ELIN is a system integrator of electrical engineering applications, headquartered in Austria. It operates in a wide range of industries with customers spanning across transportation, telecommunications, production facilities, public infrastructure, and many more.
One of its key business areas is the Street and Effect Lighting segment. ELIN works as a utility contractor in this segment and is responsible for the maintenance of all streetlights in Linz, Austria. It also serves the highway lights of the whole of Austria and works with the municipalities of the country to convert traditional lights into LED lighting.
Here is a brief outline of their products and services in this segment:
- Street Lighting Systems - services include setting up and maintaining standard-compliant lights for roads and pedestrian crossings, decorative lighting for the town square, and digitalized lighting systems. The company also takes up contracts for energy data evaluation and advertisement lighting during renovations.
- Effect Lighting Systems - contracts include the deployment and maintenance of floodlighting, lighting for parking spaces, and so on.
- Facility Lighting Systems - ELIN services sports arenas, football fields, skating rinks, industrial facilities, poles, and pillars with its lighting systems.
- Others - The company handles contracts for Christmas lightings on the streets and other public places. Additionally, it has ongoing projects for designing LED markers for protective routes.
ELIN was faced with multiple challenges when trying to facilitate smooth maintenance services for their lighting services. These challenges were as below.
1 - Locating the Lights
When ELIN was contracted as a maintenance provider for streetlights, their customers often could not give an estimate of how many lights were involved. It was also impossible for them to provide ELIN with any kind of information about the precise location of the lights. This created a huge challenge for the company as manually locating the lights needing maintenance meant extra labour and unnecessary delays.
2 - Documentation of the Inspection
Although locating the lights was a big concern, even when they could do so, the inspection of those lights required extensive documentation for which they did not possess the right tools. Maintenance processes of assets within any public infrastructure must be well documented so that subsequent repair works are easier to handle. ELIN was missing this piece. Paper-based documentation proved to be a humongous task and resulted in errors in identifying the right inspection methods when continued maintenance had to be carried out.
Effects of the Challenges on the Business
When the task set forth is as vast as maintaining all the streetlights of a city, not having the optimum tools translates to losses in the business. ELIN's business was affected by these challenges in the following ways:
1 - Quotation Issues
The charges that a customer is likely to incur for the lighting maintenance services heavily depend on the number of lights. Hence, the initial discussion where ELIN was expected to provide a quote for their services itself would falter because the customer could not inform them about the absolute number of lights. Even if somehow ELIN managed to give a quote based on approximate numbers, the charges at the end of the contract might end up being very different from the quote. This would result in a lot of financial miscalculation for both the customer and ELIN.
2 - Disputes
Without the means to properly document the maintenance work carried out on the lights, the field workers of ELIN were often left with no proof of the work completed. Paper-based documentation would not suffice in terms of accurately locating the lights that were repaired. This would result in disputes around the actual work done versus the work that was scheduled to be done as per the contract. Moreover, to settle such disputes, technicians would often go ahead and inspect the same lights twice, resulting in more manual labour and repeated work.
Geolantis recognized the requirement of a seamless solution that could help ELIN overcome the challenges that affected their business to such an extent. The cloud-based Geolantis360 software was provided to ELIN, and positive changes were noticed outright. Here is how Geolantis360 continues to help ELIN in maintaining lighting systems.
The software provides immediate visualization on the map that allows the field workers to locate every light on the street and store their types and map locations for future reference. In this way, the engineers can determine not only the exact number of lights to be maintained but also their precise geographic locations.
Once the field technicians have gathered the locations of all the lights in the GIS using the Collector Module, the next step is to provide proper documentation of the job carried out on these lights. This is facilitated by the Inspector Module that is powered by digital workflows. All the technicians have to do is fill out predefined forms on their mobile devices and share this workflow securely over the cloud to other specialists, supervisors, engineers and/or customers.
The software also provides a timestamp and a photo feature that provides evidence on the work carried out in the case of every single light. These recordings can be used to adhere to the contract and avoid any disputes around the work that is completed.
With proper documentation and location recordings, ELIN is now able to provide distinct quotes to its customers while maintaining all contract obligations from the beginning to the end without incurring extra costs.