Alaska Village Electric Cooperative

DocuPhase Case Study

Industry
Not-For-Profit, Utilities
Department
Operations
Solution
RPA

Challenges

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative is a not for profit electric utility whose service area is the largest of any retail electric cooperative in the world. Some villages are spread over a thousand miles apart in hard to reach areas, yet require the same stable source of electricity to each home in order to enhance the quality of life. This requires field workers to be traveling for weeks or months at a time, filling work orders across their vast service area.

Filling work orders requires field workers to complete a trip report, which may seem like a trivial piece of documentation – but not in Alaska, and not when it comes to providing much needed power to remote areas. How quickly they are evaluated by engineers and operations can mean the difference between cold and hot water. How complete they are can mean the difference between reimbursements getting approved within hours or weeks. This directly affects a number of vital areas at AVEC, including how fast a technician can return to the field. Specific challenges that AVEC was facing included:

  • Trip reports are completed by handwriting, making many reports difficult to read, affecting processing times and introducing the possibility for errors
  • Trip reports contain information spanning multiple village locations and touched by multiple people while processing, meaning information must be readily accessible
  • Multiple copies of trip reports were required to be kept on file at all times for each department
  • Distribution and processing of trip reports through the organization for reimbursement required manual movement of paper documents throughout the company

Results at a Glance

Eliminated the need to duplicate documents in a multitude of filing locations.

Streamlined processes to take advantage of automating known rules.

Transformed paper trip reports into a custom developed electronic smart form.

"The amount of dollar cost savings is immeasurable. We went from a covered wagon of searching through hoards of file system folders… to a futuristic rocket ship that is totally self-contained, works with our existing systems… and can be customized by us anytime we need to change the requirements."

SHERRY KENT System Administrator, AVEC

The Solution

The Document Management Core would allow AVEC to make all documents and information available at the fingertips of the employees who need it, when they need it. The toolset includes fluid features such as full-text search, automated document routing, and powerful auto-indexing. These features reduce the time it takes to manage and update records manually, while keeping records secure and organized. In addition, the Process Workflow Automation Core would allow AVEC to define how work was done. With this feature, each employee in the business process would be presented with the DocuPhase work queue, which prioritizes work depending on criticality. By controlling the way work gets done, AVEC could better measure how effective their business operation strategy is, gain visibility and transparency into their processes and see where bottlenecks were occurring.

The Results

The results of implementing the DocuPhase platform were immediately noticeable across the organization. Several of the immediate effects and strategies included paper trip reports being transformed into a custom developed electronic smart form; the eliminated need to duplicate documents in a multitude of filing locations; and the introduction of workflow automation to streamline the processes and take advantage of automating known rules. In addition, the CEO can access any report instantly and remotely to see where it is and the report’s status.