November 1, 2011

Can an Integrated Work Management System Really Save You Money?

The answer is “YES! Absolutely,” according to Allen Simmons, the Director of Information Technology at Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative in Oregon. Coos-Curry first implemented UPN’s Work Management System this past spring and hoped to gain some efficiency throughout the utility by putting all of their project information in one central database. According to Simmons, they’re very pleased with the results. “We’re not shuffling huge amounts of paperwork back and forth and making extra trips out to the field with the stakers and so on. They don’t do that anymore, so there’s some expense saved by eliminating those trips.”

Because of the inherently flexible framework of the Work Management System, Coos-Curry has been able to create customized work flows within the system to meet their unique needs across a variety of utility projects. As with any business process, whether it’s paper-based or software-driven, there is always some level of training necessary to ensure that the processes are carried out correctly by all involved. And since Work Management is a team effort involving every department at Coos-Curry, Simmons notes that there was some training involved to help everyone get up to speed on the different workflows the utility created. “It’s open to any business process, so every process we create we have to train on. But all the way around it’s been pretty positive.”

In the UPN v30 release, Work Management will debut its staking integration, putting staking information in front of everyone who needs it, when they need it, without the need for specialized staking software, and allowing key personnel to update multiple systems from one screen in Work Management. Coos-Curry is looking forward to taking advantage of this new integration. “No duplication of data, that’s a big plus right there,” says Simmons. “Our stakers right now have to go in to multiple places to make changes…. Having a lot of staking data available in one place will be very helpful.” The staking integration builds on the core principle of the Work Management System: centralized information, one place where everyone can enter and obtain information with minimal effort. This is a principle that resonates at every level at the utility, according to Simmons. “It helps with management knowing where your people are with processes. They don’t have to hunt people down or anything. They can just look in Work Management and get the information they need.”

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