The Clear Take on Water and Wastewater Today

Shell Johnson leverages latest resources to serve customers.

When Alice “Shell” Johnson started with PeopleService a little over a year ago, she knew about pond management, which was a good start. What she’s learned – and leveraged – over the past year amounts to an incredible career trajectory. The key to her success? Working the latest resources to best serve our customers.

Shell didn’t come to us with a deep knowledge of computers, but she quickly mastered the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Diamond Mapping software to locate pipes to efficiently serve customers and to record actions for efficient reference when needed in the future. She even uncovered a way to affix customers’ house numbers to the location in the system. She also takes advantage of PeopleService’s exclusive Digital Work Order System to record and verify required machine and system maintenance.

“Moving to the computer-based system from writing everything down on paper makes it so you can do your work quickly, scan it, email or upload it,” she said. “This helps me stay organized and it’s clearer and more concise than sifting through piles of paper.”

PeopleService deploys Diamond Maps and our Digital Work Order System to assure that knowledge of pipes and maintenance on equipment and systems is stored, sortable and accessible by anyone who needs it. It’s a safety for turnover and it helps us stay in compliance with the contracts we sign with our customers.

“Computer-based systems increase cohesiveness between the field and office teams,” Shell added. “Eighty-five percent of my time is spent outside doing manual work, moving valves, for example. The other 15% is paperwork, but this increases the efficiency with which we can work. We do discharge monitoring reports for the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Act) which used to be done by hand and now we do them on computer and provide council reports with ease.”

Southern Minnesota Region Manager, Herb Krueger likes to showcase his team when they go above and beyond. That’s actually how we learned about Shell.

“Shell came to us with some pond knowledge, going into a mechanical plant at New Richland. She hit the ground running, asking me many questions and she has been willing to learn from others around her ever since,” said Herb. “The best part is, she applies what she learns and now has a very good knowledge of how to operate a mechanical facility. When she is on weekend rounds, she leaves very detailed notes for the other operators so that they know what is happening at their facilities, and true to the PeopleService team spirit, she is always willing to help out when others need a helping hand.”

“The office team are the real heroes,” said Shell. “I want to praise Val and Brenda who keep me on track. I send them the reports (with ease thanks to the computer system) and they are the ones who take care of most of the work from there.” Shell also praised Herb Krueger for being a very likeable, easy-going and patient leader always willing to answer all of her questions. “We all show up and try to do our best every day,” she said.