Arnd Brugman - Mobile and apps are taking over the communication between employees, partners and customers and their respected organizations. It is the screen of choice for a whole new generation.
This realtime, interactive, personal and always-on channel seems to be a big contrast to the more classical and anonymous character of the utilities world. Does this mean mobile has no role in utilities or is mobile a great opportunity to make a more personal and direct click from the utilities world towards customers and their own workforce?
Turning digital first
With a growing focus on sustainable and renewable energy as also focus on reducing the use of water, there is a great opportunity to engage the customers. There is also a wonderful possibility to modernize the way people work by turning digital first. Digital on their closest companion: their mobile screen. That way the utilities sector can make a quantum leap to a user centric –people first– way of doing business. For the external clients, their own workforce and partners in the chain. In the flow of production, transportation and retailing the best opportunities for successful usage of mobile are with the latter two; asset driven and customer centric.
Compete by making it mobile
Within the distribution networks of utility companies there is a huge improvement to be expected on asset inspections. Most of the organizations still track the status of the assets using the good-old-paper way. While planning is a digital activity, the actual inspection forms are printed and used the site, to be filled in. Thereafter, the results are manually entered into the back office systems, resulting in delays and an increase of the chance for errors and misreads. By integrating the asset inspection with the digital planning process and making this mobile would save time and the chance of errors. It would also allow un-attended monitoring of data and information for more value added decision making.