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The Fulcrum Focus

Stay in the know with thought leadership, product updates, and latest news on field inspection and data collection topics.

Why every community needs a stormwater management plan

Urban environments, by their very nature, create ideal conditions for excessive stormwater runoff. As these areas expand rapidly, alongside the evolving challenges of climate change, the need for comprehensive stormwater management becomes more critical. These expanding cities, with their unpredictable shifts in climate patterns, significantly impact stormwater systems in complexity and scale. According to the […]

Technology innovations in electrical infrastructure maintenance and repair

The global use of electricity continues to grow every year. In fact, electricity usage in 2022 was more than three times higher than in 1980, and demand continues to climb. A robust plan for electrical infrastructure maintenance is essential to safely meet the needs of our interconnected world. The worldwide pandemic demonstrated how comprehensively linked […]

How utility companies will use fulcrum to gain an actionable advantage in 2024

As 2023 draws to a close, utilities face considerable headwinds, finding themselves squeezed by regulator-driven demands for sustainability and environmental care, and grappling with escalating service delivery costs. In this challenging landscape, GIS-enhanced data collection emerges as a crucial tool for utilities, aiding in balancing these demands while maintaining operational efficiency. Utility challenges The need […]

Prevent wildlife causing power outages with data collection software

Electricity is the lifeblood of modern society, powering everything from homes to hospitals. Yet, this critical service is surprisingly vulnerable to the natural world, particularly the untamed antics of wildlife. Every year, curious critters are the cause of widespread power outages, leading to significant economic losses and reliability issues for utilities. As electrical utilities seek […]

Top three tech tools for water disaster management

As the global climate continues to fluctuate, water disasters are on the rise. The United Nations (UN) recently reported that harmful water events top the list of the world’s most destructive disasters. The number of water-related disasters has increased by a factor of five over the past 50 years, driven by climate change and weather […]

Driving geospatial innovation in field services with Fulcrum

You know how, when you’re in the field, you sometimes need to step back to get a little perspective? It’s similar with software. We recently took a few minutes to host a webinar, Chart new territory with lines and polygons in Fulcrum, to help our customers understand how our geospatial innovation and capabilities fit in […]

Strengthening electrical poles for future storms with Fulcrum

With the alarming increase in extreme weather events, electrical poles face an unprecedented challenge. Damaged poles can incapacitate a grid, leaving communities in darkness, cutting off communication, and stalling vital services. However, the solution is not costly-full scale replacement of the many poles that make up a grid. Instead, utilities are much better off reinforcing poles […]

Geolocation data in disaster response: how Fulcrum is making a difference

The power of where in emergencies In the critical moments following a disaster, the ability to pinpoint and act upon geolocation data can be lifesaving. For utility companies, this information is the compass that directs the restoration efforts in a landscape where traditional landmarks may no longer exist. Geolocation data acts as a beacon, providing […]

How GIS mobile data collection connects teams across distances

What is GIS mobile data collection? You might be familiar with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a technology that has been a cornerstone for capturing and analyzing spatial data. GIS mobile data collection with platforms such as Fulcrum takes this foundational technology to the next level. It’s not just about creating maps or storing data; it’s […]

2023 gift guide for people who love geography

Four years have flown by since we last navigated the globe for a geography gift guide, and it’s high time for an update! Whether you’re a map enthusiast, a trivia titan, or just looking to jazz up your desk with a spinning Earth, our latest roundup of geographically great gifts will have you plotting a […]

What is geospatial data collection?

Imagine merging the where with the what to make smarter decisions – that’s the essence of geospatial data collection, a cornerstone in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Whether you’re in utilities, urban planning, environmental science, or any other field that requires data to be correlated with exact locations, understanding this practice is essential. This blog post […]

Risk and resilience management of stormwater systems

Protecting us from floods and pollution, stormwater infrastructure keeps our communities and economies safe and healthy. However, standing at the forefront of a rapidly-changing world – from unprecedented urban growth to extreme climate events – they have come under increasing strain in recent years. Given this delicate balance, water utilities cannot afford to overlook the […]

Water quality technology: A GIS-enabled approach to monitoring water quality

Not only is clean and safe water vital for public health, but failing to ensure water quality also has wide economic and environmental consequences. Water quality technology has traditionally involved cumbersome or slow sampling and testing methods, often delaying the identification of contaminants. However, Geographic Information System (GIS) has now made real-time water quality monitoring […]

Elevate efficiency with water utility management software

Managing a water utility is no small feat. From ensuring regulatory compliance to maintaining aging infrastructure and streamlining operations, the list of responsibilities can be overwhelming. That’s where effective technology comes into play. A robust water utility management software solution can transform these everyday challenges into opportunities for enhanced efficiency and better service quality. In […]

Green geometry: harnessing advanced GIS in vegetation management for utilities

Vegetation management is a continuous challenge for utility companies. From mountain forests to city streets, ensuring vegetation doesn’t interfere with electrical lines is critical for safety and service continuity. This is no easy feat, especially if utilities rely on outdated data collection methods that can’t properly track critical data points or produce decisive insights. That’s […]

Data-driven oversight: navigating utility pole partnerships

Despite their decades-old prevalence, utility poles stand at the forefront of a technological evolution. As telecom companies build ever-newer networks, utility poles become essential equipment for both legacy electrical grids and cutting-edge telecoms. Doubling pole use benefits both utilities and telecoms, but these utility pole partnerships can present numerous challenges without proper oversight.  In this evolving […]

Fulcrum’s new frontier: bringing lines and polygons to life

I’m excited to share some big news with you today. We’ve brought lines and polygons to Fulcrum, a move that’s been high on our clients’ wish list for quite some time. This isn’t just a new feature; it’s a big step forward in making GIS-oriented data collection and field operations more straightforward and effective, a […]

WEFTEC 2023: The Future of Water Engineering and Infrastructure

The Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) 2023, held in Chicago, IL, was more than just an event; it was a transformative experience. As attendees from all over the globe converged to discuss, learn, and collaborate, the conference provided a comprehensive understanding of the water sector’s current challenges, recent innovations, and future opportunities. […]

Bolstering electric infrastructure resilience: the power of AI for utilities

Global electricity demand is projected to grow between 62% and 185 percent by 2050.  As our world becomes more electrified, new challenges threaten the reliability and stability of our power infrastructure. From increased demand to aging equipment, extreme weather events to cyberthreats, there’s an urgent need to bolster electric infrastructure resilience. While utilities grapple with these […]

Inspections help to keep up with electricity demand from public EV charging stations

The future of electric vehicles (EVs) presents a looming challenge. The projected demand for public EV charging stations will place the US electrical grid under immense strain. The current Administration has earmarked $7.5 billion for EV charging, including building a national network of 500,000 chargers. And yet 70% of the US grid is over 25 […]

AI-Powered Leak Detection: Safeguarding Water Infrastructure with Technology

As of September 2023, a staggering 30 percent of the United States finds itself grappling with moderate to severe drought conditions, signaling a distressing trend in climate patterns. This alarming development is not merely a temporary phase. In fact, experts from the UN Environmental Program have shifted away from using the term “droughts” to describe […]

Lines, Polygons, and Data: Mapping Efficiency in the Field

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) continue to transform field data collection, offering depth and detail that were previously out of reach. Fulcrum leads the charge in this revolution by integrating GIS lines and polygons directly into its data collection tool, setting a new benchmark for industries requiring comprehensive and precise geospatial analysis. Join us as we […]

The Power of GIS Lines and Polygons for Utility Planning

Geographic information systems (GIS) have emerged as vital tools for visualizing and analyzing spatial data in utility management. These systems utilize detailed mapping features such as lines (representing linear features like roads or utility cables) and polygons (depicting enclosed areas like parcels or land use zones). This technology grants utility companies a deep understanding of […]

GIS Lines and Polygons Reshaping Utilities

Data accuracy plays a critical role in utility field operations. Incorporating GIS lines and polygons is reshaping utilities with visual data collection and mapping of critical assets. Without reliable data to guide utility field operations, utilities potentially risk severe consequences: massive outages affecting thousands of households and businesses, inefficient resource allocation swelling operational costs, or […]

Three Requirements for Modernizing Water Utility Asset Management

Water utility asset management involves tracking and optimizing infrastructure, inventories, and tasks to ensure safe, consistent, and cost-effective service delivery. Doing this effectively requires the right tools to reliably collect accurate data on assets, life-cycle costs, and proactive maintenance. Too often, however, data collection systems are outdated, forcing utilities to rely on incomplete data, manual […]

Spatial Insights for Electrical Inspections

Field inspections are central to an electrical utility’s network, safeguarding infrastructure by identifying wear and potential hazards to prevent service disruption. Successful electrical inspections require collecting and analyzing accurate and reliable data to identify inefficiencies and risks and prioritize timely remediation. However, the use of imprecise tools by inspection teams can compromise operational efficiency by […]

Fulcrum Named as G2’s Fall 2023 Most Implementable Inspection Management Solution

As we bid farewell to summer and embrace the cozy days of fall, it’s not just the leaves that are changing. We’re thrilled to announce the latest accolades earned by Fulcrum, and they’re making us feel as warm and fuzzy as a pumpkin spice latte on a chilly autumn morning. This season, Fulcrum has been […]

3 Key Takeaways From the 2023 T&D World Live Conference

The 2023 T&D World Live Conference was a landmark event, bringing together the brightest minds in the transmission and distribution sector. Fulcrum was among many who exhibited and attended with a team of experts in their field. Although the show was well attended by major players in the industry, the environment was one of a […]

Boosting Efficiency for Electrical Field Operations Managers

Field operations managers and their teams play an indispensable part in electrical utilities. They work tirelessly to ensure timely maintenance, infrastructure upgrades, and emergency response.  However, in an industry where precision and efficiency are paramount, managing and coordinating field teams presents a constant challenge. Relying on manual or analog processes to manage field teams is […]

Revolutionizing Water Management – The Power of GIS Applications and Data Collection Platforms

In the realm of modern water management, there are two unsung heroes that deserve the spotlight: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications and data collection platforms. They might not have flashy costumes, but the impact of data collection platforms and GIS applications for water, wastewater, and stormwater systems is nothing short of transformative. Read on to […]

Fulcrum for Water Infrastructure Solutions

It’s not easy overseeing the #2 necessity of life, just after air. In addition to managing the intricate water network and maintaining essential services, water utilities must comply with a dizzying number of regulations from federal agency regulations all the way down to small town local ordinances. Oh, and somehow at the end of the […]

Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Planning with GIS Data

Access to safe drinking water and clean sanitation has long been considered a basic human right. But over two billion people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, a staggering figure on the rise. The need for robust, efficient, and sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure is clear, especially in an era of resource scarcity […]

Creating a sustainable urban infrastructure with GIS data

As urban spaces grow and evolve, governments often face challenges in finding the right balance in urban infrastructure between sustainable development and residents’ needs. More than just a mapping tool, Geographic Information System (GIS) has emerged as a powerful way to create urban spaces that prioritize both people and the planet, acting as a bridge […]

Can water utility data management software rescue utilities from drowning in challenges?

The 2023 Outlook for Water Utilities by the American Water Works Associate reports that water utility leaders generally view the industry favorably, giving it a 5 out of a possible 7 “optimism rating.”  However, this positive outlook doesn’t imply that everything is smooth sailing. From resource allocation to environmental impact to sustainability to retaining appropriate […]

Guarding the grid: how SaaS enhances data security for electrical utilities

Electrical utilities may turn to in-house data collection solutions to maintain a sense of operational control. However, this approach leads to serious security vulnerabilities that put data integrity at risk and can have cascading effects on everything from service delivery to reputation. In this finale of our ongoing series, we’ll explore how SaaS data collection solutions […]

Flexibility and Scalability: Esri’s GIS Integration for Utilities Data Collection

If you are a follower of Fulcrum (and we hope you are!), you’ve probably seen our Esri announcements over the past six months or so, starting with our definitive commercial provider agreement and most recently talking about further Esri integration with a host of new features. But today we wanted to single out a couple […]

SaaS data collection tools reduce IT workload

Since the acceleration of digital technology, electrical utilities have often relied on in-house or “homemade” software solutions for data collection tools. Piecing together a range of different solutions might provide a degree of control and customization. However, this fragmentary approach also comes with serious challenges that can negatively impact utilities, particularly around IT workload and […]

SaaS data collection tools eliminate hardware and software hassles

As the fourth installment in our series exploring the benefits of SaaS data collection tools for electric utilities, join us as we look at how innovative SaaS platforms significantly reduce the need for costly hardware and software maintenance and upgrades, all while offering advanced data collection features. Hardware/Software Maintenance and Upgrades While offering a high […]

How SaaS data collection tools optimize resources

As part three of our series about the importance of SaaS solutions for electric utilities, we follow up on our previous blogs about time savings and integration by looking at the budgetary benefits of how cloud-based data collection tools optimize resources. Cost of Creation Estimates for creating a custom in-house software platform range from $75,000 […]

Fulcrum is G2 Summer 2023 Leader in Mobile Forms Automation

Every quarter when the G2 reports come in, we admit we have the teensiest bit of butterflies fluttering in our figurative stomach.  Is the Fulcrum data collection and mobile forms automation tool continuing to make a difference in users’ inspection processes? And, Have the improvements we’ve been making paid off for our customers? And even, […]

Better integration with SaaS data collection tools

In this part 2 of our series on SaaS data collection tools for electric utilities, we highlight the superiority of SaaS platforms in integrating with other digital systems like GIS, business intelligence, and analytics software. These integrations allow for seamless data exchange and maximize the utility of each system, ultimately helping utilities reduce workflow friction, […]

Key Takeaways from the 2023 Esri User Conference

As the world continues to evolve, so does our interaction with it. The key to navigating this change lies in the power of data and technology. This was the central theme at the 2023 Esri User Conference, which Fulcrum encompasses in its Field Management Platform. With Esri, the leading GIS data system, Fulcrum is excited […]

Why SaaS data collection tools are best for electric utilities

If electric utilities and their contractors need reliable, efficient, and affordable SaaS data collection tools, why do they so often rely on in-house software solutions to manage their field operations? Few options, customization needs, and sunk costs The size and scope of work that needed to be done required that electric utilities and contractors turn […]

Harnessing the power of utility pole inspection software to extend pole lifespan

Wooden utility poles are indispensable for the efficient and effective transmission and distribution of electricity. But to ensure their long-term functionality, wood poles require regular care and attention, and the importance of their continued maintenance cannot be understated.  The cost of replacing a utility pole can be prohibitive, making it far more economical and practical […]

How technology can help attract – and retain – electrical utilities and contractor workers

Since COVID, employers in just about every industry have been scrambling for workers, particularly in the trades as older workers retire in greater numbers. And while electrical utilities and contractors have not had quite as many issues attracting new workers as, say, the construction industry, they too are struggling. One industry expert last summer stated […]

SaaS field ops software helps electrical utilities quickly restore power

More than a mere inconvenience to customers, power outages represent a costly ordeal with far-reaching implications for electrical utilities, and, by extension, their service contractors. Both the direct costs (e.g., resources dedicated to troubleshooting and restoration) and the indirect costs (e.g., revenue loss from disrupted service and potential compensation to affected consumers) add up quickly […]

How field inspection management platforms simplify smart water meter deployments

The smart water meter market is slated to grow globally at about 27 percent per year[i] – not surprising considering the many advantages of smart water meters such as reducing water waste, improving water quality, and increasing system efficiency[ii]. There’s only one problem: the meters don’t upgrade themselves. With a cost to replace digital meters […]

Why electrical utilities should insist on a single inspection software

To guarantee safety, improve efficiency, and meet regulatory requirements, electrical utilities must collect reliable, consistent, and accurate data from a vast range of inspections and field operations, including pole inspections, vegetation management tasks, and more. Too often, however, utilities rely on contractors or field workers who arrive on-site with their own set of digital or […]

ASSP’s Digital Survey of Job Site Application

As new partner of American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Fulcrum launched its Fulcrum ASSP Starter field inspection platform, free for ASSP members, back in April. One of the two fully-customizable ANSI/ASSP processes that come with the Starter platform is ASSP Survey of Job Site. We thought we’d take a minute to go through the […]

Stormwater inspections made easier with digital data collection technology

While vital for environmental health, conducting stormwater inspections can nonetheless be a slow, inefficient, and costly process. With a staggering 3.5 million miles of storm sewers and 270 million storm drains in the U.S., better tools are needed to streamline the stormwater inspection process, especially when so many qualified storm events require a rapid response.  […]

How field inspection management software streamlines Phase I ESAs

Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are increasingly critical to manage human environmental impact, safeguard communities, and mitigate potential legal and financial liabilities. They’re crucial for the sale, reuse, or redevelopment of a property, and serve to provide a baseline understanding of its environmental condition by identifying potential or existing contaminations or issues of concern, and assessing […]

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