CanopyIQ - Bespoke workforce management tool



Project Overview

ETS Infrastructure Management (ETS) is a vegetation management company specialising in power line tree-trimming, mechanical clearing, and disaster response and recovery. For ETS, smart workforce management is connecting operations to outcomes with the most impact. CanopyIQ is a bespoke platform designed to allocate specialist crews to manage vegetation around Australia. It's a new tool designed to enable staff with better capability to manage operational, administrative and financial activity, move ahead of ETS competitors, and provide a better client experience.

ETS understands accountability and transparency is key to effective resourcing. Conduct partnered with ETS to design a tool for field workers, operation staff and clients. CanopyIQ supports digital transformation away from paper and manual processes by allowing users to update progress across hundreds of jobs in real-time.

Project Commissioner

ETS Infrastructure Management

Project Creator



This platform was created in close collaboration between Conduct (Research, Design and Development) and ETS Infrastructure Management teams across Australia (Client)

Project Brief

ETS makes communities safer by maintaining the power infrastructures that keep our lights on and fridges running. To plan the work around these activities is complicated - there’s different workflows and approvals between clients and utilities services, mixed availability and expertise of geographically dispersed crews, travel time, risks at work sites, equipment and reporting to consider.

Conduct’s challenge? Create a unified system that:
– manages and standardises contracts
– makes planning easier
– fosters transparency through traceability and accountability
– reduces downtime by taking a data-informed approach to task allocation
– ensures complete coverage, QA and compliance across the network
– creates a seamless, consistent user experience.

Project Need

ETS is one of Australia’s most respected vegetation management companies, leading the industry with effective, efficient and sustainable infrastructure management. CanopyIQ is designed to measure progress based on client outcomes. It does the heavy lifting to translate data for users and pulls apart spans of work to take the complexity out of scheduling and resourcing. An iOS app optimises in-field workflows for crews, while the web application allows clients and operations teams to manage and assign tasks strategically.

Today, CanopyIQ underpins all aspects of ETS’s work, from scoping to execution and QA. Since its release, CanopyIQ has helped to maintain and secure national contracts by providing clarity around scheduled works. The platform’s strength lies in its ability to simplify incredibly complex workflows that previously involved a mix of personal knowledge, marked-up physical maps, locally saved spreadsheets and inventive workarounds. Now, crews understand the work required to ensure network safety and can communicate progress transparently. CanopyIQ supports accountability right down to the individual - enabling the end to end work delivery cycle. Clients have complete visibility and reporting is easy.

User Experience

“...We’re up in a bucket all day - we’re hot, dehydrated and sweaty. The last thing we want to do is think about an app. We’re not computer scientists .... it needs to be un@%$#-upable…”

During discovery, we learned the lack of a consolidated view of activities in the vegetation management cycle was affecting workflows between different parties. This resulted in missed opportunities to rapidly deploy the speciality crews required to clear lines within the network safely.

CanopyIQ’s clean, uncluttered interfaces were designed to support a desire to assess and share information quickly. User-specific content is displayed in the user's preferred method - on a map, list view, via dashboards and by diving into detailed breakdowns of tasks. Views can be personalised with filters and layers. There’s a shared view and login for crews. Individuals can log status updates, as well as notes/images with the network - tasks are clearly traceable and searchable. After multiple interactions, we developed icons that help users understand how content is being prioritised. This ensures only one crew is doing one task to avoid duplication and excessive travel.

Getting maps right was critical. Paper maps were a proven and reliable part of the workflow for many field crews. Our strategy was to deliver an intuitive tool that has an easy learning curve and reduces the administrative burden. Field crews can quickly share important updates about the environments they are operating within that might affect the safety of other crews and local residents.

Project Marketing

ETS identified an opportunity to digitise their resource management services and simplify communication processes. Before CanopyIQ, the communication flow between ETS operations managers, supervisors, field crews, and clients involved a mix of assumed knowledge, paper and various tech and offline systems. Progress measurement was wildly variable and often relied on ‘gut feel’. The vision of this project was realised after a period of three months with heavy user involvement and validation. CanopyIQ is a complex bespoke platform. It was designed, developed and released over a period of 24 months.

Since its release, CanopyIQ has guaranteed the accuracy of data flow, reduced travel time between job sites, placed ETS ahead of competitors in their technology capabilities and improved overall efficiency of planning. Tens of thousands of dollars have been saved in paper and the adoption rate from field crews is high. CanopyIQ has successfully streamlined time intensive processes that had previously contributed to inconsistent user experiences. Manual report building is now automated and on-demand, removing back of house processing. Communication management through email and phone calls is now optimised via digital means and logged directly into the management system. It has enabled rapid resolution of issues through increased visibility of ‘on the ground’ operations.

CanopyIQ has received overwhelmingly positive feedback as it provides a level of transparency of data that was previously unachievable. CanopyIQ has enabled ETS to solidify their position as market leaders and to open up new market opportunities.

Project Privacy

The system is supported by sophisticated Azure serverless architecture for scale and security. It leverages Azure AD for identity management/authentication and is a multi-tenant platform supporting tiered permissions access. Data is securely aggregated and assessed from historical and real-time data sources.

CanopyIQ is based on over 15 years of continuous vegetation works management and was developed to simplify processes for all users. ETS can now manage all of their clients in one place. Multi-tenancy enables all clients to exist within one instance of CanopyIQ - with program templates to facilitate client-specific requirements and a permission based model to manage access.
-The system manages:
- Programming / scheduling
- Scoping / inspections
- Work order approvals
- Field works management
- Quality / safety auditing
- Program status
- Customer reporting / invoicing
- Process improvement / development

Data collected allows oversight, transparency and historic record of vegetation management of the network, along with the interactions and experience of the residents who rely on it. A central repository of on-the-ground review and notes on the entire electricity network are helping crews and supervisors make informed scheduling decisions.

Data security is chief for any system that handles IP, billing and resources. Conduct applied industry best practice methodologies including encryption of data in transit and data at rest, secure session management and authentication. We implemented access control management to limit data exposure through granular authorisation logic including tiered roles and customisable, needs-based access on a modular level.

From managing personnel, project management and customised apps and tools for specific business processes and tasks, what will stand out here will be those that make it easier for businesses to run both day to day operations and improve their business functionality and efficiency.
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