What would you do if you knew about a software product that could get more productivity out of every member of your utility’s team?

Two Rivers Water & Light in Wisconsin bought it.

So did Oconomowoc Utilities.

And Cedarburg Light & Water Utility.

bushman_mugWhy? Officials realized the potential to rapidly recoup up-front costs with the significant cuts in time and labor that they would realize from implementing integrated plant management tools from TerraSpatial Technologies.

Put simply, greater productivity helps control staffing costs.

“We were able to eliminate one full-time position out of the efficiencies of the software,” says Tom Bushman, electric utility director for Two Rivers (right).

“That’s 10 percent of our work force. We have 10 people here.”

He sees the efficiencies everywhere he looks, in each generation of TST’s product. When his line foreman is using TST’s Mapworks to stake out a work order, he saves time using drop-down menus instead of shifting from mouse to keyboard and back.

When the utility is responding to an outage, crews can plug information into the Mapworks utility and graphically trace the problem upstream.

“It will show you the first common point for an outage for those houses, and it can help with troubleshooting,” Bushman says.,

“Before we had TST software, the guys would have to go out and knock on doors and look at houses individually. This really shortens the time to look for outages.”

Planned outages also benefit from the software’s ability to pull customer information from cloud storage.

“You can go to a line and say ‘I’m going to take this transformer out,’ and the software will spit out the names of all the affected people.

“That way, you can notify them and give them a day and approximate time of the impact on their service. It speeds up process, and you can make sure you’re not missing someone. It’s a lot better for customer relations.”