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Friday, 13 December

Clarity - Getting Buy-in with a Little Help from Friends

With the development of information technology, the potential exists to manage paperwork electronically, freeing up time and space and lifting the burden on an organisation and its people.

PTSG’s software development friends have worked closely with the company’s operational teams to create a 'non-manual' paper-free administrative system - called Clarity.

The system is made up of four key components: ClarityOFFICE, ClaritySALES, ClarityWORK and ClarityPORTAL.

ClarityOFFICE and ClaritySALES are the back-end administrative systems that provide group-wide resource planning and customer relationship management functionality. ClarityWORK is a mobile workforce system that provides PTSG’s engineers with the things they need to do their job safely and efficiently, including satellite navigation, real-time engineer location tracking and a job recording and submission facility.

Last but not least, ClarityPORTAL is a secure and easily accessible platform for clients to log requests and view real-time information on their jobs and accounts. This aspect of Clarity is designed to keep everyone involved in the job, whether at PTSG’s offices or the client’s, fully informed and enables PTSG to respond efficiently to any requests.

 

Automation

Clarity is intuitive. From the time a purchase order is generated to when the job is completed and invoiced, all processes and ‘paperwork’ (which is actually electronic) are automatic. The system responds immediately to project developments e.g. when an engineer finishes a job, that information will appear on the business intelligence dashboard and any required documents (worksheets, certificates, remedial quotes and invoices) will be raised instantly.

 

Real-time

The ClarityWORK app uses sat-nav technology to track the engineer in real-time during their designated working hours. This goes way beyond communicating the location of an engineer – it also relays the current road conditions, calculating an accurate estimated time of arrival for both office and client. This enables work to be scheduled more effectively and contingency arrangements to be made if any problems arise with a journey.

 

Mobile and web-based

The nature of PTSG’s multi-disciplinary work means that engineers work remotely, in all kinds of locations – thousands of feet in the air or underground. To accommodate this, the ClarityWORK app is designed to run on a mobile device and operate fully even when the engineer has no data signal – it simply synchronises automatically when the signal is available again.

The cloud-based nature of Clarity enables PTSG’s people and the company’s customers to securely access the information they need, whenever and wherever it’s required. Furthermore, as a responsive web-based system, Clarity isn’t reliant on any particular operating system or specific desktop hardware and can be accessed on any device – phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computing system.

 

Job recording and submission

Engineers can use ClarityWORK to record their current status in relation to their schedule, detailing which job they are currently travelling to, time of arrival on site and when the job is completed. Whilst on-site, Clarity’s task system allows the engineer to undertake and document the required service delivery. This information is relayed back to the office, together with time and location stamps. Clarity’s automated workflow generates and issues any required worksheets and certificates.

 

Document retrieval

Anyone in PTSG can search for, upload and retrieve documents in a recognisable format such as Microsoft Word, Excel or PDF format. Documents which are generated by the system, such as quotations, worksheets, certificates and invoices are automatically uploaded into the document library. If direct access to a document is provided to a customer through the customer portal, it will be clearly indicated.

 

Scalability

A large and integral part of Clarity is the processing of data. In the scheme of PTSG’s operations, huge amounts of data are generated every day and it is essential to manage this. Clarity enables users to track, view and assess all developments in any given project.

Clarity has been designed to meet the business’ increasing demands. In tests during the system’s development, Clarity performed equally as well – with no errors or problems - in projects with millions of transactions as it did with smaller test cases.

 

Safety

Clarity looks after the safety of workers via a formal framework of checking and verifying the status of lone workers, to ensure the safety of any staff entering a location alone. It also ensures online safety, via a secure portal.

 

Implementation

Clarity was in development for around six months before it was first trialled and then a further 12 months of refining and improving took place up until the present day. It is now being implemented throughout the entire company, encompassing its +450 employees across 16 office locations nationwide.

Picture: Software specialists at Premier Technical Services Group have introduced hand-held technology for the company’s +450 employees

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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