Improved productivity and 50% fewer abandoned visits in only three months using ClickSoftware field service management solution
CH2M and Costain have joined forces to work with East Sussex County Council on a new seven year highway maintenance and improvement program, which began on May 1st this year. The joint venture (JV) has selected ClickSoftware, the leading provider of field service and workforce management software, to implement a cloud-based field service scheduling solution that will manage crews, supervisors and dispatchers in charge of highway maintenance.
The Council project is entirely outsourced to third parties, making it one of a select few highway projects that operate this way. CH2M is a global engineering company that provides consulting, design, construction and operations services for corporations, as well as federal, state, and local governments. It has partnered with Costain, the UK's leading engineering solutions provider, operating in energy, water and transportation.
ClickSoftware joins the team to provide a cloud based field service scheduling solution that will help East Sussex Highways to manage the 30,000+ highway-related defects reported each year. The Costain CH2M JV project focuses on meeting stringent SLAs and customer satisfaction measures across the Council’s entire highways infrastructure. This includes everything from designing and building the physical works set out in the Council’s annual strategic highways plan, to fixing potholes and repairing lamp posts.
“ClickSoftware has introduced a simplified field service scheduling system that enables us to continually monitor crew utilization while the mobile app gives the client’s team leaders and Council members a real-time view of every job and every crew, which they love” says Garry Nash, Solutions Project Manager at CH2M. “The crews use tablets with sat nav to route them to their locations and to view and update their schedules. Every interaction within the application is time stamped, which helps dispatchers to track the status of each job and re-assign crews accordingly.
Nash continued: “The solution also reduces admin time because the crews can quickly complete post-job reports via their tablets while still on the job. They can also respond to customers from the tablets, log follow on tasks, complete risk assessments, log vehicle checks and capture measures and photographs against any task.”
ClickSoftware was selected due to its ease of integration with East Sussex Highways’ new cloud-based CRM and case management system, which is the main interface for office-based staff. The user-friendly mobile application and its functional, insight-driven management dashboard were also key factors in the JV team’s decision to engage ClickSoftware.
“In the cloud era we’ve got the advantage of being able to evaluate the world’s best systems for field service scheduling and simply adapting these to the highways industry,” adds Rebecca Denness, Customer and Communities Manager at East Sussex Highways. “In the past, our only option was to build expensive and bespoke highway systems that quickly became out-of-date, and which were expensive to run.”
Commenting on the project, Tom Heiser, CEO of ClickSoftware, said: “East Sussex Council’s primary goal in setting up the highway maintenance programme was to become a more customer-facing organisation, and we’re pleased to be helping it achieve that objective.”
Heiser continued: “In implementing a flexible, people-centric cloud-based system, East Sussex Highways has shown its commitment to reducing response waiting, repair and maintenance times. We look forward to continuing our partnership with CH2M and delivering further field service management improvements to better serve the people of East Sussex.”
The Costain CH2M team were tasked with a “go live” date just 3 months after the contract was awarded. A traditional method for delivery of the solution would not have achieved the required benefits in the tight timescale. To overcome this, an agile delivery approach was implemented and the implementation and success of this approach quickly increased crew productivity and led to 50% fewer abandoned visits in the first weeks. According to Nash, this is a result of receiving information in real-time and being more able to identify what needs fixing so that the right crews can be assigned beforehand. Using their tablets, managers can now streamline sub-contractor management and reconcile contractor invoices against actual records to ensure prompt payment.
Samantha Neame, Service Development Manager at East Sussex County Council added that East Sussex Highways is currently evaluating the ClickSoftware Customer Engagement Module (CEM) to further enhance communications and transparency between the Council and its customers. The survey module enables organisations to get direct feedback from customers about services delivered, and East Sussex Highways is keen to assess how it may help to improve customer satisfaction and service responsiveness.