TouchStar’s products and services have inspired many providers of IT solutions to form working partnerships with us whereby they address the specific needs and we supply the equipment and the know-how. One such partner is the IKI Group, and they came to TouchStar when they needed to respond to a request from SEC Lighting Services, a company responsible for the maintenance of Somerset’s street lighting inventory. SEC had since inception used a paper-based system of logging and running diagnostic tests on street lighting. This was beginning to get cumbersome and they saw how newer technology could reduce paperwork and administration, increase accuracy and make financial savings as a result. They approached IKI, who decided to base their solution around TouchStar technology.
The solution allowed engineers to approach each streetlight as an individual item, check up on its service history and access background data to help with the service. Being a strictly outdoor job, TouchPCs were the only solution, as they are designed to keep the weather on the outside and work in a range of temperatures while remaining portable and simple to use. All captured data and repair reports can then be fed back to the office where it is added to the central database for future reference, and where invoicing can be carried out. And all this is without pen and paper. “ Our objectives have been achieved 100 per cent,” said SEC’s Assistant Contracts Manager, Chris McBride. “ In addition, we have made a 15 per cent saving in clerical time, a 20 per cent saving in labour costs and a significant saving in paper and printing costs since the introduction of the system.” That’s at least 135% of benefit by our calculations. Because of the efficient use of the TouchPC’s, both the administrative and technical staff can offer and request very specific information from each other’s department; the savings in time and wasted journeys are considerable. When asked about the performance of the hardware out in the field, Chris had this to say: “ The TouchPC is particularly strong and robust; its touchscreen is so easy to use with no awkward buttons involved.” In conclusion, Chris says that “ the expected benefits of reduced paperwork, improved information being available to the team in the field and the speeding up of the clearance of completed work have also been achieved.” It’s a success story that shows how TouchPCs can fit into a whole range of circumstances, and are versatile yet intuitive enough to provide solutions in collaboration with external software providers.