Transformative productivity app in the utilities sector.
Northumbrian Water Employee Apps
As one of the largest utility companies in the country, Northumbrian Water play a vital role in national infrastructure, providing a continuous supply of clean, high quality water to millions of homes in the North East and South East of England.
They aim to be the most digital water company in the world and at Shout we are proud to be a partner on their digital journey. The Northumbrian Water field operations team carry out essential work to keep the distribution network running smoothly and identified an opportunity to use mobile technologies to transform employee experience in the field, whilst streamlining delivery for their customers.
Consolidating work management into a single application -field operatives werepreviouslyusing a combination ofdisparate devices to carry out their work onsite.
Integrating with their digital ecosystem- building a solution that would work alongside Northumbrian Water’s existing applications was vital to limit the disruption and expense of significant change to back office processes.
Delivering robust offline capability- teams were often working in remote locations where connectivity could prevent them from accessing necessary systems.
By analysing and understanding the challenges experienced in the field, we were able to implement predefined business rules that allowed field operatives tocapturekey dataand complete essential tasks in as few steps as possible for a clean and frictionless user journey. We harnessed remote storage and activity queuing to make sure connectivity would not interfere with productivity.
The simple interface surfaces a host of complex integrations. Utilising Microsoft Xamarin and the Azure Cloud app service, we delivered an application that worked seamlessly with Northumbrian Water’s complex architecture and made their existing systems work harder for them by taking advantage of the functionality available via mobile:
Fieldworkers were able to view shifts, sign in for work and log their availability to perform tasks, with all of their information and progress updates being transferred back to corporate systems when connectivity was available.
Making use of geolocation to be able to allocate themselves to nearby jobs, maintenance operatives and technicians could access and update all information and attachments relating to a task, using the camera and QR code scanning to efficiently provide comprehensive job information as efficiently as possible.
We made reaching customers effortless, with the ability to make in-app calls or texts and employing the Google Maps API to provide directions without the need to locate customer information.
At its heart the project aimed to further Northumbrian Water’s efforts to cultivate a winning employee experience, by providing the tools to make jobs easier. But in the process the app has become fundamental to the delivery of their water services, achieving significant benefits to operations and making a positive contribution to the customer experience.
Field based teams are spending more time solving problems and less time on admin, while the greater visibility of their activity has enabled the group to set achievable KPI’s, improve on resolution times and identify further opportunities to streamline their field processes.
The success of this project led to our appointment to work on Northumbrian Water’s customer facing app and we’re proud to continue supporting them in strengthening their digital initiatives, through our ongoing software partnership.
A simple tool to make jobs easier
Visibility of field workers availability and location
Extensive functionality from a single interface
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