CSG adds Waze-like capabilities to its field force management tool

CSG said its new WSX traffic data tool resulted in a 2% productivity increase among installers. (Image: CSG)

After previously being accused of “Uberizing” the cable installation business with its field force automation apps, CSG is now adding a little Waze-like capability to the mix, as well. 

The vendor’s CSG Workforce Express (CSG WFX) is a pay TV-specific field force management solution that integrates real-time traffic data into its service technician routing capabilities. 

The solution calculates drive time from one job to the next, CSG said, incorporating all real-time events, such as traffic volumes, accidents and road closures, routing the tech on the most efficient path.

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“The average U.S. commuter spends 42 hours in traffic a year and loses $1,400 idling away gas,” said Chad Dunavant, head of global product management for CSG, in a statement. “For service technicians who are on the road all day, traffic congestion not only impacts time and money, but also customer satisfaction and brand perception. Understanding what’s happening on the road in real-time is an important step toward meeting promised arrival times and improving customer satisfaction ratings.”

RELATED: CSG tech-tracking app comes under fire for 'Uber-izing' cable installation business

After conducting an analysis of the CSG WFX while deployed in a large market with 850 techs conducting an average of 2,200 jobs a day, the vendor said the tool resulted in a 2% productivity increase, adding 14 more jobs a day. Average drive time to jobs decreased by 2.3%, resulting in a total of 3.2 total driving hours saved across the staff. 

CSG’s widely used field force automation apps have come under fire from some installers, who claim the mobile apps adversely affect their work conditions.

Critics say the tools—which Comcast uses in its "Dynamic Dispatch System"—are putting installers perpetually on the clock, scheduling their every move, and assigning jobs that may not be logistically efficient to independent contractors. 

"What they're doing is Uber-izing cable installers," attorney David Blanchard told FierceCable in 2016. Blanchard is currently representing numerous independent installation contractors against a Comcast subcontractor in Michigan alleging unfair labor practices.