The Eastern Specialty Company (TESCO): Designing, Building and Managing Reliable Field Service Solutions

Field service management for metering equipment installation and repair for electric utilities can be complex. The type of work, the equipment at the location, and the voltage in use all factor into who is qualified to perform the work, and what testing and safety equipment is required. Another challenge is the accuracy of the information presented to the technician. Often, when the technician arrives at the site, the equipment and setup differ from what was expected. If the field service system does not allow the technician to update the information from on-site observation, then the technician must abandon the job, have the information corrected, and then return to the job site.

To address such challenges, a firm from Bristol, Pennsylvania, The Eastern Specialty Company (TESCO) offers software for field service management specifically designed for installation, testing, and repairs of metering equipment. TESCO has worked exclusively in the metering field since 1904, and their field service software is the latest addition to their wide portfolio of hardware and software for metering applications.

“Often, when implementing ERP systems, utilities initially assume that they should use a single tool for all field work. Later, they discover that you should always use the right tool for the job, while integrating with enterprise systems.” states Kevin Tory, the COO of TESCO Software. TESCO’s field service software is specifically designed for metering, and has the built-in intelligence to assist the technician in the field, ensuring proper safety practices and ensuring the equipment is configured and operating correctly, and that the customer is billed correctly.

The success story of one of its clients exemplifies TESCO's unique value proposition. The utility was replacing all of their meters with smart meters.


Often, when implementing ERP systems, utilities initially assume that they should use a single tool for all field work. Later, they discover that you should always use the right tool for the job, while integrating with enterprise systems

While most of the utility’s five million customers had simple self-contained meters, about 125,000 customers had more complex equipment, utilizing current transformers. These installations, representing the largest commercial and industrial customers, while only 2.5% of the total customer base, were responsible for 40% of the electricity usagefor the utility. The utility wanted to verify what exact equipment was present at each of these sites, test everything to make sure that it was operating correctly, and make sure that any data corrections were propagated to all systems.

TESCO provided the work management system, which was implemented in less than six months, and was in production in time for the meter deployment effort. The system not only provided the basic routing, scheduling, and dispatch functions you would expect from a work management system, but provided detailed work instructions, captured the results of tests done, and analyzed the results before the technician left the job site. The project started on time, finished early and under budget, and the system detected many billing errors, some due to defective equipment, some due to incorrect information in the billing systems. The increased revenue in a year from correcting these errors exceeded the entire cost of the software. Additionally, all of the utility’s IT systems were updated with the correct information about the exact equipment at each location.

Since TESCO was established more than a century ago, it has been driven by its customers. Company representatives visit almost every customer multiple times every year, soliciting feedback. The annual TESCO Users Conference brings its customers together to share best practices, and to brainstorm suggestions for improvements and new products. With offices in three countries and customers world-wide, TESCO is an industry leader that continues to innovate.

Company
TESCO

Headquarters
Bristol, PA

Management
Dave Lewis CEO

Description
TESCO is an Eastern Specialty Company that provides safer products in the industry and has designed the first-meter test switch to promote more reliable field operations. The company has also developed the first load boxes and transformer burden test equipment and became the industry standard for electric meter testing. Utilities all across North America have used and relied on TESCO products. TESCO develops and delivers artificial loads and burdens, test switches, wattmeter test accessories, and a full range of meter testing operational support needed in today's competitive and changing market