California Water Service (Cal Water) is the largest regulated American water utility west of the Mississippi River and the third largest in the country. Formed in 1926, the San Jose-based company serves 480,300 customer connections through 28 Customer and Operations Centers throughout the state.
Cal Water is the largest subsidiary of the California Water Service Group, which also includes Washington Water Service Company, New Mexico Water Service Company, Hawaii Water Service Company, HWS Utility Services, and CWS Utility Services. As a whole, the Group provides high-quality regulated and non-regulated utility services to approximately 2 million people in 100 communities. Company-wide, our employees share a commitment to being the leading provider of water and wastewater services and delivering quality, service, and value to our customers.
Michael Luu, California Water Services (Cal Water) Vice President of Customer Service and CIO was on a mission to improve the efficiency of their field operations and enhance their customers’ experience. “We needed to innovate rapidly on top of our existing systems and provide employees with the next generation of tools they need to quickly and proactively complete field assignments,” said Luu. To fulfill work orders their field workers had to use paper-based processes and multiple applications — each with different logins, different user interfaces, lacking offline access — and manually enter a large amount of repetitive information leading to incomplete and inaccurate data. Luu continued, “One of the single biggest issues that plagues utilities today is user adoption which is directly related to operational efficiency, safety, customer experience and reduced costs to consumers.”
In addition, Cal Water needed to enhance the customer experience in an initiative called connected customer. That meant improving routing, opening more appointment windows, and better communicating digitally with their customers across all interactions. Lastly, Cal Water wanted to eliminate the growing costs of the hardware and software (incl. upgrades) that their field operations used while making sure any new solution would integrate with their back-end systems including Oracle Customer Care & Billing™ (CC&B) in a matter of weeks, not months.
After researching several vendors providing point solutions for some of the above challenges, Cal Water selected KloudGin’s integrated Field Service and Asset Management Suite. These suites leverage the KloudPlatform for a one-cloud solution that provides Cal Water a single work order management system to manage all of their assets and optimize field work assignments. These work assignments include management of water flows and discharge, maintenance of valves, dig alerts (i.e., the service behind “811 Call Before you Dig”) tickets, hydrant inspections, leaks and outages, cross connection device management, GIS functionality including redlining, as-built access and more.
By combining these solutions Cal Water also implemented KloudGin’s Connected Customer solution. For Cal Water, this enables their customers to receive real-time updates about their service appointments. Customers who opt-in receive status updates of a service request receive automatic email or text notifications based on their preferences, as a reminder prior to the appointment, when the field representative is en route, if there are any unexpected delays or changes, and when the representative has arrived at the location. All of these capabilities, including compliance reporting and analytics, were delivered via the cloud to any mobile device in real-time, online or offline.
“We are always seeking ways to enhance our customers’ experiences with us, and I am pleased that, through Connected Customer, we are able to utilize technology to increase communication and improve customer satisfaction,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, President and CEO. “This system also helps increase our operational efficiency, so it truly enables us to provide higher levels of quality, service, and value.”
KloudGin easily integrated with Cal Water’s current Oracle™ CC&B system, their ESRI GIS system to access maps and as-built drawings and Microsoft™Active Directory to allow for single sign-on. Furthermore, the solution integrated with their PeopleSoft™ and Workday™ system to streamline data entry for payroll, inventory, and mileage — all while meeting Cal Water’s stringent cyber security policy (based on NIST/ISO).
“KloudGin SaaS solutions help us to achieve our mission of being the leading provider of water and wastewater services, which is part of our promise of quality, service, and value.”
Vice President of Customer Service and CIO California Water Service
KloudGin Asset Management Suite
KloudGin Field Service Suite
KloudGin Mobile App
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