New platform claims to 'revolutionise safety and productivity' of field workers

A new digital platform has been launched to help empower utilities field teams and managers to make data-driven decisions in real-time, leading to greater safety, productivity and quality assurance.

FYLD was built "by field workers for field workers" in collaboration with anchor customer and shareholder SGN, the UK-based natural and green gas distributor.

The desktop and mobile platform gives greater spans of control through workload prioritisation, smart alerts about job progression and real-time site data. This helps managers make informed decisions on which sites their teams should be directed to next, removing the need to travel from job to job. It also offers a clearer picture of site conditions so managers can promptly resolve any issues or blockers.

FYLD takes video and audio evidence captured by field workers and automatically converts it into risk assessments and analytics dashboards. This also eliminates the need for paperwork and ensures no reports are completed from memory or using workaround solutions - which is often a key safety risk for utilities and other built environment companies.

Koru, the venture incubator launched in 2019 by BCG Digital Ventures, the corporate innovation and digital business building arm of Boston Consulting Group, and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan also partnered in the creation of FYLD.

The platform was created as part of a transformation project for SGN and should increase workforce productivity by up to 20 per cent, while also improving safety, compliance, asset auditability and customer relationship management.

John Morea, chief executive of SGN, said: "The benefits of FYLD have been proven by unparalleled levels of adoption and use when we have rolled it out to our employees - it also provides us with an unexpected solution to the issues presented by COVID-19 restrictions."

FYLD's remote capabilities have enabled SGN to operate safely and efficiently during the pandemic, with all initial product training completed virtually. It is also helping field teams and managers adhere to new regulations coming into force on sites as a result of the virus, while also ensuring that normal operating safety requirements remain front of mind in a very challenging environment.

Beyond utilities, FYLD is currently being trialled on body cams and voice-activated head cams so emergency services and security companies can collect data without having to use their hands. A statement suggested that the platform also has the potential to transform other organisations with large field forces, such as those in telecommunications or construction.

FYLD chief executive Shelley Copsey said: "Utilities worldwide are under pressure from regulators and customers, but current paper-based ways of working - and the basic digitisation of workflows that has taken place - are preventing them from delivering.
"Research by BCG Digital Ventures and SGN has led to a fundamental redesign of how field operations should be delivered, and how the data that underlies those operations can be captured and harnessed to drive productivity and safety."

Steve Garrood, chief commercial officer for FYLD, added: "With significant investments being made in digital transformation every year, many companies report lacklustre results as the technology doesn't serve the client's needs fully.

"FYLD was designed and built in collaboration with SGN for its workforce and management to enable data-driven decisions and help improve site safety and efficiency, delivering against its brief even through the COVID-19 backdrop."

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