ORLANDO — When Ontario Hydro was broken up two year’s ago as a result of the province’s Energy Competition Act, the electrical inspection agency found it had some problems.
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), which became a standalone organization April 1, 1999, could no longer rely on subsidies from Ontario Hydro and its inspectors couldn’t communicate properly.
ESA inspectors, in one part of the province, would interpret regulations differently and often resulted in inconsistent inspections, said ESA chief executive Dwaine Eamer, who spoke at SAP AG’s Sapphire user conference this week.
In order to get electrical work approved in Ontario — whether it’s a home or a factory — builders have to go through the ESA. But builders were telling Eamer that his inspection teams weren’t consistent in their rulings and in some cases, the same company was getting billed at different rates in different locations.
The ESA hopes to solve this problem by using SAP’s mySAP.com line of e-business software For example, inspectors go out to construction sites, they can enter data and it locks immediately using the mySAP CRM mobile customer relationship management software.
Within the next two years, the ESA plans to have one call centre and one database. The agency currently has a total of about 200 inspectors working in teams of six out of 35 offices.
Stephen Moses, the ESA’s chief information officer, said all district offices use Oracle databases, but they aren’t integrated. Sometimes, this results in inconsistent entries on companies operating in different districts. For example, Moses said, ABC Corp. might be known as ABC Corp. in one district and as ABC Inc. in another.
The ESA plans to use mySAP to use mySAP to integrate the data.
The agency also plans to use mySAP’s Human Resources module to set up training courses and certificate programs for electricians, and will be able to sign up for courses, take tests and check the results over the Internet.
The agency also plans to use mySAP.com to give better information to its executives.
Under Ontario Hydro, the ESA could be overstaffed in one area but would be still hire more workers in other areas, Eamer said.
“We would have a situation where in the northern part of Ontario, you could be overstaffed by two people and be hiring people in the south, and at the management level you wouldn’t know what was going on,” he said.
“In Ontario Hydro, if you increased your workload, you automatically added staff. That was no longer acceptable, because we have to basically show a profit. There was no subsidy coming from anybody.”