Case management: do you need another system?

It happens that energy companies ask me if it's not enough with all the systems they already have: "It's hard enough as it is to get them to communicate with each other." Read the article in Swedish

They are right – at least in part. In addition to a CRM system, they have an Asset Management system and a Network Information System (NIS). The contractors have their systems, and so on. Getting the information flow between all these systems to work is not the easiest thing. It doesn't always work as it should, which affects case management and the customer.

Because what happens if the employees who must administer and carry out the work do not have the information they need when they need it?

Cases get stuck halfway through. The execution loses quality. Working time is wasted.

But can yet another system be the solution?

Different systems with different purposes

All energy companies have different IT support, but regardless of which systems are in place, they fulfil different purposes and are needed for the business to be conducted.

An important starting point is that the systems trigger different types of cases. Error rectification cases are, for example, driven by the CRM system by cases coming in from the end customer. Planned maintenance, on the other hand, such as checking or replacing objects in the electricity network within certain time intervals, is normally handled by a special system for asset management or maintenance systems where all objects are collected in a database and linked to a maintenance plan.

The network information system shows all facilities and other objects on a digital map, and can, for example, trigger surveying and planning matters in the case of an expansion. It can also initiate meter changes or reading services.

Some have installed Internet of Things (IoT) devices and started preventive maintenance, where sensors detect when an object prompts an action. With the new technology, service, connection, and reading can be automated, which saves a lot of resources.

Various field applications are excellent for specific purposes, such as updating facility records but do not, for example, handle emergency troubleshooting triggered by customer service.

So sure, all systems are important. The problem is that none of them can hold together the entire process for a case - and certainly not all case types - from order to follow-up. Each system is in a silo, partially disconnected from surrounding systems and tools.

The consequence is that users also easily end up in their silos, without the conditions they could have.

Put the case at the centre and thus the customer

If there are no processes followed by everyone working on a case, it can be difficult to live up to your customer's promise.

Many people put the customer at the centre - which is of course great - but my experience is that it is not enough. You must put the case at the centre to be able to keep your customer promise.

Putting the case at the centre means that all information related to a certain case, regardless of which and regardless of the system in which it was initiated, needs to be connected. Everyone involved must be able to follow the status of the case, report back and communicate with each other in real-time, in the systems they use daily.

Does that sound utopian? It doesn't have to be.

A system that unites the others

It has proven difficult to solve this even with existing systems. If you have a diverse collection of systems used by different teams and companies, they must be integrated so that all the information relating to a case can be linked together. Otherwise, you will never be able to take control of the entire case flow.

This can be arranged with a system specialized in case management. A central system that connects others and acts as a hub in the flow of information.

When you put the case at the centre, the focus is on improving the entire case process regardless of which systems support it, and which teams are involved.

This assumes three things:

• Integration of the systems that ensure the exchange of information between digital systems and tools

• Several standard processes linked to different case types, such as troubleshooting, service and installation, which control the work through business rules and digital forms

• Joint scheduling and resource planning for different teams, including subcontractors

A strong success factor is that the standard processes in the case management system are easy to adapt to a developing business. It requires a scalable system with open interfaces, something everyone talks about but doesn't always have.

And hopefully, I have also answered the question in the title.

More articles in the series

Resource optimization a response to the growing demand for energy

The organization's participation is crucial when Öresundskraft streamlines its case management

This is how you make case management with subcontractors more efficient

Öresundskraft transforms operations with isMobile's case management system

Case management: do you need another system? (This article)

Foresight: Electricity companies face complex challenges

Do you want to know more about how you can put the case at the centre?

Get in touch!

Martin Davidson, COO

+46 (0)70-240 52 05