Digitizing Hydro One's field service

Digital and mobile field services


Client: Hydro One Limited
Industry: Energy, utilities and resources
Services: Technology
Country: Canada

 

Canada Ventures video

Hydro One transforms to serve better

Transforming Hydro One's work processes and digitizing field services to increase efficiency, reliability, safety and customer satisfaction.

 

Setting the scene

Hydro One is one of Canada’s largest electricity utilities with more than $25 billion in assets and 8,600 employees, distributing electricity to almost 1.4 million customers across Ontario. With approximately 123,000 circuit kilometres of primary low-voltage distribution and 30,000 circuit kilometres of high-voltage transmission networks, Hydro One has enough distribution lines to wrap around the Earth three times.

 

Client challenge

With a culture of safety, customer service, operational excellence and continuous improvement, Hydro One is working hard to achieve its vision of becoming a best-in-class, customer-centric commercial entity. For many years, the distribution field staff used a  paper-based process receive work orders and supporting documents in manual, paper format, which were completed in the field and sent back to a central administrative location for processing. The paper-based process was vulnerable to risk of data loss, input errors and, ultimately, missed opportunities to improve process efficiencies.

Seeking to continually improve its operations to benefit customers, employees and shareholders, Hydro One undertook, with the help of PwC, the challenge to transform its work processes and implement technologies that would digitize field activities to increase efficiency, reliability, safety and customer satisfaction.

 

Our approach 

PwC and Hydro One, in a program called “Move to Mobile”, implemented a business and technology solution based on SAP Work Manager and a new scheduling process and application.

The new solution was deployed on digital tablets that were rolled out to over 1,500 field workers across Ontario. By allowing field workers to receive and complete their work digitally, tools such as GPS-enabled maps, electronic work packages and schedule optimization allowed for tasks to be done with more accuracy and improved productivity.  

The solution integrated all phases of work and connected a variety of departments and business units to streamline information flows and improve accuracy. From work identification and planning to designing, scheduling and dispatching to final work completion, each aspect of the business had better visibility on field activities and related customer service. 

Throughout the transformation, we made sure end users were involved in the design of the solution. From workshops to field visits, the objective was to make sure every voice was heard and that field workers and all end users were at the heart of the design. Training was delivered across the Province to increase user adoption and solicit feedback for enhancements.

 

Engagement impact

By digitizing field work processes, Hydro One realized the following benefits:

  • More than $16 million in savings realized through improved field work and administrative efficiencies in the first fiscal year of the Move 2 Mobile program

  • Asset information captured in real time, providing management with an accurate view of the “as operated” state of the network

  • Improved reporting capability on completed and ongoing work

  • Enhanced security with electronic standards documentation and sign-off capabilities

  • Higher customer satisfaction through electronic data capture that improved time to first bill and reduced the impact of billing issues 

  • Increased productivity as a result of bundling work, a new scheduling model and intraday scheduling

  • Reduced environmental impact through shorter drive times and less use of paper, toner and energy

  • Enhanced quality assurance processes that can now rely on accurate, real-time information 

The success of the project helped Hydro One expand its digital transformation initiative to the forestry department’s vegetation management services. Hydro One has a dedicated in-house vegetation management team, which is an integral part of delivering high quality and reliable service across the Province. With up to half of power outages caused by trees, managing vegetation  is a vital component of providing Ontario with the reliable supply of electricity we all depend on.  

In 2017, the forestry department began to design and deploy a new preventative maintenance strategy called Optimal Cycle Protocol (OCP), a program requiring Hydro One to patrol its distribution and transmission network and address risk of damage and outages from vegetation every three years. This program demanded a more advanced approach to collecting, planning, tracking, executing and analyzing forestry work.

PwC and Hydro One worked together to adapt the Move 2 Mobile Solution for vegetation management, delivering the successes experienced by the distribution lines counterpart and meeting the new challenges and requirements that OCP presented. The new solution improved vegetation management’s collaboration with distribution lines and the overall integration with the Hydro One environment as it leveraged Hydro One’s core SAP, GIS and other corporate systems. 

In support of this project, and to enable the OCP program, Hydro One was able to roll out an additional 400 tablets to over 1,000 forestry technicians and crew members, which brought the total number of impacted employees to over 2,500.

Our approach 

PwC and Hydro One, in a program called “Move to Mobile”, implemented a business and technology solution based on SAP Work Manager and a new scheduling process and application.

The new solution was deployed on digital tablets that were rolled out to over 1,500 field workers across Ontario. By allowing field workers to receive and complete their work digitally, tools such as GPS-enabled maps, electronic work packages and schedule optimization allowed for tasks to be done with more accuracy and improved productivity.  

The solution integrated all phases of work and connected a variety of departments and business units to streamline information flows and improve accuracy. From work identification and planning to designing, scheduling and dispatching to final work completion, each aspect of the business had better visibility on field activities and related customer service. 

Throughout the transformation, we made sure end users were involved in the design of the solution. From workshops to field visits, the objective was to make sure every voice was heard and that field workers and all end users were at the heart of the design. Training was delivered across the Province to increase user adoption and solicit feedback for enhancements.

 

Engagement impact

By digitizing field work processes, Hydro One realized the following benefits:

  • More than $16 million in savings realized through improved field work and administrative efficiencies in the first fiscal year of the Move 2 Mobile program

  • Asset information captured in real time, providing management with an accurate view of the “as operated” state of the network

  • Improved reporting capability on completed and ongoing work

  • Enhanced security with electronic standards documentation and sign-off capabilities

  • Higher customer satisfaction through electronic data capture that improved time to first bill and reduced the impact of billing issues 

  • Increased productivity as a result of bundling work, a new scheduling model and intraday scheduling

  • Reduced environmental impact through shorter drive times and less use of paper, toner and energy

  • Enhanced quality assurance processes that can now rely on accurate, real-time information 

The success of the project helped Hydro One expand its digital transformation initiative to the forestry department’s vegetation management services. Hydro One has a dedicated in-house vegetation management team, which is an integral part of delivering high quality and reliable service across the Province. With up to half of power outages caused by trees, managing vegetation  is a vital component of providing Ontario with the reliable supply of electricity we all depend on.  

In 2017, the forestry department began to design and deploy a new preventative maintenance strategy called Optimal Cycle Protocol (OCP), a program requiring Hydro One to patrol its distribution and transmission network and address risk of damage and outages from vegetation every three years. This program demanded a more advanced approach to collecting, planning, tracking, executing and analyzing forestry work.

PwC and Hydro One worked together to adapt the Move 2 Mobile Solution for vegetation management, delivering the successes experienced by the distribution lines counterpart and meeting the new challenges and requirements that OCP presented. The new solution improved vegetation management’s collaboration with distribution lines and the overall integration with the Hydro One environment as it leveraged Hydro One’s core SAP, GIS and other corporate systems. 

In support of this project, and to enable the OCP program, Hydro One was able to roll out an additional 400 tablets to over 1,000 forestry technicians and crew members, which brought the total number of impacted employees to over 2,500.

Our approach 

PwC and Hydro One, in a program called “Move to Mobile”, implemented a business and technology solution based on SAP Work Manager and a new scheduling process and application.

The new solution was deployed on digital tablets that were rolled out to over 1,500 field workers across Ontario. By allowing field workers to receive and complete their work digitally, tools such as GPS-enabled maps, electronic work packages and schedule optimization allowed for tasks to be done with more accuracy and improved productivity.  

The solution integrated all phases of work and connected a variety of departments and business units to streamline information flows and improve accuracy. From work identification and planning to designing, scheduling and dispatching to final work completion, each aspect of the business had better visibility on field activities and related customer service. 

Throughout the transformation, we made sure end users were involved in the design of the solution. From workshops to field visits, the objective was to make sure every voice was heard and that field workers and all end users were at the heart of the design. Training was delivered across the Province to increase user adoption and solicit feedback for enhancements.

 

Engagement impact

By digitizing field work processes, Hydro One realized the following benefits:

  • More than $16 million in savings realized through improved field work and administrative efficiencies in the first fiscal year of the Move 2 Mobile program

  • Asset information captured in real time, providing management with an accurate view of the “as operated” state of the network

  • Improved reporting capability on completed and ongoing work

  • Enhanced security with electronic standards documentation and sign-off capabilities

  • Higher customer satisfaction through electronic data capture that improved time to first bill and reduced the impact of billing issues 

  • Increased productivity as a result of bundling work, a new scheduling model and intraday scheduling

  • Reduced environmental impact through shorter drive times and less use of paper, toner and energy

  • Enhanced quality assurance processes that can now rely on accurate, real-time information 

The success of the project helped Hydro One expand its digital transformation initiative to the forestry department’s vegetation management services. Hydro One has a dedicated in-house vegetation management team, which is an integral part of delivering high quality and reliable service across the Province. With up to half of power outages caused by trees, managing vegetation  is a vital component of providing Ontario with the reliable supply of electricity we all depend on.  

In 2017, the forestry department began to design and deploy a new preventative maintenance strategy called Optimal Cycle Protocol (OCP), a program requiring Hydro One to patrol its distribution and transmission network and address risk of damage and outages from vegetation every three years. This program demanded a more advanced approach to collecting, planning, tracking, executing and analyzing forestry work.

PwC and Hydro One worked together to adapt the Move 2 Mobile Solution for vegetation management, delivering the successes experienced by the distribution lines counterpart and meeting the new challenges and requirements that OCP presented. The new solution improved vegetation management’s collaboration with distribution lines and the overall integration with the Hydro One environment as it leveraged Hydro One’s core SAP, GIS and other corporate systems. 

In support of this project, and to enable the OCP program, Hydro One was able to roll out an additional 400 tablets to over 1,000 forestry technicians and crew members, which brought the total number of impacted employees to over 2,500.

Our approach 

PwC and Hydro One, in a program called “Move to Mobile”, implemented a business and technology solution based on SAP Work Manager and a new scheduling process and application.

The new solution was deployed on digital tablets that were rolled out to over 1,500 field workers across Ontario. By allowing field workers to receive and complete their work digitally, tools such as GPS-enabled maps, electronic work packages and schedule optimization allowed for tasks to be done with more accuracy and improved productivity.  

The solution integrated all phases of work and connected a variety of departments and business units to streamline information flows and improve accuracy. From work identification and planning to designing, scheduling and dispatching to final work completion, each aspect of the business had better visibility on field activities and related customer service. 

Throughout the transformation, we made sure end users were involved in the design of the solution. From workshops to field visits, the objective was to make sure every voice was heard and that field workers and all end users were at the heart of the design. Training was delivered across the Province to increase user adoption and solicit feedback for enhancements.

 

Engagement impact

By digitizing field work processes, Hydro One realized the following benefits:

  • More than $16 million in savings realized through improved field work and administrative efficiencies in the first fiscal year of the Move 2 Mobile program

  • Asset information captured in real time, providing management with an accurate view of the “as operated” state of the network

  • Improved reporting capability on completed and ongoing work

  • Enhanced security with electronic standards documentation and sign-off capabilities

  • Higher customer satisfaction through electronic data capture that improved time to first bill and reduced the impact of billing issues 

  • Increased productivity as a result of bundling work, a new scheduling model and intraday scheduling

  • Reduced environmental impact through shorter drive times and less use of paper, toner and energy

  • Enhanced quality assurance processes that can now rely on accurate, real-time information 

The success of the project helped Hydro One expand its digital transformation initiative to the forestry department’s vegetation management services. Hydro One has a dedicated in-house vegetation management team, which is an integral part of delivering high quality and reliable service across the Province. With up to half of power outages caused by trees, managing vegetation  is a vital component of providing Ontario with the reliable supply of electricity we all depend on.  

In 2017, the forestry department began to design and deploy a new preventative maintenance strategy called Optimal Cycle Protocol (OCP), a program requiring Hydro One to patrol its distribution and transmission network and address risk of damage and outages from vegetation every three years. This program demanded a more advanced approach to collecting, planning, tracking, executing and analyzing forestry work.

PwC and Hydro One worked together to adapt the Move 2 Mobile Solution for vegetation management, delivering the successes experienced by the distribution lines counterpart and meeting the new challenges and requirements that OCP presented. The new solution improved vegetation management’s collaboration with distribution lines and the overall integration with the Hydro One environment as it leveraged Hydro One’s core SAP, GIS and other corporate systems. 

In support of this project, and to enable the OCP program, Hydro One was able to roll out an additional 400 tablets to over 1,000 forestry technicians and crew members, which brought the total number of impacted employees to over 2,500.

Our approach 

PwC and Hydro One, in a program called “Move to Mobile”, implemented a business and technology solution based on SAP Work Manager and a new scheduling process and application.

The new solution was deployed on digital tablets that were rolled out to over 1,500 field workers across Ontario. By allowing field workers to receive and complete their work digitally, tools such as GPS-enabled maps, electronic work packages and schedule optimization allowed for tasks to be done with more accuracy and improved productivity.  

The solution integrated all phases of work and connected a variety of departments and business units to streamline information flows and improve accuracy. From work identification and planning to designing, scheduling and dispatching to final work completion, each aspect of the business had better visibility on field activities and related customer service. 

Throughout the transformation, we made sure end users were involved in the design of the solution. From workshops to field visits, the objective was to make sure every voice was heard and that field workers and all end users were at the heart of the design. Training was delivered across the Province to increase user adoption and solicit feedback for enhancements.

 

Engagement impact

By digitizing field work processes, Hydro One realized the following benefits:

  • More than $16 million in savings realized through improved field work and administrative efficiencies in the first fiscal year of the Move 2 Mobile program

  • Asset information captured in real time, providing management with an accurate view of the “as operated” state of the network

  • Improved reporting capability on completed and ongoing work

  • Enhanced security with electronic standards documentation and sign-off capabilities

  • Higher customer satisfaction through electronic data capture that improved time to first bill and reduced the impact of billing issues 

  • Increased productivity as a result of bundling work, a new scheduling model and intraday scheduling

  • Reduced environmental impact through shorter drive times and less use of paper, toner and energy

  • Enhanced quality assurance processes that can now rely on accurate, real-time information 

The success of the project helped Hydro One expand its digital transformation initiative to the forestry department’s vegetation management services. Hydro One has a dedicated in-house vegetation management team, which is an integral part of delivering high quality and reliable service across the Province. With up to half of power outages caused by trees, managing vegetation  is a vital component of providing Ontario with the reliable supply of electricity we all depend on.  

In 2017, the forestry department began to design and deploy a new preventative maintenance strategy called Optimal Cycle Protocol (OCP), a program requiring Hydro One to patrol its distribution and transmission network and address risk of damage and outages from vegetation every three years. This program demanded a more advanced approach to collecting, planning, tracking, executing and analyzing forestry work.

PwC and Hydro One worked together to adapt the Move 2 Mobile Solution for vegetation management, delivering the successes experienced by the distribution lines counterpart and meeting the new challenges and requirements that OCP presented. The new solution improved vegetation management’s collaboration with distribution lines and the overall integration with the Hydro One environment as it leveraged Hydro One’s core SAP, GIS and other corporate systems. 

In support of this project, and to enable the OCP program, Hydro One was able to roll out an additional 400 tablets to over 1,000 forestry technicians and crew members, which brought the total number of impacted employees to over 2,500.

Our approach 

PwC and Hydro One, in a program called “Move to Mobile”, implemented a business and technology solution based on SAP Work Manager and a new scheduling process and application.

The new solution was deployed on digital tablets that were rolled out to over 1,500 field workers across Ontario. By allowing field workers to receive and complete their work digitally, tools such as GPS-enabled maps, electronic work packages and schedule optimization allowed for tasks to be done with more accuracy and improved productivity.  

The solution integrated all phases of work and connected a variety of departments and business units to streamline information flows and improve accuracy. From work identification and planning to designing, scheduling and dispatching to final work completion, each aspect of the business had better visibility on field activities and related customer service. 

Throughout the transformation, we made sure end users were involved in the design of the solution. From workshops to field visits, the objective was to make sure every voice was heard and that field workers and all end users were at the heart of the design. Training was delivered across the Province to increase user adoption and solicit feedback for enhancements.

 

Engagement impact

By digitizing field work processes, Hydro One realized the following benefits:

  • More than $16 million in savings realized through improved field work and administrative efficiencies in the first fiscal year of the Move 2 Mobile program

  • Asset information captured in real time, providing management with an accurate view of the “as operated” state of the network

  • Improved reporting capability on completed and ongoing work

  • Enhanced security with electronic standards documentation and sign-off capabilities

  • Higher customer satisfaction through electronic data capture that improved time to first bill and reduced the impact of billing issues 

  • Increased productivity as a result of bundling work, a new scheduling model and intraday scheduling

  • Reduced environmental impact through shorter drive times and less use of paper, toner and energy

  • Enhanced quality assurance processes that can now rely on accurate, real-time information 

The success of the project helped Hydro One expand its digital transformation initiative to the forestry department’s vegetation management services. Hydro One has a dedicated in-house vegetation management team, which is an integral part of delivering high quality and reliable service across the Province. With up to half of power outages caused by trees, managing vegetation  is a vital component of providing Ontario with the reliable supply of electricity we all depend on.  

In 2017, the forestry department began to design and deploy a new preventative maintenance strategy called Optimal Cycle Protocol (OCP), a program requiring Hydro One to patrol its distribution and transmission network and address risk of damage and outages from vegetation every three years. This program demanded a more advanced approach to collecting, planning, tracking, executing and analyzing forestry work.

PwC and Hydro One worked together to adapt the Move 2 Mobile Solution for vegetation management, delivering the successes experienced by the distribution lines counterpart and meeting the new challenges and requirements that OCP presented. The new solution improved vegetation management’s collaboration with distribution lines and the overall integration with the Hydro One environment as it leveraged Hydro One’s core SAP, GIS and other corporate systems. 

In support of this project, and to enable the OCP program, Hydro One was able to roll out an additional 400 tablets to over 1,000 forestry technicians and crew members, which brought the total number of impacted employees to over 2,500.

Our approach 

PwC and Hydro One, in a program called “Move to Mobile”, implemented a business and technology solution based on SAP Work Manager and a new scheduling process and application.

The new solution was deployed on digital tablets that were rolled out to over 2,000 field workers across Ontario. By allowing field workers to receive and complete their work digitally, tools such as GPS-enabled maps, electronic work packages and schedule optimization allowed for tasks to be done with more accuracy and improved productivity.  

The solution integrated all phases of work and connected a variety of departments and business units to streamline information flows and improve accuracy. From work identification and planning to designing, scheduling and dispatching to final work completion, each aspect of the business had better visibility on field activities and related customer service. 

Throughout the transformation, we made sure end users were involved in the design of the solution. From workshops to field visits, the objective was to make sure every voice was heard and that field workers and all end users were at the heart of the design. Training was delivered across the Province to increase user adoption and solicit feedback for enhancements.

 

Business impact

By digitizing field work processes, Hydro One realized the following benefits:

  • More than $16 million in savings realized through improved field work and administrative efficiencies in the first fiscal year of the Move 2 Mobile program

  • Asset information captured in real time, providing management with an accurate view of the “as operated” state of the network

  • Improved reporting capability on completed and ongoing work

  • Enhanced security with electronic standards documentation and sign-off capabilities

  • Higher customer satisfaction through electronic data capture that improved time to first bill and reduced the impact of billing issues 

  • Increased productivity as a result of bundling work, a new scheduling model and intraday scheduling

  • Reduced environmental impact through shorter drive times and less use of paper, toner and energy

  • Enhanced quality assurance processes that can now rely on accurate, real-time information 

The success of the project helped Hydro One expand its digital transformation initiative to the forestry department’s vegetation management services. Hydro One has a dedicated in-house vegetation management team, which is an integral part of delivering high quality and reliable service across the Province. With up to half of power outages caused by trees, managing vegetation  is a vital component of providing Ontario with the reliable supply of electricity we all depend on.  

In 2017, the forestry department began to design and deploy a new preventative maintenance strategy called Optimal Cycle Protocol (OCP), a program requiring Hydro One to patrol its distribution and transmission network and address risk of damage and outages from vegetation every three years. This program demanded a more advanced approach to collecting, planning, tracking, executing and analyzing forestry work.

PwC and Hydro One worked together to adapt the Move 2 Mobile Solution for vegetation management, delivering the successes experienced by the distribution lines counterpart and meeting the new challenges and requirements that OCP presented. The new solution improved vegetation management’s collaboration with distribution lines and the overall integration with the Hydro One environment as it leveraged Hydro One’s core SAP, GIS and other corporate systems. 

In support of this project, and to enable the OCP program, Hydro One was able to roll out an additional 400 tablets to over 1,000 forestry technicians and crew members, which brought the total number of impacted employees to over 2,500.

Contact us

Helen Bremner

Helen Bremner

Partner, National Industry Leader, Power and Utilities, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 509 7404

Eric Clarke

Eric Clarke

Partner, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8801

Ken Goodwin

Ken Goodwin

Partner, National Valuations Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 814 5760

Brian Poth

Brian Poth

National Energy, Utilities, Mining and Industrial Manufacturing & Automotive Consulting Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8522

James McLean

James McLean

Partner, Operations, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 509 7530

James Strapp

James Strapp

Partner, Power & utilities, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 863 1133

Rebecca Chan

Rebecca Chan

Partner, Tax, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 365 8831

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Contact us

Brian Poth

Brian Poth

National Energy, Utilities, Mining and Industrial Manufacturing & Automotive Consulting Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8522

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