transitioning from a spreadsheet to Fieldman allows call center workers and the GAP project manager to see the calendar with scheduled appointments in real-time; not in a spreadsheet but in a user-friendly interface. It saves us hours!
Nicole O'Heren
Customer Service Representative, CCI

How Fieldman provided the solution

The Fieldman solution had to deliver efficiency and transparency for teams from both organizations: call center workers and field service crews. Fieldman's team loaded geospatially enriched gas meter data into the platform which allowed us to presented all locations on a map. The entire process and workflow were designed based on the gas meter location. Visualization was crucial because it allowed to schedule and plan all fieldwork incredibly efficiently.

The portion of the PECO project assigned to CCI and GAP is located in Philadelphia and is highly decentralized, covering 37 different zones. In 2024, around 10,000 gas regulators were scheduled for an audit. The map view enabled call center workers to schedule appointments close to one another, minimizing travel time for each technician.

Fieldman portal for Peco project

Field technicians' availability was another criterion for configuring the Fieldman platform: technicians only worked three days per week on this project. As a result, the Fieldman team had to set up appointment windows for Monday through Wednesday, from 8 AM to noon and from 1 PM to 5 PM.

With Fieldman's automated scheduling tools and customizable workflow, the call center team could efficiently schedule appointments. They had to ensure that appointments were scheduled not only in the same area but also to fill the days for each field employee, with a target of 8 appointments per day.

The platform automatically assigned work orders in the correct order and required area for technicians. Field service employees received a list of work orders on their Fieldman field service app and proceeded to replace gas regulators.

The map view of endpoints is outstanding. It allows us to visualize all work locations and dispatch jobs that are close together. Our technicians used to crisscross the city, spending 30 minutes driving between locations. It was a waste of valuable time and resources. Now, with geographically based scheduling, they spend as little time driving as possible.
Thomas Flanagan
Director of Operations, GAP

CCI and GAP's unique way of using Fieldman for the Peco project 

The Fieldman platform has streamlined the entire project for both vendors, CCI and GAP. Instead of entering updates via spreadsheets, call center workers schedule appointments via map view, selecting the most efficient locations and ensuring that field technicians have enough daily bookings. Technicians no longer have to worry about appointments being scattered across different zones, and their travel time has been reduced by 120%.

The Fieldman platform automates the dispatch process. After an appointment confirmation, the platform creates work orders that appear in the technicians' Fieldman field service app. Once a work order is completed, Fieldman automatically updates the status of a gas regulator.

The platform gives back several hours weekly to Tom and his team while improving the work order dispatch and field service processes. The call center has saved at least two hours through scheduling. Most importantly, both CCI and GAP employees have been working as one team, documenting all information about the status of every gas meter.

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