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How NDS Mobile Work Orders Helped One Utility Company Increase Efficiency

Jon Ziegra, Manager of Boothbay Region Water District (BRWD) in Boothbay, ME, had done a time and motion study revealing the inefficiencies associated with field data collection via their paper work order process. When Northern Data Systems (NDS) suggested deploying NDS Mobile Work Orders as a way to get rid of the paper, Ziegra was intrigued.

BRWD had been creating work orders in NDS’ EDIFICE Service Management, printing them and passing them out to the field workers. The field workers would return the completed paperwork, where office personnel would decipher handwriting and manually update EDIFICE. Now as work orders are generated by Service Management, they are pushed out to mobile devices for completion in the field. When the order is closed, all entered information such as meter readings, stock used, crew member time, description of work completed, etc. is transmitted to EDIFICE. BRWD also uses EDIFICE to schedule and distribute work. When the field worker clicks one of the statuses—Enroute, Onsite or Suspended—the office is notified of the change.

BRWD loaded their GIS maps on the mobile devices as well, allowing field technicians to view their route, get driving directions and even create new orders via the map. And, Ziegra’s young millennial field force took to the new technology and procedures in no time.

Ziegra is very pleased with the outcome. “It just makes record keeping and billing so much easier,” Ziegra said. “This has really become a massive data tool for us. The system helps locate meters, identify serial numbers, access inventory, view a location’s past work history and generate work orders.”

NDS’ flexible and feature-rich Mobile Work Orders can be set up to suit your organization’s requirements with different levels of automation. For example, work for meter change outs and backflow test results from the field can be set to automatically update EDIFICE. Plus, Closing wizards and forms can easily be created and/or customized for the individual utility.


An inefficient data collection method, which required entering information on paper in the field and re-entering in the office.


Implement NDS Mobile Work Orders where work orders are transmitted to the field tech, filled out electronically by the tech and when completed are transmitted to EDIFICE.


  • Improved data accuracy
  • Saved time and greatly improved efficiencies in the work flow
  • Reduced billing lag- time
  • Real-time inventory counts and improved management by collecting inventory used in the field
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