"With a field team spread across the country, traceability of personnel is a necessity, given the rapidly changing environment. There needs to be consistency and timeliness with how and when location is recorded. In order to achieve this, organizations need to commit to utilizing technology over traditional pen and paper to implement standardized methodologies for data collection."
Leveraging ArcGIS Mobile Apps and ArcGIS Dashboards for Remote Teams during COVID-19
TDS Telecom delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone service to nearly 1,000 rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across the US with more than 1.2 million connections.
To maintain the safety and health of the field sales team and its customers, TDS needed to track and visualize the field activities of 150 field representatives in near real time.
The solution integrates ArcGIS Collector to visualize and identify customers to visit, ArcGIS Survey123 to collect the information from sales calls, and ArcGIS Dashboards to display the data as it is collected in near real time.
In just three weeks, TDS designed, built, and deployed its Field Sales Customer Survey application using ArcGIS technology, saving time and money while greatly improving situational awareness and ensuring the health and safety of its field sales team.
TDS Telecom, a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, and employs nearly 2,900 people. It delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone service to nearly 1,000 rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across the US with more than 1.2 million connections. TDS Telecom delivers up to one gigabit of internet speed and offers internet protocol (IP) based television entertainment solutions along with traditional phone services. It also offers advanced VoIP business communication solutions, data networking, and hosted managed services.
As TDS Telecom sales staff resumed field operations after transitioning to inside sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company needed to ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers by digitally tracing field activities in real time. Each service location visit needed to be recorded with a time stamp and geolocation. The solution needed to be standardized, quick to deploy, and easy to use. Sales data needed to be collected remotely and be readily available for reporting, mapping, and analysis throughout the organization.
The TDS Telecom solution uses the ArcGIS Collector application to visualize and identify existing service locations to visit; the ArcGIS Survey123 mobile app for form-based data collection; and ArcGIS Dashboards to summarize, display, and communicate the collected field survey data. Data consistency and standardization are achieved using drop-down lists in ArcGIS Survey123, along with automatic recordation of time and geolocation. These technologies were combined into a custom application called Field Sales Customer Survey.
The TDS Telecom team implemented their solution in just three weeks, including IT security assessment, license procurement, concept design, and feedback/collaboration. The solution is used by over 150 field personnel, who needed only one hour of training with minimal supporting documentation. The mobile solution is much faster than the prior workflow, which consisted of recording sales information on paper and then hand-entering the data once back in the office. Additionally, the use of forms-based pick lists and automatic recording of geolocation enhances data accuracy.