The software system that has been installed sends details of each job directly to the tradesperson’s new personal digital assistant (PDA) or handheld device. Jobs can be monitored in real time as workers send and receive updates through their PDAs. The worker can update their PDA which feeds information back to their headquarters. The software is constantly scheduling work in real time so it can allocate tradespeople and resources in the most efficient way. If there is an emergency, for example a burst pipe, the system can identify the nearest worker and get them to the job as quickly as possible.
Councillor Wilma Chalmers, Midlothian council cabinet member for property and facilities management, said: “The introduction of mobile working aims to modernise the service and improve efficiencies. Not only will tenants receive an improved repairs service but mobile working will save an estimated £1.4million.”
The new way of working will also help reduce Midlothian’s carbon footprint. Tradespeople will be able to go straight from job to job. This reduces the number of times they need to return to base to pick up supplies.
There will also be significant reduction in the use of paper as the system moves from being paper-based to digital.