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ElectriCom Goes Mobile for Better Business Insights

electricomElectriCom is an independently owned utility construction contracting company, located in Paoli, Indiana with regional offices located across the Midwest, South, Southwest, and Southeast. They offer a wide range of services through their five major operating divisions, which include power and telecommunications construction, gas line distribution and right-of-way services. Their company motto “Our Work Sells Our Work” is exemplified in the accuracy and quality in the services they provide. When the company decided to modernize their field operations and how they captured data, they turned to MobileFrame for a solid foundation for their field service application strategy.

A Unique Inventory Challenge

The deployment of cabling and wiring is a significant business for ElectriCom, one that also requires accurate inventory management to ensure that line of business is driving maximum value for both the company and customers. These products are measured in granular detail and it’s up to the field service technicians to accurately measure the quantities deployed in the field so the customer is billed accurately. The techs also need to report what materials are returned to the warehouse after a project is completed, which is critical for capacity planning and future job bids.  The field force was collecting this data on paper and spreadsheets, then turning it over to the office staff to manually enter the data into their business systems. Management knew that this process wasted too much time and added too much complexity into the equation. The cost of labor and the fact that management didn’t have visibility into the data in a timely manner sent ElectriCom looking for a better way.

ElectriCom wanted a solution that could effectively handle the capture of this data real-time in the field, while at the same time seamlessly work with systems at the corporate office to process that data for actionable business decisions.  ElectriCom had a clear vision for their field service strategy, and part of that vision was to ensure that the company could grow rapidly and scale easily as new jobs were scheduled.

The company knew that they needed a single platform where they could deploy an unlimited number of apps with no coding required.  It was important for them to be able to quickly create new applications without spending months in custom coding projects. They also knew that they would want to change the apps over time as business needs changed and they wanted to be able to do all of this without being forced to pay the vendor for every change.

The MobileFrame Solution

After an exhaustive evaluation of mobile software vendors in the marketplace, ElectriCom selected MobileFrame as their mobility platform for the entire enterprise. MobileFrame’s code-free mobile application development platform empowered them to quickly design mobile apps for iOS and Windows based operating systems. The software includes rapid mobile application development tools, mobile device management and a disconnected handheld database so users can work even without network connectivity.

The first job on their list was to solve their inventory management challenge. The team was able to very quickly deploy a custom inventory management application that was built around the specific requirements of the business. And, they integrated the app into their enterprise resource planning systems so data would flow seamlessly into the billing, human resource management and capacity planning tables.

Building off the momentum gained with their initial deployment, ElectriCom has now deployed over 200 applications built on the MobileFrame platform. All told, MobileFrame is being deployed across a wide range of business objectives, including:

  • Business process automation
  • Application and data integration
  • Referential data applications

Results

Spreadsheets and paper forms are now a thing of the past for ElectriCom. They now have better controls over high-value equipment and components used on their jobs, which translates into more accurate billing and capacity planning. Now the data is being processed programmatically which has removed several manual steps in the process.  By digitizing the data capture and inventory management with MobileFrame, ElectriCom knows that no new administrative resources are needed to support the processing requirements of those jobs. They can now bid more confidently on new projects since they have accurate data. ElectriCom has been able to grow and take on new projects without adding overhead costs in the back office to support those projects.  Productivity across the entire company has been greatly improved, management now has real-time data at their fingertips to run daily operations and the field force has the right applications to do their jobs more efficiently.

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