PDAs increase productivity of mobile utility engineers

PDAs increase productivity of mobile utility engineers

Handhelds help cut down on unnecessary driving, says United Utilities

United Utilities’ pilot of GPRS-enabled handheld devices for engineers is saving 175 hours per week in travel time and reducing the duration of leaks.

In the past, engineers had to drive to their base to sign in to work, and then drive to the site of the job. The PDA device enables them to sign in and out from the site, via a server.

The Pinpoint system cuts down unnecessary driving, reducing the company’s fuel bill and carbon footprint, said United Utilities leakage planner Paul Parr.

“Now they can fall out of bed in the morning, jump in the van and after a
five-minute drive, they are at the site,” said Parr.

“It benefits the user and it benefits us because they’re spending more time every week actively finding leaks, instead of driving up and down motorways.”

Whatever their location, engineers can file immediate, real-time reports of leaks via the PDA, leaving no opportunity for information to be omitted. Leaks can now be recorded on the company’s system within an hour of being reported.

The device also alerts users to unanswered questions and will not allow incomplete data to be submitted.

The system was developed by eSay Mobile for RPS Water and United Utilities.