Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Tuesday 16th June 2009

Utility service provider communicates with external contractors & direct labour using autonomous web-based SMS solution provided by Text Messaging Centre.

Morrison Utility Services, a leading service provider within the electricity, gas, telecommunications and water sectors, has selected an autonomous web-based text messaging solution from Text Messaging Centre (TMC) to communicate with 175 of its field-based engineers for one of its contracts operating across the Yorkshire and Humberside region. This system enables immediate communication with multiple contractors and engineers working out in the field. Using the TMC web interface, text messages are sent and received quickly and easily between engineering teams and administrators enabling a full audit trail and complete compliance.

For legal compliance and auditability, each Morrison Utility Services engineering team is required to inform the contract office as each stage of any project is started and completed. Wayne Shirt, Regional Systems and Business Process Manager at Morrison Utility Services comments, “Using the TMC SMS solution, teams are able to easily meet legislative requirements by informing the contract office by short text when they arrive on site or complete a project task. Each text message is managed highly effectively through the internet application. Whenever an SMS message is received, the TMC system sends back an automated response which contains a unique reference number. This confirms to the engineer that their text has been received and provides us with a fully compliant audit trail.”

Throughout the UK and Ireland, Morrison Utility Services is responsible for the provision, replacement, repair and maintenance of utility network infrastructures such as water and gas pipes, electric cables, telecommunication lines and mobile phone masts, along with other essential utilities such as telephone boxes and electric substations.

Before switching to TMC, Morrison Utility Services relied upon engineering teams telephoning the contract office to confirm each job status in order for the organisation to comply legally. This system frequently failed due to the reluctance of team members to stop work to make a phone call. Shirt explains, “Using SMS communication has dramatically increased the speed with which our engineers contact the contract office. Team members were previously reluctant to answer their mobile phones if they were in the middle of a job. However, with the SMS system they quickly send a text when they arrive on site and are then free to carry on with their projects with few interruptions.”

There has also been a significant reduction in business costs since Morrison Utility Services’ administrators began communicating with engineering teams via TMC texts. Shirt says, “We used to employ a team of six people to constantly call the teams out in the field, chase them for updates on jobs and give them details of their next tasks. But the new automated system is so simple to use that we now only need one person to manage the texts as they come in via the internet. We have also seen an 80% reduction in the amount of Section 74 fines being imposed on our teams. These fines are payable when engineers forget to communicate key information to head office at specific points of any project. Using TMC, they simply don’t forget! TMC is perfect for us – it’s very cost effective and we get great customer service around a system that is fully customizable to our needs.”

Peter Tanner, Managing Director of TMC comments, “We are delighted that the TMC system has worked so successfully for Morrison Utility Services. This is a perfect example of how text messaging is a viable and useful communication tool for all businesses that need to contact staff across multiple locations.”

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