FileNexus Case Study: PowerStream Expands FileNexus Usage to Automate and Track the Life Cycle of a Work Order

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PowerStream Inc. (“PowerStream”) is a community-owned energy solutions company providing power and related services to more than 355,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the municipalities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan. PowerStream has used the FileNexus Document Management System to enhance their workflow processes since 1998 and is constantly finding new ways to expand its application throughout the organization.

FileNexus Fast Facts
PowerStream benefits:
  • Workflow automation and workforce management – Electronic notifications of pending tasks means projects move forward in a timely manner
  • Budget management – biweekly reports on budget versus spend gives greater control over project costs
  • Better billing – capitalize their spend by closing bills sooner
  • Automated report capture and electronic distribution through FileNexus
  • Standardized business processes
  • Improved efficiency – no need for users to leave desks to retrieve, consult or re-file papers
  • Positive environmental impacts by reducing printing and document storage costs. ‘Go Green’ with PowerStream
  • Enhanced search and retrieval capabilities – users get the full picture of the work order and ‘as built’ project
  • Archiving of critical documents – more than 3.3 million pages archived to FileNexus
  • Real-time reports and metrics on data
  • Completely expandable document management solution
  • Documents are now available to all PowerStream locations
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Most recently, the Engineering department wanted to move from a paper-based issuance of work orders to a paperless electronic system. Paper work orders could easily be misplaced, misfiled or stalled—awaiting action under a pile of folders or in a contractor’s truck. Sometimes people wouldn’t even know they were holding up the process. Engineering needed to track a project from start to finish and let people know what they needed to do at various stages. PowerStream worked with the FileNexus team to streamline and automate work order processes for three Engineering workgroups: Capital Projects, Subdivision and ICI (Industrial Commercial). The initial project phase was up and running in a week.
“Before FileNexus, we lacked visibility. We would issue a work order and we couldn’t know for certain where it went, who received it, or at what stage it was in. Now we know where a document is in the process at all times.”
Patrick Leung, Manager, Capital
PowerStream Inc.
Time spent on projects used to be manually tracked and logged in Excel worksheets. Now, as new documents are captured by FileNexus, users are immediately alerted to status changes in a work order. This makes it possible to find and eliminate process bottlenecks.
Project time and costs are now closely monitored and departments are able to use that information to immediately address any discrepancies.
FileNexus has given the workflow process full transparency and visibility and PowerStream has access to real-time reporting on projects.
FileNexus allows PowerStream to capitalize their spend with better billing
The electronic work orders have spawned a new accounting process. Once a ‘close’ document is added to a work order file by the Engineering department, FileNexus triggers an email to the Accounting department. It is an immediate notification that the work order is closed and that the Accounting department should follow up for payment. The sooner a bill is closed the sooner PowerStream can capitalize their spend.
PowerStream has found better compliance and results now that they are able to enforce business processes through technology.
“Through this automation we’ve enforced our business processes. Automated FileNexus triggers keep projects moving forward.”
Patrick Leung, Manager, Capital
PowerStream Inc.
FileNexus saves time and money
The Engineering department used to send all their project folders to an offsite third party vendor for storage. Although storage itself was relatively cheap, it was expensive and time consuming to actually retrieve the information. Staff would be pulled away from other essential tasks, wasting valuable time trying to figure out where they information was, which box needed to be recalled and then finally to find the files they needed. Now everything is immediately accessible in FileNexus. Information can be searched by multiple indexes including work order number. They can even do a full text search on their files for keywords that weren’t part of the original index structure.
PowerStream head officeThe complete work order package is now housed in FileNexus—all related documents and signatures are up to date and accurate, providing a true picture of the project. It provides a secure data repository to prevent critical documents from being deleted, moved or improperly filed. When documents are stored in FileNexus, they can’t be amended, moved, or deleted without appropriate security permissions. Everything done in FileNexus is tracked by user, date, time and action. PowerStream no longer keeps additional copies ‘just in case.’
“There is no question that you are looking at the correct and most recent version. The work order package is now 100% true. We now have the whole life cycle.”
Eddie Augusto, Senior Business Analyst
PowerStream Inc.
From an auditing perspective, FileNexus also saves time and money. Documents are indexed and categorized to deliver more relevant search results. Auditors can come in and do a search on a work order number and pull up the entire package. No misfiled or misplaced documents and files. Everything is available on demand with the click of a mouse.
Rapid deployment and ease of use
PowerStream utilizes the FileNexus Web Client. A web based client meant that the solution was easy to deploy and use across sites and departments.
FileNexus has helped PowerStream develop a stronger disaster recovery (D/R) plan. Anything stored in FileNexus can be immediately restored on their D/R site. It is immediately accessible and the PowerStream team can get back to work.
A digital archive of millions of pages helps PowerStream ‘Go Green’
PowerStream_GoGreenLogoIssuing reports electronically not only helped PowerStream with their ‘green organization’ objective but also streamlined communications. Previously, multiple copies of month-end reports were printed, manually distributed and eventually filed in offsite storage. One of their month-end reports was 10,000 pages long. Reports are now electronically saved in FileNexus, making it easy to search and locate them from a central repository and archive. An event trigger is set in FileNexus to send an email notification when a report is ready for viewing. No delay with simultaneous report delivery.
From 2006 to 2011, PowerStream saw an exponential increase in the number of pages scanned, imaged and archived in FileNexus. A lot of that information, both paper and electronic, is automatically captured and stored in FileNexus. In 2011, more than of 3.3 million pages were archived.

How did they do it?
• Promotion of FileNexus to reduce printing requirements
• Promotion of automated report capture from their Customer Information System (CIS)
• Promotion of FileNexus as part of workflow processes
• Inter-departmental utilization of FileNexus for the new work order process

Several other departments and processes at PowerStream have already benefited from the FileNexus expansion.

  • New Services Process
    Workflow is managed by using FileNexus to notify business units of connections that are ready to be made.
  • Customer Service
    Contact Centre CSR’s have the ability to see all interactions with the Customer using FileNexus, including service orders, all emails sent to and received by customers, moves, meter changes, cheques, CDM correspondence, incoming faxes, etc. FileNexus also provides Ontario Energy Board (OEB) Customer Response compliance tracking. Automated email alerts notify the Supervisor of any customer enquiries that are approaching the response time threshold and any other communications that are outside the compliance band.
  • Legacy archiving system retired in favour of FileNexus
    When PowerStream merged with Barrie Hydro, information that was stored in Barrie’s legacy archival system was seamlessly imported into PowerStream’s FileNexus System.
  • Integration with ‘FieldWorker’ to automate the capture of meter change data
    Photos and data captured in the field (meter images, etc.) are automatically indexed and archived to FileNexus and are now readily accessible for the purposes of dispute resolution.

Ongoing and Future Projects

A FileNexus user since 1998, PowerStream continues to find new uses for FileNexus. Some potential areas under consideration for future expansion include:
  • Automated capture and approval of electronic timesheets
  • Integration with the GIS system
  • Integration with the new CIS system that is being deployed
  • Management Dashboard reports
For more information about PowerStream, visit

About FileNexus

The FileNexus Document Management System gives organizations, both large and small, the ability to capture virtually any type of document from any source (i.e. paper records such as maps, drawings, manuals, electronic files such as host generated reports, client statement streams, IVR recordings, etc.), index and compress them for secure archival and future recall—providing a single cohesive repository for all document management, workflow, archival and business continuity needs. To learn more about FileNexus and Loris Technologies Inc., please visit and request a FileNexus demo.

For more information on how FileNexus can improve your business efficiency, please contact Adrienne Middlebrook, Communications Coordinator, at or call 416-252-4701 x242.