Going paperless with Univerus Field Mobility

Posted on January 17, 2022

Whanganui District Council deploys highly configurable mobile app

Like many Councils around New Zealand, the Whanganui District Council (WDC) faces challenges around the Government's Three Waters Reform, aimed at improving water quality throughout the country. Being a Univerus Asset Management (AssetFinda) customer since 2017, the Univerus Field Mobile solution was initially deployed as the WDC's data correction solution for the upcoming reform, and could be used for other asset groups such as Parks and Reserves, Property, Whanganui Port, and Council owned vehicles.

The pressure of paper

The WDC had a number of asset inspections in the Three Waters Reform activities that were undertaken on a monthly schedule. These required paper records and maps to be produced for their contractors, including 40 Water Pressure Reducing Valve checks and numerous Water Hydrant inspections.

"What this meant was asset sheets had to be printed, and in many cases a location map as well, for a contractor to come into the office to collect," explains WDC's Asset Manager Supervisor Eric Sim. "We needed a mobility solution that would talk to Univerus Asset Management solution, that contractors could use for data collection, and have a mapping component so asset locations related to the Works Request could be seen."

As the Three Waters Reform drew closer, the decision was made at WDC to purchase Univerus Field Mobility and it was deployed in the latter half of 2021.


Univerus Field Mobile - fully automated and integrated

The new Univerus Field Mobile suite works fully in both on and offline modes. Version 7 provides a new level of functionality, such as:

  • The ability to individualise inspections
  • The ability to configure applications for specific business models
  • The ability to tailor the solution for individual requirements

Univerus customers can now capture what they want in the field, in the way they want. Univerus Field Mobility synchronises with multiple platforms across any organisation and provides better visibility of crew movements and simpler functionality. Its key features include:

  • The flexibility and scalability to build and capture important mobile data
  • Asset data capture and editing in the field
  • The ability to capture data across multiple systems
  • Full Android, iOS and Windows support

Less paper, less time, less errors

Since the mobile solution was implemented, Eric says that he and the team at WDC have noticed a number of significant business benefits. "Reductions," he says. "Reduction in creating individual asset records for a paper based system to record data, reduction in staff time in transferring data from these paper records into the database, and of course, reduction in how much paper we're using."

Eric goes on to note that they're experiencing greater accuracy with their records and data, due to less errors in data transference. "Having the asset data loaded directly against the asset and the ability to export the report data and filter to meet requirements has also been advantageous for activity managers," he explains. "Not having to transcribe the data from paper records has increased the accuracy of the data and lessened the chance of human error, as the data comes directly from contractors at the asset."

Increased automation has also been a key factor in streamlining asset management processes. "We have work request inspections being created automatically each month, which not only saves time, but it means contractors don't have to come into the office to collect data sheets," Eric explains. "Work Requests appear in the Mobility app on their device ready for them to action. This has increased the timeliness in which inspections are done. We now also have the ability to see which jobs are outstanding at any point in time via the Univerus Asset Management dashboard."

Highly configurable, unlimited potential

With the mobile solution now fully on board, Eric says the WDC is a lot further along their digital transformation journey. "Going digital has increased the speed of receiving data from out in the field, not having to wait for the contractor to come back into the office with their paper records," he says. "And besides being highly configurable, Univerus Field Mobility has unlimited potential for data checking and data collection for many asset groups, not just for the Three Waters Reform but for our other council departments too.

If you'd like to learn more about how the Univerus Field Mobility can help your organisation streamline processes and continue your digital transformation journey, we'd be delighted to start a discussion.