Client Spotlight: Seguin, Texas
Population: Approximately 30,000
Location: About 40 miles east of San Antonio
Uses: Tyler Technologies’ Incode Utility Billing Solution, Mobile Service Orders
Results: Less paperwork, faster/more accurate service orders
Like many cities, Seguin, Texas, used to rely primarily on paper-based processes to complete service orders related to utility billing. This meant that any time a service order came into the utility billing office, a flood of paperwork was soon to follow.
“The old process was very manual and paperheavy,” Leann Wilkerson, Seguin’s utility billing supervisor, said. “We found ourselves waiting around for paper orders to be printed, signed and turned in. With all that paper, orders would be misplaced, they’d fall behind the seats and not get turned in on time, which meant we had to backtrack and basically double our work.”
An Opportunity for a Better Process
Seguin’s old service order process probably sounds familiar to many utility billing departments. Received orders would be printed out and distributed among field technicians, who had to physically be present in the office. Upon completion, the technicians would have to sign the completed order and run it all the way back to the office, only to be assigned a new service order. The process repeated daily as paperwork continued to pile up.
“Our staff was constantly completing and filing these orders, which also began to take up space,” Wilkerson said. “Tyler Technologies offered a better way to do it.”
Seguin, already a user of Tyler’s Incode® Utility Billing software, would soon be approached with an opportunity. Through the city’s relationship with Tyler, Wilkerson was notified of Tyler’s Mobile Service Orders and the potential benefits they offered Seguin.
“It was brought to our attention that Tyler’s Mobile Service Orders might be a way we could solve some of our issues. Tyler asked if we would like to be a beta site for the product and – since we’re all about trying new things from Tyler – we accepted,” Wilkerson explained.
New Process Yields Efficiencies
That was in February of 2015. Since then Seguin’s service order process has transformed into a much more efficient system with much less paper.
Here’s how mobile service orders work: the City of Seguin receives a service order electronically. It’s assigned to a field technician, who receives the order digitally on his tablet. The service order appears on a location-based map, which pinpoints the exact place the order is assigned. Once the task is completed, the field technician simply submits the finished order electronically from his tablet. The process primarily benefits two groups: Wilkerson’s utility billing department staff and Seguin’s field technicians.
Utility Billing Staff Enjoys Streamlined Tasks
“With Mobile Service Orders, it’s freed up a ton of time for my staff to work on other stuff,” Wilkerson said. “We no longer have to enter or file service orders. It doesn’t pile up on us.”
It saves time and also space, since there’s no paper to retain. We’re able to pay better attention to our customers and give them the attention and service they need.
Utility Billing Supervisor
Mobile Service Orders Transform Daily Tasks for Field Technicians
As for the field technicians, Mobile Service Orders completely transformed the way they approach their daily tasks, Wilkerson explained.
“The guys in the field love them,” she said. “The orders are instant, so as soon as we click save, they upload immediately to their tablets. They can go about completing the orders without having to run back and forth to pick up and fill out paperwork. It saves time, not to mention the wear and tear on their vehicles. The orders pop up on a map, so they can easily find them. If something needs to be brought to their attention, it immediately pops up on their map without us having to call or radio them.”
Wilkerson added that Mobile Service Orders actually allow their field technicians to get a head start on their days. The utility billing office opens at 8 a.m., while Seguin’s field technicians typically start their day at 7 a.m. With Mobile Service Orders, the technicians can go straight to work without having to wait for the office to open to receive their first task.
“It’s like they’re already an hour ahead,” Wilkerson said. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about Mobile Service Orders from the guys in the field.”
A More Efficient Future
Seguin, with a population of roughly 30,000, receives its fair share of service orders. In the month of July alone, Seguin issued more than 1,000 mobile service orders. In the past, that number would have overwhelmed Wilkerson’s six-person staff. But thanks to modern technology and Seguin’s willingness to implement a new solution, those days are long gone.
In July, we issued 1,009 Mobile Service Orders. That would have been 1,009 sheets of paper that we would have had to manually complete and file. But that’s been changed with Mobile Service Orders. They’re great -- we use them for all sorts of tasks, like water pressure, electric lines, sewer trucks, water leaks, light repairs and more. They’re all done with Mobile Service Orders.
Utility Billing Supervisor