Consolidated Edison of NewYork enhances response to customers

Putting vital information in the field with IBM Enterprise Content Management software

Published on 15-Nov-2012

"With the IBM solution, the increased dataflow from remote job locations has virtually eliminated the costly delays that we previously encountered with the manual, paper-based system." - Franklin Alvarez, Section Manager, Construction Department, Con Edison

Customer:
Consolidated Edison of New York

Industry:
Energy & Utilities

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Enterprise Content Management

IBM Business Partner:
TriTek Solutions, Inc.

Overview

Con Edison of New York provides electric, gas and steam services to New York City and Westchester county. The company serves approximately three million electric customers and one million gas customers. It also provides steam services in parts of Manhattan.

Business need:
The Con Edison construction field inspectors spend approximately 90 percent of their time each week in the field managing multiple projects. They need information on the spot to minimize errors, paperwork and delays.

Solution:
Working jointly with the Con Edison project team and IBM Business Partner TriTek Solutions, IBM developed the Mobile Office for Construction Management solution based on core offerings from the IBM Enterprise Content Management product suite.

Benefits:
Improved communications flow has virtually eliminated costly delays for enhanced responsiveness to customers. The company also estimates a USD250,000 ROI from deploying the IBM software throughout the enterprise.

Case Study

Con Edison of New York provides electric, gas and steam services to New York City and Westchester county. The company serves approximately three million electric customers and one million gas customers. It also provides steam services in parts of Manhattan.

Accessing project information at remote sites

The Con Edison construction field inspectors spend approximately 90 percent of their time each week in the field managing multiple projects. They interact with numerous contractors, inspecting their work and documenting the progress on each of their projects. They are the go-to people when problems arise. Contractors look to them when they need answers.

A major part of the inspector’s responsibility is to oversee contractor work, which requires the documentation of every aspect of the job, including progress reports, travel and expense payments, environmental and safety infractions, and accidents. Previously, inspectors captured this information in the field on paper forms, which administrators later filed in a project book, or transcribed into an online data storage system. This method of capturing data was flawed by delays in data entry, damaged paper forms and errors during transcription.

In addition, productivity delays often occurred because inspectors in the field had no access to the applications and databases that they needed to keep work going, including email, contractor payments, layout tracking, embargos, emergency permits, corporate policies, operating procedures and engineering drawings.

Communicating wirelessly with corporate systems

Working jointly with the Con Edison IT department, various business units and IBM Business Partner TriTek Solutions, IBM developed the Mobile Office for Construction Management solution. The solution is built with core offerings from the IBM Enterprise Content Management (ECM) product suite including includes IBM FileNet® Content Manager and IBM Enterprise Records. In addition, the system also uses custom automated software implemented by TriTek Solutions, which manages communication with outside third parties, most notably the New York City Department of Transportation, to help coordinate the permitting process.

Each inspector now uses a rugged laptop computer capable of communicating wirelessly with the Con Edison corporate infrastructure. The data captured is used to populate other Con Edison legacy databases and leverages IBM FileNet Business Process Management software.

The solution electronically gathers project information and puts it into an electronic work folder or job jacket that provides all of the necessary documentation required for a given project. The folder includes permits, engineering drawings, procedures and compliance issues that might be needed to execute the work.

“The project status information is electronically filed and automatically merged to the electronic work folder,” said Franklin Alvarez, Section Manager, Construction Department, Con Edison. “With the IBM solution, the increased dataflow from remote job locations has virtually eliminated the costly delays that we previously encountered with the manual, paper-based system.”

Providing timely, reliable resolution of issues

IBM delivered the solution on time and on budget. And since the solution spans across the enterprise, Con Edison can leverage it across different business units. The solution provides tangible value to Con Edison and is expected to provide a return on investment (ROI) of approximately USD250,000. In more recent projects, Con Edison implemented IBM ECM software to accelerate response times between Con Edison and the City of New York. Previously, paper documents would arrive by mail and then get routed through the company’s manual interoffice mail system. Then these documents would remain in an employee’s inbox until the employee got around to addressing the issue. “We wanted to improve our responsiveness to the city,” says Denis Smalley, Department Manager, Construction Group. “So we used IBM ECM software to move workflow, and to route information to peoples’ desktops. Document workflow rules informed the employees how much time they had to respond, and reminded them if they didn’t. The result was that the city got more timely and more reliable resolution of their issues.”

Con Edison processes documents related to approximately USD1.2 billion worth of construction projects per year, so there are a lot of construction contracts that have to be retained. Con Edison did a proof-of-concept with IBM Enterprise Records to identify documents that needed to be retained. The company established an automated process for retaining required documents and disposing of unnecessary documents according to rules-based schedules. When the solution goes into production, the company will use electronic records management together with physical records management provided by Iron Mountain.

“Companies spend millions of dollars on discovery, going through documents trying to figure out what’s pertinent,” says Smalley. “IBM can help companies reduce that stress and cost, so we’re taking advantage of IBM’s strength in the records management space.”

For more information

To learn more about IBM ECM offerings, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/ecm

Products and services used

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and FileNet are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.