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Pierce Pepin Increases Safety and Efficiency for Rural Electric Co-ops with Sierra Wireless Networking Technology

Quick Facts

Client

Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services
piercepepin.coop

Customer Profile

Formed in 1937, Pierce Pepin is a western Wisconsin electric distribution cooperative serving more than 7,665 members and 1,332 miles of active lines. Its mission is to provide reliable energy to rural consumers and communities.

Objectives

The co-op wanted to modernize its vehicle communications capabilities in ways that increased worker safety and made it easier and faster for dispatch and other office personnel to track field vehicles, especially during emergency restoration.

Results

Pierce Pepin and the other co-ops realized gains in safety and efficiency:

  • Average first-year savings per co-op across the 20 co-ops that participated: $40,210
  • Average annual recurring cost savings per co-op: $3,100
  • Real-time visibility into vehicle location
  • Improved safety and accountability 
Solution Partner
  • Clevest

Sierra Wireless Products & Services
  • AirLink secure LTE mobile router
  • AirLink® Management Service

Challenge

As a rural community cooperative, Pierce Pepin faces challenges that are familiar to most utilities, including responding to restoration of power in an emergency (ROPE) event and other emergency operations. 

Pierce Pepin trucks and linemen need the right information at the right time to maintain power, reliability and member satisfaction. They also wanted to improve the safety
of their crews in the field, while improving dispatch operations and delivering cost savings to the organization. With the unpredictability of national disasters and the rate of using outside contractors on the rise, the need for a modern solution was more urgent than ever.

Solution

Pierce Pepin, with the help of Sierra Wireless Partner Clevest, implemented a network of 4G LTE Wi-Fi mobile gateways, each with built-in GPS, in all 15 of its heavy-duty vehicles. 

This enabled Pierce Pepin to implement a computer-aided dispatch and automated vehicle location (CAD/AVL) platform that improves communications and lets dispatch know the position and status of all vehicles at all times.

Results

The solution saves Pierce Pepin and the other co-op members money by streamlining dispatch logistics (seeing where all trucks are at a given moment) and improving the efficiency of its emergency repair efforts. 

Average first-year savings per co-op across the 20 co-ops that participated was $40,210, and the average annual recurring cost savings per co-op was $3,100. The increase in accountability also saves on legal and procedural costs, and the enhanced two-way field-to-office communications enables new after-hours response capabilities.

Pierce Pepin can now more easily provide ongoing functional enhancements to its field personnel in the form of new apps, including one designed to monitor a truck’s bucket position and how long it’s been held there, which keeps crews safer and saves on wear and tear. IT management has also been greatly simplified. 

Sierra Wireless and Clevest really hit a grand slam with this solution. Our entire group of individual cooperatives were able to realize significant savings, while providing a great opportunity for us to work together and really take operations to the next level.

Jeff Olson 
VP Engineering, Pierce Pepin

The Future

Looking ahead, Pierce Pepin anticipates expanding the capabilities of its current solution, such as finding apps that can make use of the in-vehicle gateway to collect and monitor data like mileage, engine hours and real-time mechanical diagnostics.

Contact Us

To learn more about AirLink vehicle networking solutions from Sierra Wireless and its
solution partners, contact your sales representative or call us at 1-877-687-7795.
Email: sales@sierrawireless.com.

Related Products

Tagged Industries
Utilities
Client

Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services

Location

NAM

Markets

Fleet Management
Utilities

Products & Service​

AirLink® Routers
AirLink Management Service

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By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group of companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group of companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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