UK & IRE
Morrison Energy Services works with national energy networks to repair, renew, refurbish and maintain the country’s gas and electric infrastructure, with a key focus on decarbonisation to support the transition to a Net Zero Economy. With a workforce of over 1,200 people, operating 365 days a year in local communities, Morrison Energy Services works hard to keep the lights on, households warm and appliances running.
Morrison Energy Services carries out tens of thousands of Smart Metering home installation visits across the UK every year. In London alone, a team of 80 Smart Meter technicians install 80,000 Smart Meters on behalf of a big 6 utility provider each year.
For these technicians, negotiating London’s congested streets can be a real challenge, with busy roads to navigate and often limited on-street parking availability near customer properties.
Morrison Energy Services has partnered with AppyWay to trial the AppyWay app. Maps are available showing on- and off-street parking bays in the London area and was initially trialled by ten Morrison Energy Services smart meter field technicians over an eight-week period in order to assess its usability and benefits.
The results of this initial trial were positive. Users praised the app as easy to use and there was a marked reduction in the number of aborted customer appointments. Following this success, the trial was expanded to a broader user group of 26 technicians in order to establish an end-to-end process for finding available parking, as well as an auditable abortive visit process.
London’s streets are a roman built maze of twists and turns. Morrison Energy Services’ 80 Smart Meter technicians have to navigate these streets and compete with residents, taxis, and delivery vehicles for the limited on-street parking available to allow easy access to their customers’ properties.
A key overriding objective for Morrison Energy Services was to reduce the number of jobs being rescheduled due to parking-related issues. The last few hundred metres of a journey are often poorly served by existing navigation and job planning tools. Limited parking availability, along with unavailable or unreliable parking information for unfamiliar locations, can mean that technicians are circling the streets around a customer’s property multiple times to look for a parking space, wasting both time and fuel.
These challenges complicate logistics and can result in a poor experience for the customer or even abortive visits, potentially leading to additional planning costs and regulatory fines for any non-attendance.
Providing enhanced parking information to its Smart Metering field team in London could clearly play a pivotal role in delivering an enhanced customer experience – with technicians arriving on time and far fewer appointments having to be rescheduled.
The feedback from the AppyWay app trial was positive, with technicians reporting that the app increased their confidence in finding a suitable parking space. As such, parking came to be seen as a pre-planned activity rather than an end of journey inconvenience, reducing stress levels and significantly lessening the risk of aborted customer visits, parking fines and regulatory penalties.
|Date period||10 – 30 Sept 2019||10 – 30 Sept 2020|
|‘No-Parking’ Job Aborts||76||50|
|‘No-parking’ job aborts with parking options within a 5 min walk||40||13|
|Percentage of avoidable aborts||66%||33%|
For customers of the utility provider, needing to provide technicians with information on the nearest parking to their address and waiting for them to find a space is not part of an ideal installation experience. Even worse, re-scheduling appointments because the technician couldn’t safely park can be a significant inconvenience for customers. Throughout the Morrison’s Energy Services trial of the AppyWay mobile app, the utility provider’s customers could rest assured that their smart meter technician had full visibility of parking near their home and they were able to search for suitable parking before setting off.
The AppyWay app provides a digital blueprint of all parking-related ‘paint on the road’. Based on search criteria (location, start time, and duration), drivers can access a quick and simple view of parking availability. The app reduces dependency on street signage and provides a platform for well thought out, pre-planned parking by enabling Morrison Energy Services field technicians to view accurate and relevant contextual parking information covering all options including resident bay restricted hours, single yellow line restricted hours, and paid bay maximum stay limits.
This enhanced parking information ensured that journey times were reduced, resulting in less fuel usage, lower carbon emissions and greater field operation efficiencies.
Based on the phase one pilot, up to a third of job aborts could have been avoided using these methods, highlighting the value that driver aids can bring to field-based people and supporting the need to focus on a data-led strategy for reducing job aborts.
For the company’s smart metering technicians, this alleviates the need for rescheduled visits and improves coordination between field teams and back-office job schedulers, helping to reduce overall field costs. For customers, the reduced risk of late arrivals and rescheduled appointments results in a superior customer experience, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.
An expansion of the AppyWay Pro Parking App is scheduled to commence from 11th March 2021, when the first easing of the lockdown restriction comes into effect. This will commence with an expanded group of 26 technicians, some of who will be required to check for valid parking options prior to aborting a job for no-parking. This will help to establish the workflows for a further expansion and put more focus on reducing the no-parking job abort rate.