I love meeting with our customers and learn about the pain points in their business processes. Especially meeting with field crews - they are not afraid to tell me what is on their

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minds!

 

Recently I spent some time with a gas construction foreman at a western utility. We'll call him Gus. I was struck by the amount of paperwork Gus must complete during every construction project: safety checklist, lists of materials used, as-built sketch, pressure test info, exposed pipe inspection, and on and on…

 

Some people think utility crews are resistant to tech. But keep in mind they are also not so excited about paperwork. If digital tools are responsive to their needs and reduce paperwork, crews will embrace them. Referring specifically to the painful task of tracking materials used in the job, Gus asked, “Gas station attendants have scanners, why don’t we?”

 

Resistance to tech only comes when you give crews more of it than they need to do their job. Gus needs to scan some barcodes and select some items from dropdowns. Maybe a few GPS reads. That's all his construction material tracking tool should do.

 

Just like everyone else, utility crews are happiest with technology when it makes their lives easier!