MSO Leverages Nrby’s Flexible Framework to Accelerate Plant Construction
Founded in 1950, and headquartered out of Perham, Minnesota, Arvig is a local, employee-owned broadband and full-service telecommunications provider serving both residential and business customers in nine states throughout the mid-west. Through innovation they have been able to make significant technological strides allowing them to grow from a small family-owned telephone company to one of the largest independent providers in the United States.
While Arvig was able to offer their customers advanced solutions and the latest technology, internally their processes were lagging – specifically when it came to how their construction division communicated and ultimately executed projects. The way the team started, followed-up and tracked jobs was completely manual.
“It’s a construction crew in the field updating a sheet of paper that then floats around in their truck until it gets back to the office where it then has to be transcribed and input into yet another system. It then gets entered onto a spreadsheet. Since it’s all being done manually, the information may or may not be accurate.”
Shaun Carlson | Director of Research and Development at Arvig
This led to an enormous amount of paper sitting in the back office, not getting entered into the appropriate systems, delaying notification that construction could move forward because the flow of information was extremely hindered. This not only impacted service to the customer but also cost Arvig dollars – the slower the installation and set- up, the more time to recognize that customer revenue.
What they needed was the ability to notify construction crews in the field so that the crews could see the work was released, and help them find some efficiencies when planning and doing the build out. They also needed a way to automate how those teams provided feedback in real-time so jobs could immediately advance to the next stage without delay, allowing them to get service to the customer faster.
In order to help automate these functions the internal development team started working on a number of internal apps. While they worked well, they still weren’t meeting all of the needs of the construction team. After seeing a demo of the Nrby solution Carlson thought if he could somehow leverage that technology and bring everything together, the construction team would have a much more complete solution. Other vendors that Carlson looked at didn’t provide the flexibility that Arvig needed to build a solution that would be right for them. He said, “At the end of the day, what Nrby brought wasn’t just cost effectiveness, but it was also more flexibility.”
Working closely with the Nrby Customer Success team, Arvig was able to integrate two key internally developed applications: The Service Delivery App (SDA) which allows employees to keep track of a customer order from the time its placed through implementation, and SideKick for crew management – into a single mobile experience giving the team access to all the information they needed to complete a job in the palm of their hand – no more swiveling between different apps. This not only automated the process and made it easier for the crews, it eliminated all the paper which expedited the process, decreasing delivery time and getting customers up and running quickly.
When it came time for integration, implementation and launch of the solution, the process went quickly. The teams started working together in mid-January and were able to start testing in March with a soft launch in April. “Nrby has been very customer focused throughout this entire project. They stayed engaged so that even when we were having some hiccups getting the solution to where we wanted it to be, they were right there with us, helping us find a solution,” said Carlson.
In addition, since the implementation of the Nrby solution, analytics and reporting have become much more accurate, enabling the team to better track completion rates, how many jobs are pending, and how many jobs have been released to construction. This allows the construction teams to better plan who will be assigned to which job and when. It also enables customer care to better service customers by giving them the ability to communicate the status of a customer’s job.
Since the launch roughly 5 months ago, Arvig has experienced a 41% improvement (almost 12 days on average) in construction task completions as compared to the same period in 2020.
The solution is currently being used by approximately 50 internal users across 66 crews and by 16 external third-party contractor companies across the 9 states in which Arvig operates.
And this is only the beginning of Arvig and Nrby’s collaboration. Arvig is currently working on building out their mainline tracking which Nrby will be a big part of. Teams will eventually be able to create associations so that when a mainline segment is done it will trigger the construction crew in the field. Ultimately, all construction work will be flowing through Nrby creating a much greater level of automation, dramatically shrinking the time to deliver.