Aegion has been a leader in the pipe maintenance industry for over 45 years. What started as a business focused on sewer rehabilitation has expanded significantly in the last ten years with the acquisition of oil and gas businesses. Now, they have complex business processes in the warehouse and in the field across many locations.
Aegion’s use of manual, paper-based processes posed a challenge to achieving optimal efficiency. Aegion has about 400 different crews in the field on a daily basis, and they all create field tickets—by hand. The nature of paper-based processes meant there was a delay in getting information captured and into customers’ hands. This impacted Aegion’s customer service levels.
It was important for Aegion to have a better understanding of what was happening each day in the field. A lot of data was being gathered, but because it was all on paper and being stored in cabinets, information couldn’t be accessed quickly. They needed the capability to share information with more people in a timelier way.
After searching for a way to eliminate paper-based processes and mobilize their organization, Aegion selected the DSI Platform to develop applications tightly integrated with specific business needs.
With the DSI Platform, Aegion can develop and deploy applications that solve specific business challenges while integrating into their JD Edwards back-end system. Plus, having a single platform with few additional IT needs reduces the total cost of ownership for Aegion.
“When it comes to the type of information that we capture in the field itself, there was nothing out of the box available to address those needs,” said Thys Lourens, Chief Information Officer for Aegion. “That’s where the custom development piece on the DSI side helped us tremendously.”
DSI’s Platform has given Aegion the ability to streamline their processes across their business in both the U.S. and in Canada, by helping them build custom apps for their business. By moving to digital apps, Aegion has significantly decreased the time it takes to complete invoices; what used to take weeks in some circumstances now takes only a day. They have a projected 200% reduction in time it takes for daily field tickets.
Aegion’s IT team is now self-sufficient as they develop custom apps. They are able to turn apps around very quickly since they don’t have to rely on an outside resource. They are currently developing a safety app that will be put in the hands of every employee to capture safety observations. They will be able to analyze information about safety in the field and, based on those findings, create training materials and programs to address the most common safety issues.
In addition to streamlining daily tasks for their team, Aegion has significantly improved service levels for their customers. With data at their fingertips, they are able to report and bill work as it is complete in a timely way. Now, customers have begun to suggest mobile apps that Aegion can develop to improve process efficiencies within their own four walls.
Tim Bremer, Director of IT Applications at Aegion, said that for the DSI solution
to work with their organization, it came down to a few key questions: “Is the tool friendly, is the solution practical, is it something we can put in the hands of any user, and it is. It’s been that type of a tool. Whether it’s people out in the field, or a project manager in the office, it’s all very practical and easy for them to use and understand in a common way.”
“We can truly develop the
solution to the exact needs we
have as an organization. We can
make it easy for our people to
do business.” —Thys Lourens, CIO, Aegion