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bnNETZE optimizes mobile maintenance process with mobileX

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the regional energy and environmental service provider badenova, bnNETZE is the leading network operator in Baden. The company is responsible for the operation, planning, expansion and maintenance of all electricity, natural gas and water networks of badenova. 155 internal service technicians and external staff ensure the smooth operation of the 7,500 kilometer long gas network, the 5,300 kilometer long power grid and the around 1,500 kilometer long water and sewage network. At the same time, the core task of bnNETZE is to provide around 568,000 people with drinking water of the highest quality.

Until 2013, the dispatchers at bnNETZE already used a workforce management system to plan the assignments of the service technicians who confirmed their orders via SAP MAU. Since the system was no longer up-to-date and SAP no longer provided support for the mobile connection, the utility decided to replace both systems. First, the operational planning should be replaced. When selecting the new system, both functional requirements and the ability to integrate it into the existing IT architecture played an important role. The decision was finally made in favor of mobileX-Dispatch, as the solution best covered the requirements of bnNETZE. The project team was also convinced by the possibility of buying the mobile connection later from mobileX as well.

Gas bowl in Freiburg

Contemporary field service management system

The introduction of mobileX-Dispatch was carried out in 2014. The solution was integrated into the existing SAP PM/CS system and the PTV server. 15 dispatchers have been planning the assignments of the service technicians throughout the region since then – mostly centrally from Freiburg. These are meter replacements, meter installations, fault clearances, maintenances and new constructions in the natural gas, water, electricity, sewage and lighting sectors. Approximately 65,000 orders are handled each year, which are usually planned two to five days in advance. The dispatchers are also responsible for arranging appointments with customers. In addition, they prepare the orders for the service technicians and check their processing.
When planning the assignments, the dispatchers match the qualifications of the service technicians with the requirements of the orders via the tool in order to select the most suitable technician for the respective order. The tour optimization, which optimizes the travel times of the service technicians between the individual orders is also used during the planning process. Teams of external companies are also scheduled via mobileX-Dispatch. These receive their orders as an Excel list.

Efficiency improvement by introducing mobileX-MIP for Field Service

In 2015, bnNETZE decided to introduce mobileX-MIP for Field Service for mobile maintenance. The broad functionality of the software and the possibility to transfer data directly into SAP PM/CS using digital forms and to evaluate them there were the reasons for this decision. In Q4 2016, the successive rollout of the solution was carried out by teams. The aim of the introduction was to improve the efficiency in mobile maintenance and to use the mobile solution to provide reliable, up-to-date, and evaluable data to the facility information system of bnNETZE, thus ensuring a reliable operation of the networks and facilities.

In the course of the introduction of the mobile software, the service technicians also got new Lenovo tablets, on which they can receive their orders in mobileX-MIP for Field Service and edit them in touch mode. The recording of the working times for the feedbacks is carried out via a start-stop function, which is used by the service technicians to enter the beginning and the end of the work time for an order. These times are then automatically included in the feedbacks as suggestions. However, new company agreements had to be created for this feature. Since the works council was involved in the project team from the very beginning, this did not constitute a hurdle though. 13 service technicians were also involved in the selection and rollout of the mobile solution and were thus able to contribute their requirements and spread the innovations in their team. Due to the changed processes in the time confirmations, the training of the technicians took with two months relatively long, but in the end the solution was well received.


Next, bnNETZE plans to introduce the “Dynamic Forms” module of mobileX. This is to replace paper-based forms and checklists with digital versions. At the end of 2017 the form for the inspection of transformer stations will be electronically mapped in a first pilot. The utility hopes that implementing the forms will lead to a significant improvement in data quality as well as in an increase in productivity, since the collected data will then be transmitted directly to SAP PM/CS via mobileX-MIP for Field Service and the time-consuming and error-prone manual transmission will no longer be required.

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We are delighted that we will now be able to consistently map the order cycle with the modern and future-proof solutions mobileX-Dispatch und mobileX-MIP for Field Service. By introducing the digital forms, we hope to improve the quality of the technical data on our facilities and networks. This will allow us to have an even more efficient condition assessment and reliable operation for our customers

As a 100 percent subsidiary of the regional energy supplier badenova AG & Co. KG bnNETZE GmbH is responsible for the operation of the electricity, gas and water networks of badenova. In southwestern Germany badenova is the most powerful actor with a turnover (2016) of approximately EUR 970 million. It supplies the region with gas, electricity, water, district heating and sanitation.