New Software to Assist Consumers Energy Field Operations


JACKSON — Consumers Energy will use a new mobile workforce management software to help field workers improve safety, productivity, and customer experience.

 “Our goal in implementing this new technology is to further minimize field workers’ delays in receiving and using accurate and timely information for making service calls, especially during storms and other interruptions,” said Michele Kirkland, vice president of energy operations at the Jackson-based utility. “Replacing the legacy systems with a new digital platform will provide us with a comprehensive view of our field operations with relevant, real-time information to improve the accuracy of scheduling customer appointments and to increase productivity and efficiency by assigning them to the most optimal crews to minimize travel times.”

Working with technology consultants Accenture, with offices in Southfield, and software maker Ventyx, Kirkland says the software will provide automated dispatching for schedulers, dispatchers, field crews, and supervisors. As a result of these efforts, Consumers Energy field supervisors will have new digital tools, ranging from pinpointing crews on maps to more easily verifying timesheets, with unprecedented access to their teams’ workload and status.

“The increasing frequency of adverse weather events and the rise of re-newables are putting more stress on an aging grid, which means that effective and safe outage response and service maintenance is more critical than ever,” said Bill Ernzen, managing director in Accenture’s utilities Smart Grid Services business. “This new digital platform will allow Consumers Energy to provide a more timely and accurate service to its customers, while better ensuring the safety of its field crews. It will also enable field leaders, using new tools and processes, to spend more time in the field coaching and supervising crews.”