UMS Case Study: Molde Water and Drainage

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UMS helps Molde Water & Drainage Department to take customer satisfaction to newer heights by delivering a multi-channel alert and notification system

UMS helps Molde Water & Drainage Department to take customer satisfaction to newer heights by delivering a multi-channel alert and notification system

In order to reduce the effort in notifying citizens regarding outages, Molde municipality chose to partner with UMS to utilise the Address Based Alert System (ABAS). Using this system, authorities can identify affected areas on a digi- tal map and send text and voice message notifications to relevant recipients.

BACKGROUND Molde is a city and a municipality in the county of Møre & Romsdal on the northwest coast of Norway. The county has a population of just under 26,000 and a land area of only 356 km 2 . Mol- de municipality is responsible for the supply of water to all of its citizens. The Norwegian water is one of the best in the world and citizens can enjoy ex- cellent quality water straight from the tap. It is natural therefore that the pub- lic grid of water pipes has a massive need for maintenance and continuous upgrades in order to maintain this quality. The municipality is obliged by law to alert citizens when planned and unplanned outages occur; the flush- ing of pipes for maintenance is one example of a planned water out- age. Unplanned outages can include water contamination or burst pipes due to road construction. In the past, planned outages were advertised in newspapers but more recently they’re also relayed through the internet and by mail. In situations where unplanned outages occur, service workers knocked on doors and delivered leaflets through mailboxes to inform about outages.

The solution is integrated with a geo- coded database that contains up-to-date contact information of private citizens as well as business entities in a given area. The versatility of the system allows authorities to send text messages to mobile phones and voice messages to contacts registered with a fixed phone line. The solution allows recipients of voice messages to confirm receipt by pressing a specified digit; this enables authorities to plan for citizens who haven’t received the message in the first attempt and to arrange a simple resend. Impact of the solution Text and voice messages have a higher success rate while significantly reduc- ing the effort expended to reach out to citizens. Approximately 90% of affected

people receive alerts within minutes and detailed delivery reports provided by the solution allows authorities to ascertain the success rate and plan for the next course of actions. The solution not only saves effort, but also ensures extremely quick dissemi- nation of alerts and notifications. 10,000 citizens on average can be alerted within five minutes. Traditional print and digital advertisements take days of planning and execution and does not guarantee success as it is uncertain if affected people have read these notifications. With ABAS, authorities can create an inventory of pre-defined alert and no- tification templates that allows them to disseminate an alert in a matter of minutes. SMS and Voice messages are also cost

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“A burst in the area may disrupt water supply causing discolouration. We are resolving the issue”.

“We’re pleased to report that all repairs have now been completed in your area and supplies have been restored. Sorry for the disruption and thanks for bearing with us”.

“An overnight burst in your area may cause discoloured water. Run the cold tap until the water clears”.

UMS has successfully completed a multi-channel public alerting project for the authority of Molde municipality in the year 2013. I recommend UMS without reservation. Bjarte Koppen, Chief of Water & Drainage Department, Molde Municipality

effective compared to sending letters or hiring personnel to reach out to affected individuals. These channels also en- sure that citizens receives notifications instantly and are better equipped to pre- pare for the consequence of an outage. How did it solve the problem for the customer? With address based alerting from UMS, Molde Municipality can now send SMS or voice messages to inform about planned water outages the day before it happens and if they prefer to, they can also send a reminder just before the water outage happens. If an unplanned water outage occurs, they can immediately send out

a message by SMS or by voice message to the affected customers to instantly inform about what has happened.

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By informing the residents about planned outages in this way, Molde municipality benefits from much high- er customer satisfaction and fewer complaints to their customer service; This saves time for everyone, it conserves money for Molde municipality as this method of alerting people is much more cost efficient than the old system and lastly it gives a much better customer service.

relieving them for other tasks. Using our solution, 90% of the affected population is on average notified about an incident. When an unplanned outage occurs, the municipality saves a considerable amount of time alerting the affected populace regarding urgent problems with water. They can initiate the alert in minutes and by having pre-defined text templates created in the solution they quicken the process even further. This is crucial when the outage is severe, for example, when there is an incident related to water being contaminated. In such extreme cases, a quick warning to the population can prevent illness and in severe situations, death. Unplanned outages demand a high need for information for the affected popula- tion. Address based alerting enables the

customer, in this case Molde munici- pality, to inform in a precise and timely manner and grants citizens critical in- formation in times of crisis. This saves time for everyone, it conserves money for Molde municipality as this method of alerting people is much more cost efficient than the old system and lastly it gives a much better customer ser- vice. The system also gives an option to send updates about the situation when required.

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Unified Messaging Systems AS • www.umsalert.com Innspurten 15, 0663 OSLO • Pb. 6301, Etterstad, 0604 OSLO, Norway

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