Ticket Management History
In order to see where One Call ticket management is headed, a brief overview of where it has been is in order:
In the early days of the One Call Industry, ticket volumes were relatively low with minimal information reported to the utility companies. Early forms of information distribution consisted of low speed serial printers and fax machines. While these methods were somewhat reliable and efficient given the prevailing technologies of the time, they were prone to paper jams and communication errors. Further, once received, the ticket entered into a manual dispatch, tracking and response process. Paper copies of tickets had to filed and stored for future reference and damage investigations. Excavators would be manually notified that it was safe to dig. In short, the system was a massive juggling act commonly associated with a paper-based environment.
Later, advancements in technology allowed for faster and more reliable means of ticket distribution. PC based ticket receiving systems began to appear. These early systems consisted of a splitter cable connected to the receiving modem. Utilizing this piece of equipment, the ticket could simultaneously be printed on the serial printer and loaded into a database on the PC. This method provided for an "electronic filing cabinet" to store the tickets. More recently, we have seen the proliferation of all encompassing dispatching systems located at customer sites to provide end to end One Call Ticket management. These systems receive the tickets from the one call center, send them to the appropriate field personnel and then record the completion information in a database. Various reports can be run to view the status of the operation. While this method provides an adequate tool for managing the process, it also requires an investment in hardware, software, and yearly maintenance fees to keep it running smoothly. Typically, there is an upgrade charge for future releases. These upgrades must be installed at the customer site.
Enter Digtrack.com., the next generation of One Call Ticket Management Systems. Bytronics has spent over a year building the first online One Call Ticket Management System. This system provides a full featured dispatch and tracking system based on proven internet technologies. Users access the system using a standard web browser. There is no onsite hardware required (other than a PC with a web browser). There is no upfront software purchase. There is no yearly maintenance or subscription fee. There is no in-house expertise required to keep it running. Any way you look at it, Digtrack.com blows away the old methods of One Call Ticket management.
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