SpreadsheetWEB Takes Municipal Services Online for the Borough of Kutztown, PA
The Business Challenge
The Borough of Kutztown is a Pennsylvania municipality that provides a full range of services which include electric, refuse, water, sewer, television, Internet and digital phone. These services are provided to 2200 homes and 5500 residents, and automated meters are in place for electric, water and sewer services. Their longtime goal has been to provide customers with online analysis tools that help to pre-calculate bills, create comparative bills with other utility companies, and provide detailed analyses to assist customers in lowering their overall usage. Customer Service also needed a worksheet to reveal the highest to lowest customer use by day and to identify customers that we feel might have an internal problem causing high usage and consumption.
Because programming to build and maintain interactive Web applications is timely and costly, and there are so many possible analysis worksheets to provide, their progress was hindered for quite some time. They had built numerous internal spreadsheets utilizing the power of Microsoft Excel’s graphing, external data linking and calculation capabilities, but the real challenge was finding a solution to put these on the Web for their customers to access.
After reviewing a number of options, Kutztown recognized that SpreadsheetWEB has all the features that met business requirements. The ability to quickly turn spreadsheets into web applications without any programming or recoding was exactly what Kutztown needed. Built-in database integration features allowed Kutztown to query data from their data warehouse and represent results visually, all in a spreadsheet-like format.
After the Pagos team helped Kutztown design the underlying Excel model to meet requirements, it was then deployed via SpreadsheetWEB as a web application on existing Kutztown servers. The whole process took only a few days to complete.
“Pagos, Inc., recently took our design model and created our first analysis of 24 hour electric readings, and our customers are pleased with what they see. This single online Web application is providing customers with information to help them manage their in-home electric usage. They can now visually see their highest usage by hour and by day for an entire month, and they can copy and paste the data into their own spreadsheets for personal tracking. Additionally, this online tool assists our customer service representatives in daily analysis.
From here, our goal is to grow by adding comparatives to last year on the same day at the same time. Our next project includes water and sewer, and this application will help us with leak detection. Pagos has provided design expertise that we are very confident in using, and we believe that we will save customers hundreds of dollars by seeing high usage and consumptions prior to a 30 day billing cycle and identifying consistent patterns that cause high energy costs.
The application tool is well organized and our think board has a list of additional customer service projects to undertake over the next few months. From a versatility standpoint, we can design tools by using Excel and then share those tools on the Web. From our utility perspective, that is invaluable.”