"When COVID-19 hit, resulting in quarantines and remote work for some of our colleagues, we faced a challenge greater than ever to track workforce availability. Esri answered the call with its innovative ArcGIS Survey123 software tool. The ArcGIS Survey123 easy-to-use dashboard aided us in making workforce decisions and maintaining continuity of operations. Having Esri's flexible, single-source tool at hand helped SoCalGas navigate an unprecedented business challenge."
Monitoring Workforce Availability during a Pandemic
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) distributes natural gas to about six million customers. Gas utilities through the years have evolved processes that allow them to confidently assess the number of employees who report for duty on any given day. Key to these processes has been the predictable pattern of a large workforce assembling at a select number of locations.
Efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 resulted in a large portion of the workforce working remotely for the first time. This presented SoCalGas with a variety of new needs to track workforce availability. Having already implemented ArcGIS as its enterprise geographic information system (GIS), SoCalGas was able to quickly expand on Esri's COVID-19 absentee reporting survey and dashboard solution. The resultant COVID-19 workforce availability solution proved its worth daily as the pandemic persisted.
Industry—Electric & Gas
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) is a natural gas distribution utility headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented the utility with a variety of new needs to track workforce availability.
Having already implemented ArcGIS as its enterprise GIS, SoCalGas was able to quickly expand on Esri's COVID-19 absentee reporting survey and dashboard solution to meet the tracking needs of both its field and office employees.
The new staff availability reporting process proved to be effective for field crews, supervisors, and managers responsible for making operational decisions and maintaining business continuity.
With many employees working remotely rather than reporting to an office environment or operating base, the COVID-19 pandemic presented SoCalGas with a need to better track its workforce to assist with operational decisions and maintain continuity of operations.
Esri's workforce availability solution utilizes ArcGIS Survey123 to deploy individual check-in surveys to collect updates on workforce capacity. This enables employees to self-report daily, including when any changes to work conditions occur throughout the day. Once submitted, these surveys are automatically captured through ArcGIS Online to streamline reporting to key stakeholders through dashboards and other reporting capabilities. With the flexibility of ArcGIS Survey 123, SoCalGas was able to expand on Esri's COVID-19 absentee reporting survey and dashboard solution to fit its specific needs. While this dashboard did not replace any current timesheet reporting, it did provide a near real-time look into the workforce availability during the pandemic. Field and office employees needed to be tracked differently. There was a Base Location Status Dashboard that tracked field employees by the team they work for and the location they report to. Office employees were tracked through an Incident Command System (ICS) dashboard, a three-tiered structure that sends reports to an individual's supervisor (e.g., VP->Director/Manager-> Department Manager). Furthermore, SoCalGas created custom services and reports that tracked who submitted and who missed a daily check-in.
Lastly, a script was developed to link the two dashboards. Once all facility locations in the field reported for a specific team, a script automatically created a record in the ICS dashboard for the corresponding field office manager and aggregated all of that team's check-ins.
The new workforce availability reporting process proved to be effective for field crews, supervisors, and managers responsible for making operational decisions and maintaining business continuity.
Scott Kysar, Storage Facilities Systems and Compliance manager "found ArcGIS Survey123 to increase safety in a modern way," proving "very helpful in trending COVID-19 absences in real time." He added, "Reviewing these COVID-19 absence trends with our staff heightens the awareness that adhering to our SoCalGas COVID-19 safety protocols lowers the number of employees and their families quarantining or isolating due to COVID-19." Jose Magna, Construction Hub manager, says, "ArcGIS Survey123 has been great in allowing me to track my team/workforce to ensure I have the necessary employees to complete all of our tasks in a safe and timely manner." Norm Schickling, director, Customer Services, noted, "Based on the reduction of available workforce (as indicated in the ArcGIS Survey123 data) and the overall increase in COVID cases in the State of California (increase employee risk), we opted to temporarily suspend some of our non-health- and safety-related orders." When things improved; suspended orders were reinstated. Jose Gonzales, Damage Prevention analyst, commented, "Using ArcGIS Survey123 in the field as a damage prevention analyst is an efficient and effective resource that allows me to capture my daily activities and interactions with excavators. ArcGIS Survey123 is extremely user-friendly and facilitates the documentation of various activities such as on-site visits, dig-in damage investigations, locator marking evaluations, and educational/outreach meetings."
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