Utilities Industry Gets Rugged

The UK utilities industry is increasingly turning to Panasonic rugged Toughbook notebooks and Toughpad tablets to boost productivity for its field workers and improve customer service.

Yorkshire Water is currently rolling-out Panasonic Toughbook CF-C2 notebooks for its customer-facing mobile workers such as meter readers. This semi-rugged device is ideal for displaying information to customers in a PC or tablet format.

Employees such as Yorkshire Water’s Meica Engineers who commission new sites and maintain systems, use the semi-rugged Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 notebooks. These engineers require a larger, 14 inch HD screen to view detailed system drawings and the ability to connect the notebook to legacy systems for system monitoring and diagnostics.

Yorkshire Water’s field technicians, including clean water and waste water technicians, as well as its works contractors use the fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 notebooks. These devices are designed to deal with the harshest weather conditions in the field. They travel with the staff and are used to receive and record real-time job information, identify work locations and assets using the GIS capabilities and provide access to the mobile office wherever they are required.

With more than 1,500 Panasonic devices deployed to its mobile workforce, Yorkshire Water uses the Panasonic Toughbook notebooks to improve the efficiency of its teams whether in the hands of its customer-facing staff, field engineers and technicians or contractors.

“When we first started to use Panasonic mobile technology, almost 15 years ago, we deployed one type of rugged device but because of the changes in our business and advances in mobile technology that approach has changed significantly over time,” explained Darren Metcalfe, Client Services Engineering Team Leader at Yorkshire Water. “Today, we let the requirements of the different field staff help define the type of Panasonic Toughbook notebooks we deploy.”

Darren continued, “Whatever the job and device they use, the Panasonic Toughbook notebooks are the most essential piece of kit for our mobile workers. They are their lifeline to the organisation.”

Paul Davidson, Corporate Sales Manager for Utilities at Panasonic Toughbook, said: “The UK utilities industry has undergone a period of massive change over the past decade. These changes have placed new demands on the industry to be ever more effective and customer service orientated. The utilities industry understands that providing mobile workers with the right specialist computing tools, tailored to their needs, delivers huge improvements in productivity and a more effective workforce. Yorkshire Water and UK Power Networks are two leading examples of this progress.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine