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3 ways virtual work helps speed up utility distribution projects

Kristen Gray photo

Kristen Gray

When it comes to large commercial projects, utility companies have a significant cost burden just to scope out a project. Whether moving a line, doing road work, reviewing contracts, or planning a service upgrade, there’s a lot of manual work involved that sucks up significant time (and money). 

For utilities that want to speed up the process (and save money at the same time), new purpose-built video tools are critical. Here are three ways that video helps speed up the process of electrical and gas field upgrades.

1. Faster proposals and cost estimates

Instead of driving out to rural or remote areas to assess things on the ground, send a local counterpart armed with virtual work tools. From there, easily collect information for the initial cost estimate without needing to spend 1-3 hours on the road. This gives you the opportunity to quickly develop proposals, determine available facilities near the site, assess site capacity, and identify what equipment you might need for the job. 

Simply adding video means that you can draft proposals quickly - sometimes within a day - versus waiting days because you are on site and can only do one thing at a time.

2. Faster approvals and right of way planning

Assessing project needs and costs is only the first step. Once you know the necessary items from your end, you have to apply for relevant permissions with local governments. Then you need to plan your actual work, since it might involve right-of-way planning. 

Since video is captured and stored centrally, you can easily share clips as part of your approval applications. This can help speed up the process, giving you more evidence to support your application. Further, for things like right of way planning, it’s easier to visually explain what you need rather than write it out, making the process smoother and more efficient internally.

3. Faster project plan and installation 

Leading up to installation day, virtual check-ins make it easy to ensure you have all required equipment, copies of your relevant permissions, and quickly resolve any issues that arise. Further, you always have the centrally-stored video to refer back to if there are ever questions about a site detail (which helps you avoid another pre-installation truck roll). 

Finally, all information from customers is stored and is made readily accessible with a virtual work platform, so on install day you can show up with the right context to get the job done.

Get more done with video

There is so much opportunity in the field work space, and it doesn’t necessarily require fancy new technology. Video has been around for a long time, but hasn’t ever been built for the field work industry. We over-relied on tools like FaceTime for convenience, but that risked security and customer satisfaction. With new virtual work tools made for the industry, technology can now be used as a tool for growth instead of a problem to navigate.

Support your customers remotely at their time of need

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