Tyler Hayden - GSOC Project Specialist

What a winter! Lots of snow and plenty of subzero temps. Although many of us here at the Gopher State One Call center wanted to hibernate during these frigid months, we instead took advantage of the “down time” by taking on two improvement projects.

  • First, our GIS department has been busy. “GIS” stands for Global Information Systems. To us, that means the digital maps we use on a daily basis here in the call center to help pinpoint the location of your excavation site. But it also covers the digital maps you use to draw a box around your excavation site when submitting a locate request via E-Ticket. Last summer a new law was passed by the State of Minnesota requiring local units of government to share their digital map data with GSOC. Examples of this data include the location and names of streets, E911 address points, municipality boundaries, and the location of other geographic features such as schools, parks, trails, and bodies of water. We greatly appreciate the cooperation we've received thus far from government professionals sharing this valuable information with GSOC.
  • Second, we upgraded our call center software in mid-February. This is the software used by our customer service representatives to collect excavator project information and determine which facility operators should be notified. Software architects along with a team of highly trained analysts spent five months testing and tweaking the program to ensure a seamless transition both internally and externally. As a result of this upgrade we gained advanced address searching capability and improved mapping navigability. The software is user friendly and parallels the look and feel of other online mapping websites like Google Maps.

So what does this mean to you? With ongoing digital map updates and enhanced call center software that takes advantage of these updates, we are confident we will continue to provide the best service possible to anyone contacting us throughout 2014 and beyond.  Check out examples of before and after the upgrade took place!

 

StearnsCoBefore    

   Excerpt of Stearns County before

 

StearnsCoAfter

Excerpt of Stearns County after

 

At the end of April 2014 I had been an employee of Gopher State One Call for a period of six months. During that time I had the opportunity to meet most of the call center staff as well as some of the Customer Service Rep’s that are on line and some who are just coming out of training.

The months of March & April 2014, were busy months for the Damage Prevention Team with about 50 different Damage Prevention meetings and industry trade shows. We have attended a few new trade shows this year to widen our audience on the “Click or Call” before you dig message. These new venues have included the MN tiling organization, The Watershed districts of MN as well as the Well Drillers organization of MN. These organizations have expanded both in scope of work as well as the amount of digging they are doing. Based on the reception we received at these venues as well as the interest in being engaged in the one call process to prevent damages to underground facilities, our plans are to attend these & more again next year.

At all of the meetings, conferences, and presentations the GSOC team has encouraged frequent users as well as home owners to complete their requests using the GSOC web site or smart phone application. 75 % is our goal for 2014 E-ticket percentage. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas as to how we can achieve this number or improve the e-ticket process please contact me or any of the GSOC team members.

We are now at the starting block for the beginning of the spring and summer RUSH. All of the CSR’s in the center are at the ready to begin taking our customer calls. GSOC has completed the training of five classes for the startup of the 2014 Dig season.

I am very excited to be part of the Gopher State team and look forward to working with each one of you this coming year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have regarding GSOC.

Loren R. Fritz

President

651-681-7306

Loren.fritz@gopherstateonecall.org

 

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Alicia Berger - Minnesota Regional CGA Chair

The Minnesota Regional Common Ground Alliance committee was formed as a diverse group of stakeholders dedicated to ensuring the safety of those who work or live in the vicinity of underground facilities. Our communities, homeowners, and excavators throughout Minnesota can be at risk due to underground damages and we as a group wanted to form an effective bridge between the efforts of the National CGA, Regulatory Agencies, Gopher State One Call, and other groups working for the common good of damage prevention. Minnesota has been a regional partner to the National CGA for many years; however, it was only in 2012 that stakeholders came together to breathe new life into the organization.

Our first goal was to establish a website that allowed stakeholders to find the information they needed relative to all damage prevention activities and entities in the state. We accomplished that in just six months.

The second goal was to develop a systematic approach to how we support Damage Prevention Meetings throughout the state. Damage Prevention meetings have traditionally been organized by a number of different Utility Coordinating Committees (UCC) and other groups throughout the state.

A MNCGA working group produced several tools for folks who organize these meetings and created a registration page for attendees. An excavator can now log on to our website and find information for every meeting throughout the state as well as other damage prevention resources

As a growing organization, we are constantly reflecting on our structure and working to identify how we can provide the greatest assistance with available resources. In addition to developing the tools and resources on our website and assisting with creating additional Utility Coordinating Committees, we also hope to grow and develop the area of Agriculture Awareness.

We welcome all stakeholders in Minnesota to join our membership. There are many opportunities to volunteer and become involved in working groups.   It’s free and we can only address the concerns and needs of our membership by getting their continual feedback and input.

To find out more about the MN Regional CGA, visit our website at http://www.mncga.com/

 811 for the Ag Community

 

 Field Tile Testimonial

 

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