Executive Summary

City of Monroe, NC - Energy Services

AtlasOMS Implementation

Existing systems had big issues.

Every city had some kind of system to organize and prioritize work assignments and keep track of assets. The problem was, many of those systems were a hodgepodge of spreadsheets, Word docs, phone calls, and crossed fingers.

Why not make something that isn’t a giant headache?

The Energy Service Department put that question to their team at Thinking Hats. Of course there were already many applications in the category. Some could perform miracles—for those who had a couple of PhDs, millions of dollars, and several years to figure the whole thing out. (After that—smooth sailing!)

Monroe, NC, asked if maybe they could have something better?

To Rob Miller and Emily Belk of Monroe’s Energy Services Department, the massive applications looked like a massive pain. (Also, ugly.) Thinking Hats thought the same.

Years of development. Then—a home run.

When Thinking Hats unveiled its beta version of AtlasOMS, it was clear they had nailed it. Everything about the software answered an urgent need—and yet, the program was trim and efficient. No unnecessary, obscure functions. Just the power to get things done.

Data went from drip-drip to deluge.

Rob Miller (General Manager of Engineering Energy Services Department, City of Monroe, NC) says, “The software allowed us to collect gas meter data easily. We went from having maybe 15 or 20% of that data to about 96%. That data can be used to identify a situation and know what you need to bring to the residence.”

The Challenge

  • As a regulated utility, City of Monroe, NC - Energy Services needed to demonstrate leading practice work and asset management.
  • Utility locating services (811 response) was key work activity supported by outdated technologies and processes.
  • The Energy Services Department relied heavily on employee knowledge for maintenance, the “reason why and frequency” of maintenance actions were not always documented.
The Solution

  • Focusing first on the 811 locate processes, a new work and asset management system was implemented. The solution was AtlasOMS.
  • The new systems was designed by working directly with staff. Thinking Hats rode in the service trucks and constructed the system with inputs from all users.
  • Building on the success of the 811 locate solution, AtlasOMS was implemented in other areas of the Departments operations such as Regulator Station inspections.

  • At a glance, a city worker can see the nature and location of each of the day’s jobs. Ease of operation makes adoption by workers a breeze.
  • Users can access actionable information in a variety of ways, including continuously updated graphic dashboards.
  • The crew guys going out to fix stuff each day loved how easy it was to crank up AtlasOMS, view their jobs for the day, sort them and prioritize.
  • The managers loved that, too—but on top of that, they couldn’t believe how easy it was to generate compliance reports, on those special days when auditors dropped by.
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