Where the utility hits the road: mobile workforce optimization

Kate Rowland | Nov 17, 2009

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Back in September, I had the opportunity to meet with Thomas Ligocki, the president and CEO of Clevest Solutions Inc. This small, Richmond, British Columbia-based company is poised for growth. And I’m not the only one saying it: Each year, Rocket Builders ranks companies according to their potential for revenue growth and expansion. This year, Ready to Rocket named Clevest Solutions and “Emerging Rocket” in its wireless category. And in September, the same month we met, the company was named by Business in Vancouver magazine as the fastest growing private company on its annual “Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in B.C.” list. 

The soft-spoken Ligocki spoke with me amidst the noise of an industry conference trade show floor, explaining his company’s focus and its growth. Clevest’s aim, he explained, is to provide software solutions that optimize the efficiency of the mobile workforces of electric, gas and water utilities. In the six months prior to our interview, the company had signed up 15 new utilities, mostly based in the U.S., bringing their total at that point to just over 30 utilities in total.

Last week, the company made an announcement that will boost that total dramatically: the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) selected Clevest's mobile field force application for its more than 1,400 members. 

Ligocki sees a natural tie in between an optimized and efficient mobile workforce and the ability to deploy more meters, more quickly, while eliminating all kinds of logistical deployment issues at the same time. He and his partners have designed their company’s software to manage both the risks and challenges of deploying and maintaining both the meters and network nodes throughout the utility’s grid, leveraging the power of the utility’s incumbent systems – CIS, OMS, GIS, MMS or WOMS – by serving as a single mobile extension for all of them. To put it simply, when there’s a post-deployment issue, it’s a matter of having your solution be able to “dispatch the work order to the right technician at the right place with the right tools,” in Ligocki’s words. “When you look at the smart grid…the smart grid is still the future, but the future is very exciting,” he told me.

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