Using Real-Time Paperless Data Collection to Improve Asset Management

Real-time, Field Data Collection

As a supplier of mission critical infrastructure service, utility companies must constantly deliver the highest level of service and safety to their customers and the general public. Mobile Data Collection

One Canadian utility company set out to engage and secure a partner to provide them with services in data collection. The goal was to simplify, automate, and have real time access to remote field collected data. They needed to source a data collection solution that would enable them to be advanced in their awareness in the process of data collection and subsequent dissemination.

They also wanted to offer their contractors an easier way to report on their completed work. The required solution needed to embrace and feature the following functionality:

  • Paperless, real-time data collection
  • Mobile data collection devices leveraging iOS and Android operating systems
  • Electronic entry forms for inspections and maintenance assessments
  • Mandatory or required completion of key inspection elements
  • Image capture capability within the inspection process
  • Mapped GPS Locations of all assets & inspections completed
  • Various permission levels for users
  • Virtual document storage and access available in-field to users
  • Entire history of asset available to mobile users
  • Ability for management to view data as it is collected remotely
  • Real time reporting functionality
  • Electronic safety forms and inspections
  • Hosting of data in cloud environment with the ability to share and transfer data with integrated contractors
  • API Integration with current legacy systems

How Nektar Data Systems Helped

Using an iOS device with the Nektar Data Systems asset management data collection platform installed on it, they were provided with the ability to collect and analyze utility structures, jobsite tasks, and safety data in real time.  Via a web browser or iOS device the heads of their remote department and senior management personnel could then view data in custom created live reports just seconds after the data has been submitted.

The system supports the broad spectrum of any data capture requirements they have, including data types such as text input, check box, numeric only input, list selection, images, sketches, and signatures. All data types can be set as optional or mandatory elements.  This functionality makes it easy to recreate and adapt to any of their existing paper based forms, thereby enabling their goal of electronic data collection.

Data Collection in the Field

Project managers are easily able to monitor their projects, people and tasks, no matter where they are, as if they were there on site.  Managers ensure that their teams are on target for project milestones and performance standards. Managers can also ensure that their people conform to sets of specific standards.

The business challenge solution provided by Nektar partnership<

Utility companies are now selecting Nektar Data Systems to be used as the sole source for data collection in ongoing maintenance and inspections for all transmission and distribution assets, as well as in new line construction. This initiative encompasses tasks related to assets such as steel weathering, lattice, wood, substation, or any other asset imaginable. Nektar Data Systems can also be used to replace many other previous paper-based processes including:

  • Pre-job Safety Meetings
  • Risk & Hazard Assessments
  • Land & Crop Damage assessments
  • Incident Reports
  • Fleet & Equipment Inspections
  • Fleet Maintenance
  • Fueling Events
  • Project Progression Reporting
  • Work Orders

As utility companies embrace mobile cloud based data collection, there are no limits to the scope of data collection and reporting abilities.  The Nektar Data Systems team is proactively engaged to custom configure a product to support the utilities’ unique set of forms and processes that are alleviating the need for paper. Utility companies have grown to rely on Nektar Data Systems as it provides each of their field-based personnel with the ability to view their list of work activities and execute tasks that must be completed with a high degree of efficiency and accountability.

Project managers ensure consistency and quality by reactively adjusting and deploying system changes to front line workers as they are needed.  All senior and management team members have the required remote visibility into field based operations. This includes inspections and maintenance activities for all structures and other business assets.  In addition, health and safety audit teams can now retrieve records of safety documentation and meeting events.

The Results

This utility company completed implementation of Nektar Data Systems and was pleasantly surprised how seamless the process was. The initial stages focused on many projects being carried out by an array of remote contractors, inspectors, and employees.  The acceptance of mobile data collection solution was embraced by 100% of the participants across the board.  The solution has helped them to enjoy the highest degree of responsible governance and efficiency at the best cost-ratio.  The final decision to choose Nektar Data Systems as sole supplier for all field data collection was a small risk that has resulted in big payoffs.

“The ability for the Nektar Data Systems solution to provide live data collection using an iOS device, and being able to view that data instantaneously from virtually anywhere will definitely contribute to any project’s success.  Nektar Data Systems provides us with the ability to monitor work as it is completed as if we were on site, something we have never had.”  Engineer & Senior Asset Manager – Transmission Line Assets