Case Studies

IMPROVING HOME SAFETY THROUGH BEST-IN-CLASS MOBILE GAS TECHNICIAN TOOLS

APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

THE CHALLENGE

Our client, a natural gas supplier, wanted a better way to keep technicians up-to-date with new practices and procedures while decreasing the costs of printing and distributing manuals. In their work in the field, gas technicians relied on paper manuals and handheld calculators to service meters and appliances in compliance with safety, industry, and company standards. Paper manuals made timely updates difficult, and the company could not monitor their use. The client tasked us with translating the manual into a mobile application.

THE SOLUTION

To gain a better understanding of how technicians used manuals in the field and to identify specific challenges, researchers interviewed and observed technicians at work. The existing manual contained many tables that were confusing to new technicians and difficult to fit on a phone screen. Our innovative solution was to transform these tables into six calculators. These calculators pulled in information based on the technician’s GPS location, such as elevation, specific gravity, and BTU/cubic foot. This solution guides technicians through all the steps of the most complex and laborious calculation tasks, greatly improving the accuracy, speed and adherence to the key practices.

OUTCOME

The new tool was successfully adopted by the natural gas field technicians across a 3-state region, and quickly received regular daily use. The calculators and search functionality have greatly improved technicians' productivity, reduced calculation mistakes, and shortened training time by several months.