6 Ways Engineering Firms Can Help Utilities of Any Size with Asset Management

How engineering firms can customize their asset management engineering services .

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December 30, 2020

Large water and wastewater utilities tend to have the necessary resources as well as technology when it comes to effective asset management. However, the same can’t always be said for medium and small utilities.

Even though they face similar challenges regarding infrastructure management, like disconnected system-of-record, tight budgets, and aging assets, they have limited resources to overcome them.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at how engineering firms can customize their asset management engineering services to help small and medium-sized water systems. This will not only help them win more projects and clients but also secure more revenue.

1. Prioritization of Inspections, Cleaning, Repairs, and Replacements

Bluefield’s Water Industry 4.0 (Research, 2020) report shows emergency asset maintenance costs are likely to be three times as high as planned maintenance costs. For utilities adopting preventive maintenance in order to fix their high priority water and wastewater asset deficiencies before failure occurs are therefore able to generate substantial savings.

Engineering firms need to have a thorough understanding of the condition of assets for even the small to medium utilities to be successful with asset management planning so they can effectively plan and prioritize asset cleaning, repairs, and replacements before it’s too late. Staying ahead and preparing for asset management planning can have significant savings even for the smallest of utilities because over time, the money lost in reactive maintenance adds up and can often end up being even more work to repair.

2. Improved Condition of Infrastructure

A key purpose of asset management is to sustain water and wastewater levels of service. It includes aging infrastructure, risk management, funding, data collection and reporting, managing stakeholder expectations, and much more.

When it comes to small and medium water utility asset management, engineering or consulting firms need to outline and develop a long-term plan for assets so they can help utilities meet industry standards, maximize the life of their infrastructure, and streamline their operations.

3. Justifiable Maintenance and Capital Budgets

Since utilities tend to make long-term investments on their assets, they need to employ risk-based analysis to determine their long-term funding strategies. This will help them manage their capital as well as operational expenses in the future. Larger utilities are typically working with larger investments to go far in the long-term but for the smaller utilities working with smaller investments, preparing for risk-based assessments and justifying maintenance can become vital when managing investments and planning budgets.

Additionally, risk-based assessments make it easier to justify investments on major projects to stakeholders. Engineering firms can enable their smaller and medium sized utility clients to proactively invest in measures to help them maintain and extend the life of their assets.

4. Customer Satisfaction

Needless to say, no matter what the size, water utilities need to maintain their assets to ensure they can function at peak performance for a long period of time and get replaced before failure can occur. This helps to ensure their customers will receive high quality service with limited disruption. However, small to medium utilities can certainly have different management priorities needing to be met, than a larger utility.

Using Innovyze’s advanced software platforms, InfoAsset or InfoAsset Suite, engineering firms can provide a variety of asset management solutions, including customer service applications, making it easier for customers to submit their service requests to small and medium utilities and track them to completion.

5. Good Reputation

With the help of effective asset management practices and state-of-the-art utility maintenance software, small and medium water utilities can earn industry recognition and retain their customers for life.

Gaining a good reputation in the industry also requires making sure water and wastewater systems are adequately operated and maintained year-round. Moreover, they should meet customer expectations and comply with applicable permit conditions.

Consulting firms can help small to medium utilities maintain their assets and minimize future repair and replacements costs so they can provide first-class services to their customers without interruption.

6. Regulation Compliance

All water and wastewater utilities are assessed by their stakeholders and these assessments span their environmental, business, and societal outlooks. Engineering firms need to make sure their small, medium and large utility clients can provide their services while ensuring regulation compliance. This will allow them to strengthen the support of their stakeholders and justify their maintenance budgets.

To help utilities assure their consumers of their service reliability, engineering firms need to allocate their capital and maintenance budgets in a way that extends the life of their assets. Innovyze InfoAsset suite can help them improve and streamline their day-to-day operations and consistently provide scalable and reliable asset management services to their prospective clients.

To learn more about reliable asset management services visit the InfoAsset suite today!

For a related case study read: Ross Valley Sanitary District's Ongoing Asset Management Program, Recognized by Industry Award

1. Bluefield Research, Water Industry 4.0: U.S. & Canada Digital Water Market Forecast, 2019-2030. Bluefield
Research, Jan. 14, 2020. https://www.bluefieldresearch.com/research/water-industry-4-0-u-s-digital-water-market-forecast-2019-2030/

 

 

Tags: asset management, engineering firm, small to medium water utilities, operational expeneses, asset management planning