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Fulcrum is a field inspection management platform built to streamline safety and quality processes, field operations, and asset inspections, especially for mobile teams.
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Too often, however, data collection systems are outdated, forcing utilities to rely on incomplete data, manual processes, and inefficient operations. This major oversight has potentially dire consequences, including compromised water quality, service interruptions, and spiraling maintenance costs.
Advanced data collection platforms are a transformative solution for water utilities, offering tools to reliably collect the precise data that asset management demands for delivering consistent, quality water supply for our communities.
Join us as we explore how data collection platforms are revolutionizing water utility asset management and the steps utilities can take to harness their full potential.
Traditional methods of data collection in the water utility sector often fall prey to inaccuracies, procedural inefficiencies, and delayed dissemination of vital information. Recognizing these shortcomings, many utilities are pivoting towards digitization, a move that a McKinsey study finds can reduce operational expenses by as much as 25 percent. Moreover, this shift is not merely a cost-saving measure – it also heralds substantial improvements in various facets of operations. It can potentially enhance safety protocols, elevate customer satisfaction levels, and ensure stringent adherence to regulatory standards, with McKinsey reporting performance gains ranging from 20 to 40 percent.
Data collection platforms enhance utility management by facilitating the real-time capture, update, and storage of data, bolstering informed decision-making, and streamlining operations for effective planning.
Utilities using these platforms can digitally document assets, capture precise locations, and synchronize this information with existing systems. And this kind of modernization isn’t just about managing equipment or heavy machinery. Every pipe, pump, and reservoir can be cataloged, mapped, and tracked. And even the smallest components, like valves and meters, can be integrated into the digital ecosystem.
As water utilities recognize the substantial gains from digitization, it becomes imperative to adopt a systematic approach to fully harness the potential of modern technology and ensure a seamless transition into the digital era.
Embarking on the digital journey necessitates a well-thought-out strategy. Here, we present a guide to the three foundational pillars that ensure a smooth and effective transition:
From aging infrastructure to unpredictable demand, utilities face challenges that demand standardizing and maintaining a uniform operational and management approach. For instance, accurately monitoring water leakage rates requires standardized data formats to ensure consistent tracking across regions and years.
Advanced platforms like Fulcrum standardize processes and projects. They serve as a unified platform for capturing and sharing data. This uniform approach ensures a coherent data structure. Data points like flow rates and maintenance schedules are synchronized. This leads to seamless communication and integration across the organization.
Finally, standardized processes also bring a cohesion to asset management that drastically reduces discrepancies and errors. In fact, businesses that welcome digital standardization experience a 30% increase in data quality.
In a standardized environment, data becomes a powerful tool. With enhanced reliability, utilities can drive data-driven insights for faster and more informed decision-making, like predicting potential issues before they surface.
The wide range of water utility responsibilities means no single tool can manage them all. More than that, every utility’s approach to asset management is unique, with processes refined over decades to reflect their needs.
Modern data collection platforms recognize this complexity. Instead of replacing existing systems, they provide a flexible framework to seamlessly align with and enhance processes already in place.
This integration is vital because it allows diverse systems to communicate and work together to bridge gaps, eliminate redundancies, and streamline processes for a more cohesive, efficient, and responsive asset management approach.
And this adaptability extends beyond workflows. Fulcrum, for one, is product-, platform-, partner-, and tool-agnostic. This means it seamlessly integrates with almost every device and technology that utilities likely already employ, whether third-party or homegrown.
For instance, when monitoring reservoir health, integrating 3D imagery captured by drones can provide a comprehensive view, while real-time water pressure monitoring via embedded sensors can flag potential issues in distribution systems.
With such comprehensive compatibility, asset management becomes truly holistic and efficient, optimizing the wheel instead of reinventing it.
From addressing droughts to handling flooding, the many challenges faced by water utilities makes customization crucial to effectively manage assets.
Leading platforms like Fulcrum allow utilities to create custom in-platform solutions tailored to their unique situations. Packed with robust features and designed for ease of use to meet the specific needs of end-users, their agile system of digital checklists and notifications streamline operations for tracking any required asset or task.
Customization is not just about tailoring solutions to meet the unique challenges and demands of water utilities. It’s a strategic move towards fostering greater user adoption and satisfaction. Utilities can create solutions tailored to their unique operations. This makes adoption smoother and more natural. Users appreciate a system that meets their specific needs. This boosts overall satisfaction and strengthens their relationship with the technology.
Customization also accelerates the speed of change. Traditional systems often took weeks or even months to accommodate changes, like adjusting to sudden demand spikes. Utilities can now pivot within hours or days, responding to emergent challenges or shifts in operational strategies with unprecedented agility.
Finally, customization makes these platforms more adoptable across the enterprise. Integrated solutions can dovetail with other business processes to create a more complete, efficient approach to water utility management.
Modernizing asset management empowers water utilities with the efficiency and precision necessary to adeptly navigate and overcome the complex challenges they face. Whether keeping our water clean, managing vast reservoirs, or preventing potential service disruptions, robust data collection platforms empower utilities to thrive, no matter what lies ahead.
Best-in-class data collection platforms like Fulcrum offer an effortless path to this success. By standardizing, integrating, and customizing their processes, utilities not only satisfy the demands of today but also safeguard their future prosperity.
If navigating the complexities of water utility asset management feels like a daunting task, our insights can pave the way for a smoother transition. Discover the transformative potential of Fulcrum firsthand – start your free trial today!