National Grid: Improving efficiency in the field with a fully integrated, multi-platform mobile working solution

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Summary

National Grid saw an opportunity to build a new mobile platform that would support field work across multiple mobile device platforms. At the same time, it wanted to keep the best aspects of its existing solution – especially the flexible data collection scripts provided by a field data capture component from AMT-SYBEX.

National Grid formed a project team, working with multiple vendors to deliver a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind project, which included worldfirst integration between Affinity Fieldreach, SAP Mobile and Ellipse.

The result is a truly flexible mobile architecture that runs seamlessly on both Windows and iOS platforms, enabling National Grid’s field engineers to capture and interact with asset, maintenance and cost data in seconds – much faster and more easily than ever before.

The challenge

National Grid wanted to replace its existing, end-of-life mobile solution with a more modern architecture that would support multiple mobile platforms – while also preserving the company’s years of investment in its highly specialised field data capture processes. However, bringing all the necessary technologies together into a coherent solution presented a major challenge, as many of the components had never been integrated before.

The solution

In a first-of-its-kind project, National Grid worked with AMT-SYBEX and 12 other vendors to extend its Ellipse asset management system and integrate it with Affinity Fieldreach for data collection, SAP’s Mobility Platform and Work Manager application, and Workforce Scheduling and Optimization by ClickSoftware. The new solution unites many mobile processes into a seamless solution with single sign-on, and supports both Windows 7 and iOS devices. It has also enabled the company to seamlessly move field data capture scripts onto the new devices – maintaining continuity in its field engineering processes.

The benefits

  • Engineers in the field now have the right mobile device for their role: iPads for greater mobility or Windows laptops for more advanced tasks.
  • Embedding the best elements of legacy mobile solutions into a more modern, strategic architecture helps to protect existing investments while boosting flexibility for the future.
  • Greater integration between mobile applications enables more streamlined, joined-up processes, creating greater efficiency.
  • True point-of-work data collection improves the validation and accuracy of asset condition and maintenance records, increasing overall operational effectiveness.
  • Increased accessibility of asset, condition and cost data in the field could help to drive long-term cultural change around cost-efficient maintenance.

National Grid owns and manages the systems that deliver gas and electricity to millions of customers across the UK. One of the largest investor-owned utilities in the world, the company plays a vital role in connecting homes and businesses to the energy they use.

Case Study – NG Improving Efficiency
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