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Company Overview: Power Grid Engineering
Power Grid Engineering (PGE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualus Power Services, is an electrical engineering company that consists of highly-skilled power engineers, NETA-certified field technicians, and Protection & Control technicians. Founded in 2007, the company is headquartered in Orlando FL, with offices across five states. An award-winning power systems design firm, PGE has worked with various utilities companies from small industrial entities to Fortune 250 investor-owned utility companies.
Regaining control over equipment with EZOfficeInventory
As an equipment intensive engineering firm, PGE manages more than 1700 machines out in the field. Jorge Rincon, the Field Services Equipment Coordinator at PGE, discussed the challenges of managing a large inventory across multiple locations.
Before EZOfficeInventory, Jorge was using Excel spreadsheets. However, as equipment was moved across multiple custodians in the field, it was extremely challenging to keep track of who was working with what equipment.
Since there was no trail of checkouts, it was practically impossible to trace down missing equipment until it was scheduled for calibration. This not only led to disrupted workflows but also undocumented loss of items over time.
As challenges mounted, Jorge realized it was time for an upgrade.
PGE transitioned to EZOfficeInventory as part of an all-systems upgrade for every Qualus subsidiary. The onboarding process started in July 2020 and after thorough testing and understanding of the system, PGE made the full transition in September 2021.
PGE now uses EZOfficeInventory to track their inventory of over 1700 items that include equipment such as trailers, relay test equipment and specialized meters.
QR labeling and quick scans for seamless field operations
With a lot of work done in the field, PGE technicians frequently pass equipment from one user to another. After the switch to EZOfficeInventory, Jorge was able to tag all equipment and tools with a QR label. Individual labelling made it easy for supervisors and admins to record all asset movements in the system with a traceable checkout line. The mobile app has been especially useful for recording equipment transfers across team members in the field.
Jorge explains that PGE hires new field technicians every two weeks. Using an excel spreadsheet to assign tools to a revolving door of workers was tedious and there was no real accountability. The transition to EZOfficeInventory automated the process, saving them time and reducing errors.
“It is a lot easier having to scan everything that goes out to new hires versus adding every serial number manually into the system," says Jorge.
Streamlined access control with Custom Roles
PGE is operating across six locations where they need to manage multiple teams and their assigned equipment/machines. In order to manage access and control, PGE set up custom roles and teams within EZOfficeInventory.
These roles are set up according to the office location and mirror the organizational hierarchy. For instance, teams have been defined for the South East, Mid South, North East and Mid North regions. Each team has a specific supervisor who has access to all equipment and machines assigned to workers in that area.
By setting up teams and custom roles relevant to the specific requirements of a location, supervisors can track equipment movement within their areas and not get bogged down by unnecessary alerts.
API integration for seamless HR updates
Due to the nature of their work, PGE has frequent changes in staff roles. For this reason, it is important to maintain updated roles as assigned by the HR department. As every role-based detail is updated in the company’s internal HR system, the API integration in EZOfficeInventory helps migrate all corresponding changes into the equipment tracking app as well.
Jorge lists the API integration as a big benefit as they use it extensively to record HR related information across the apps. It has been extremely useful in helping them manage a quickly evolving team.
"Whenever we onboard a new employee, they are automatically pulled into EZOfficeInventory,” explains Jorge. "And with all the teams and roles we have, everytime they switch positions, the API tells EZOfficeInventory to put people in the right teams."
Smooth onboarding with Item Bundles and Packages
PGE has a lot of new field technicians getting hired on a weekly basis. In order to assign the right equipment to every employee, Jorge has put together item bundles in EZOfficeInventory.
“We have relay technicians and wiremen who need different sets of equipment when they are onboarding. I group together asset stock and inventories for each position when they start. That really speeds up the checking out process.”
For large equipment that requires multiple shipping cases, they use the package's functionality. The piece of equipment and its accessories are packed into separate containers, but can be checked out and tracked together within the system.
Improved visibility and equipment utilization with EZOfficeInventory
EZOfficeInventory has helped PGE refine their operations by providing valuable insights into equipment tracking. Jorge has set up multiple custom fields to record specific information related to the machines. These fields mainly include purchase order dates, maintenance dates, and old PGE equipment serial numbers.
Having instant access to customized equipment data has enabled the company to make informed decisions when dealing with manufacturers about depreciation and maintenance issues.
The support team at EZOfficeInventory has helped PGE work with the features that suit the workflows of the company.
“The support team is always there to address any issues we have faced while setting up the app for the company. The team has been very responsive at getting the bugs fixed on time,” says Jorge.
Moving forward Jorge looks forward to trying out the JIRA Integration that will help speed up issue resolution for heavy equipment and tools.
“I think EZO has really tried to work with us, even to the point of creating new features to accommodate what we needed to do. It has helped us develop the way we wanted to. All in all it's a stellar service,” Jorge concludes.
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