Centralized Communication Tool Improves Efficiency and Increases Customer Satisfaction
Lehigh County Authority (LCA), a public water and wastewater utility, was in need of a better solution to keep their more than 55,000 customers informed and safe. GeoDecisions Notify utilizes Esri’s ArcGIS technology and integrated easily with LCA, which was already using Esri’s Portal for ArcGIS. Notify has grown to become LCA’s primary organizational tool for both internal and external communication.
Lehigh County Authority is a public water and wastewater utility in Pennsylvania.
LCA struggled with getting accurate notifications out in a timely manner using an outdated system with no GIS functionality.
GeoDecisions is an Esri Release Ready Platinum Partner specializing in geospatial information systems, cloud technology, and analytics.
Implemented GeoDecisions’ Notify system, integrated with Esri’s ArcGIS, allowing high-speed, mass notification.
Live field updates, direct integration with other applications, and accurate, high-speed communication, improving internal and external communication.
LCA was using a system called Rapid Response that had no geospatial component. They spent too much time trying to extract information from the billing system to complete campaigns. LCA is responsible for 660 miles of water main and 405 miles of sewer main servicing more than 55,000 customers. If there was an emergency in the northernmost end, staff would have to drive back to the office, define the area, manually extract phone numbers, and then launch the campaign to communicate with the affected customers.
Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, GeoDecisions is an Esri platinum partner that builds location-based enterprise technology solutions that push GIS boundaries and help organizations make better business decisions.
Based on LCA’s needs and GeoDecisions’ Notify capabilities, the team chose to implement Notify, an advanced, high-speed alert notification system to replace Rapid Response. Notify is designed to deliver location-based voice, text, and email messages within minutes to public and private entities.
One of the major selling points for LCA was that Notify utilizes Esri’s® ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS platforms, providing intuitive, comprehensive mapping and analytics capabilities. Integration with Esri’s system architecture gives LCA the ability to seamlessly integrate countless Esri maps and applications with Notify, providing them with a solution that can grow with the organization.
Because of the power of Notify and integration with ArcGIS, LCA uses Notify as their primary customer and employee communications platform for the entire organization. This web-based solution leverages existing customer, employee, and GIS mapping information to distribute critical information quickly and securely during an emergency.
LCA estimates that Notify eliminated almost 800 hours of wasted time annually, from miscommunication with the customer care team to lag time from field to office. Now all information is centralized in Notify, and updates can be made live in the field. Using GIS and Notify, an estimated $100,000 is saved per year; this includes driving, communication, time, referencing GIS, etc. The entire workflow has been improved!
They have also been able to integrate other systems easily into Notify, such as Cityworks. Feature services are extracted from Cityworks and added into Notify maps to keep the customer care team up to date on scheduled preventive maintenance, such as flushing, which can generate a lot of calls.
Overall, communication has improved significantly with Notify as the central communication tool. In addition to the Cityworks example and field staff direct updates, LCA also includes scheduled capital projects such as main and valve replacement projects in Notify. They can draw project polygons, and add in the date of work, when to notify customers, and other important information for the customer care team.
Notify reduces the number of customer questions and complaints related to water service interruptions. Additionally, notification of outstanding account balances can help reduce the need to turn off customer water service due to non-payment.
Notify is a real gamechanger for the Lehigh County Authority. By leveraging our existing Portal for ArcGIS platform, Notify has provided a common operating platform shared by both management and field staff across multiple devices.