SEVERN TRENT 

Severn Trent invests in Panasonic rugged detachable notebooks to improve operational efficiency and customer service

When Severn Trent wanted to improve the operational efficiency and customer service delivered by its infrastructure field workforce the company chose Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 detachable notebooks for use with the latest intuitive mobile applications


When Severn Trent reviewed its mobile device strategy for its infrastructure field service workforce, the company was looking for a rugged device that could help improve both its operational efficiency and customer service.

“We were originally thinking about a move to tablets,” said John Vaughan, Technical Services Manager for Severn Trent. “But when we looked more closely at the options, our teams are regularly looking at Infrastructure drawings and maps of utilities infrastructure, and many of the tablets were not powerful enough to use these applications effectively.”

“However, when we saw the Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 device that can be used as a tablet or a fully ruggedized laptop – it opened our eyes to the possibilities as it offered the best of both worlds. Light and easy to use in tablet form but with the availability of a keyboard when lots of data input is required. There was a massive opportunity to increase productivity and improve service response times.”

After reviewing the wide variety of mobile devices on the market and pilot test projects, Severn Trent quickly realised that equipping its infrastructure field workforce with 1000 fully rugged Panasonic detachable notebooks was the right choice. The water company chose the Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 detachable notebook for the long-term and as the ideal device for use alongside its development programme for more intuitive mobile applications.

The fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 detachable notebook, which can also be used as a standalone tablet, is the primary information, reporting and communication tool for the teams as they carry out maintenance and emergency repairs to their network.

The Panasonic Toughbook notebook is used for receiving work instructions, reviewing utility and infrastructure maps and reporting, including being able to take photographic evidence to accompany electronic work records. The device will also be used for Skype communications with the operations centre to help improve efficiency and customer service by providing live updates from site.

Device for the future

“As soon as we saw the new Panasonic detachable notebook, we knew that it was the future,” said John Vaughan, Technical Services Manager for Severn Trent.  


“The ability to use the device as a tablet or a traditional notebook allows us to achieve operational efficiencies and customer service improvements today whilst ensuring we have a future-proof device for the long-term that will be ideal for our plans to develop more intuitive mobile applications for the workforce.”

John explained that although today some of Severn Trent's mobile applications require a keyboard for data input, moving forward the company is keen to develop more intuitive applications and that a device that could deliver both tablet and notebook functionality was ideal.

“This benefit, combined with improved connectivity when in the field and Panasonic Toughbook’s renowned reputation for reliability, ergonomic and rugged design and long battery life, convinced us that this was the mobile device to justify a long-term commitment and investment,” added John. “The two cameras on the device are also very helpful. It means we can capture photos on site and record and store photos of repairs for the Highways Agency, for example.”

NetMotion for connectivity

Alongside the devices, Panasonic recommended the use of NetMotion Wireless software to improve connectivity and productivity for the workforce when in the field. With the old devices the Field Teams were frustrated by a lack of connectivity via 3G and 4G mobile signals in rural areas and regular connection drop-outs meant that data often had to be re-inputted and more importantly the delays in updates and receiving new jobs often had a negative impact upon customer service.


“With the new Panasonic devices and NetMotion Wireless we have seen connectivity rise from 68% to 80% plus in our region, which includes some of the most rural parts of the country. This has been an instant benefit,” explained John.


Paul Davidson, Utilities Sales Manager for Panasonic Toughbook, added: “We are dedicated to providing mobile workforces with technology to help them deliver more efficiently than ever before. With developments in intuitive mobile applications progressing so quickly, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 notebook is the ideal future-proof device for businesses that need the flexibility of a tablet and notebook in a single device alongside the peace of mind of Panasonic Toughbook’s reputation for great reliability and design.”

Two Parts, One Story

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 notebook delivers a new level of unrivalled versatility for mobile business computing as the first fully rugged detachable notebook. Offering the best of all worlds for mobile workers, the Panasonic Toughbook notebook can be used in 6 different modes to meet every business need. With its glove enabled touchscreen, up to 20-hour hot swappable battery life and purpose-built Vehicle Mount and Desktop Port Replicator, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-20 is an unrivalled rugged mobile business tool.

The detachable device offers the richest set of business interfaces with additional customisable options to meet a worker's needs. It is the first fully rugged Toughbook notebook to ship with Windows 10 Pro and the first to be powered by 6th Generation Intel® CoreTM vProTM processor technology. Target industries for the device include insurance assessors, fleet management and car hire, field workers, maintenance and service technicians in utilities and telecommunications, as well as government agencies, defence and the emergency services.