Field teams keep our homes warm and well lit, and they help us stay connected and keep our water flowing, as well as performing essential repairs and maintenance. But when it comes to collecting data for assessing risk and other key processes, too much effort is wasted using outdated tools that simply aren’t efficient.
FYLD is a digital platform that has been designed to transform the safety and efficiency of field teams based on real-time, data-driven decision making. The system was incubated in the live field environment of SGN using BCG’s agile project management process.
The core features of FYLD’s easy-to-use app enable:
AI-driven risk assessments to improve job safety
Real-time collaboration between field crews and remote managers
A high-quality source of data that allows companies to understand operational outcomes and resolve systemic issues
Immediate safety and productivity benefits, with a platform for medium- and long-term efficiency gains
Utilities like natural and green gas distribution company SGN are under pressure to maintain high productivity for low prices, while also providing faster and better service. Despite a surge of operational improvements and customer-centric initiatives, these efforts were being thwarted by paper-based ways of working (including “digital paper”).
Field workers were filling out repetitive forms by hand, causing decision makers to react late. Valuable information was trapped on paper and in other outdated modes, depriving managers of vital context. The resulting delays, inefficient staffing, incidents and injuries, and public dissatisfaction led BCG Digital Ventures and engineers and strategists from Koru, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) venture foundry, to work with SGN on creating FYLD.
Digital Ventures hosted a one-week hack-a-future workshop in November 2018, informed by 10 expert panels, several customer interviews, and two co-creation sessions. Around 100 ideas per work group were boiled down to 12 concepts and then further distilled into three main proposals.
Validation Sprint and First Immersion Session
A validation sprint in our London Center followed, with the goal of prioritizing and developing a robust, incubation-ready concept and investment case for one of the proposals. Ethnographic interviews and concept tests involving 109 contractors, corporate partner staffers, and industry experts led to initial insights for the first immersion session.
Incubation and Further Immersion Sessions
The concept that emerged was forwarded on to the incubation phase, in which about 20 users helped define the MVP. A second immersion session kicked off the alpha build with more than 50 users, and the third immersion session launched a beta build with 250-plus users. A fourth immersion session finalized the product in April 2020.
The Impact Realized
Estimated first-year cost savings for SGN, expected to increase by multiple millions
Reduction in incidents and injuries
Field work hours saved in the first year of implementation
Launched as a way to sell the application to other utilities, delivery partners, telecoms, and even construction companies across the globe
Strengthened relationship between BCG, OTPP, and Koru due to FYLD’s successful validation and incubation
Remote site operations enabled during COVID-19 brought life-saving, unstructured data-capture technology to many more people than initially scoped
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