ARKUPS Case Study
The ARKUPS organization is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of Arkansas One-Call System, Inc. (AOC) whose purpose is to provide contract locating services for the AOC’s member utilities. ARKUPS is committed to damage prevention. Their goal, when damages do occur, is to identify the problem and address it so the problem does not reoccur.
ARKUPS is a strong advocate for using technology to automate processes and to supply information which enables their organization to provide high quality services to their customers. Their business requires a competent solution to transmit locate tickets and locating information to and from their 110 locators in the field who are spread throughout the state’s 75 counties.
KorTerra partnered with ARKUPS, at which time ARKUPS was dissatisfied with a competitor’s solution. The service and support of their existing solution was subpar and the vendor was not working proactively with ARKUPS to meet their needs. When KorTerra was introduced to ARKUPS, KorTerra worked with them to deliver a solution to meet those needs in regards to tracking damages, mapping and payroll.
The KorTerra team worked with ARKUPS to deliver the KorTerra Product Suite modules to fit their specific needs. KorTerra delivered KorTerra® Dispatch, KorTerra® Mobile, KorTerra® Payroll and KorTerra® Claims Management.
KorTerra Dispatch is automating the receipt and dispatch of all their tickets. KorTerra worked with ARKUPS and AOC to develop an interface to their ESRI mapping software. KorTerra pulls latitude and longitude information from the mapping software to determine the mapping coordinates for each ARKUPS ticket. KorTerra then uses that information to route the incoming locate tickets to the appropriate mobile locator in the field.
Through KorTerra Dispatch, ARKUPS is maintaining an electronic database of all ticket and completion information, and is benefiting from receiving and viewing tickets electronically. This allows them to manage their emergencies in a timely manner, perform load leveling since they can see the workloads of their locators and reassign tickets to evenly distribute work. Dispatchers are also able to easily identify the priority levels of the tickets through color coding that designates different priority levels and highlights tickets that are coming due or are past due. This allows the user to have a visual representation of current work and prioritize it more efficiently.
KorTerra Mobile enables ARKUPS locators to obtain their tickets on their laptops which are used in the field. Locators are no longer required to travel to and from the office each day to pick up and drop off their paper tickets, yielding more time to perform productive work in the field. Each locator is able to complete each ticket electronically in the system without shuffling through paper in the field or bringing paper back to the office for data-entry. ARKUPS locators are able to respond appropriately to emergencies because emergencies are received in a timely manner. With KorTerra Mobile’s date/time stamp, ARKUPS knows their staff’s location at all times; this fosters accountability which further increases productivity.
KorTerra developed an interface to MapFrame’s map viewer software for their mobile locators to view facility maps in the field. By housing all facility maps electronically, locators are no longer hauling and shuffling through paper map books. KorTerra was able to integrate the maps into the KorTerra Mobile software, which allows the locators to effortlessly, at the click of a button, pull up the appropriate facility map for the ticket location.
ARKUPS has KorTerra Payroll which is configured based on their different work tasks. Workers using the KorTerra system put their time against these various work tasks, allowing for more accurate breakdown and analysis of how staff members spend their time each day. ARKUPS also uses Mobile Payroll which allows their mobile workers to enter their timesheets and expenses as they occur in the field. This provides management with timely payroll information to generate reports for tracking how employees’ time is spent and the expenses they incur. The KorTerra Payroll system also tracks mileage; enabling ARKUPS to better track and predict vehicle maintenance cycles. KorTerra worked with ARKUPS to interface the KorTerra Payroll system with their third-party payroll system. Data is seamlessly communicated from KorTerra Payroll to their payroll system for creating payroll checks without data entry.
When damages occur, ARKUPS needs to be able to identify the reason for each damage so they may address potential problem areas and prevent a reoccurrence. With KorTerra Claims Management, they are now able to track each damage claim electronically in a centralized system. All damage costs can be captured in the system and tracked for cost analysis. ARKUPS uses this information to identify potential training problems, faulty equipment, specific locator/employee issues, etc. The goal being that through trend identification, problem areas can be corrected and the number of excavator damages lowered.
Each of the KorTerra modules offers robust reporting on the data in the system. Organized in broad categories such as Audit Reports, Ticket Reports, Locator Reports, and Maintenance Reports, ARKUPS has access to over 30 pre-programmed reports for operation management and analysis.
It should also be noted that ARKUPS is a unique customer for KorTerra in that they are also a beta site. This means that as each new KorTerra release is developed, it is sent to ARKUPS first for them to review the release and provide input for changes and improvements. ARKUPS has been a key contributor to the shaping of the KorTerra product to date.
KorTerra software is an integral part of ARKUPS’ operational success. It has automated many of their former manual processes and by housing all information electronically in a centralized system, the opportunities for reporting and analysis are endless. The data collected allows ARKUPS to manage the time spent per locate, accrue real cost analysis for budgeting, track vehicle mileage, hours spent locating versus travel time, and numerous types of other data which yields a highly efficient organization.
They are no longer held captive by disappearing paperwork and inefficient dispatching processes. Their operational processes have taken full advantage of technology to streamline the entire operations from ticket receipt and dispatch, to payroll, to managing damage claims and management reporting.
ARKUPS is very pleased with the results their organization has seen as a result of their KorTerra solution. To sum it up, Roger Cox, Former CEO said, “I would like to commend the KorTerra team for their willingness to help provide solutions to the new challenges that face us in our quest to provide a more cost-effective damage prevention program for Arkansas. What matters most is how you are treated as a customer. KorTerra has the best service and support of any company out there, they also just happen to have the best software too!”