Ross discussed the importance of asset management in terms of saving money and preventing infrastructure breakdown that would affect normal utility operation and maintenance budget.
Asset management is about committing a bit of thought up front, a bit of inspection and a bit of getting the program right.
When you do it right, you’re actually saving huge amounts of money.
But because it hasn’t gone wrong, people don’t see the money saved so they would say, “Oh well, we’re just doing no more than changing and improvising practice.”
It’s really useful to know if you had one of those instances, as do most people have. I had one, years ago where we were cleaning an asbestos-cement pipe just before Easter, which in hindsight was a stupid thing to do.
The pipe was just about wrecked. Through a major intersection, the pipe collapsed. And it was only the biggest industrial area in town. They normally have big industrial flows and luckily for us they were all closing down for Easter.
At Easter in New Zealand, it is a 4 day vacation weekend, and we get Friday and Monday off, but with the incident, we had crews out there all weekend, fixing a pipe, paid at double time and doing the emergency repairs.
It looks like 150 meters of the pipe died and it was 12-inch. We determined we’re under capacity here so we went up to about four inches in capacity, up to maybe 16 or 15, might have been 15-inch.
We had to design on site on that day to fix the trouble and rebuild the pipeline.
If we’d been able to do that job well designed and not in that circumstance we would have completed the job for about a third of the price it actually cost as an emergency repair, and achieved a much better result. The guys who have done the work, they were good, and gave up their long weekend to get the pipeline fixed, but it sure cost us some money getting those crews organized .
Everybody has one of those stories and they are the ones you need to tell your governance about, showing them this is what we’re spending.
If we do our asset management properly, we don’t get those incidents anymore, or very rarely. And that will save you a heap of money, and avoid aggravating circumstances.
Often, the worst things happen during the most unexpected or worst possible time too.
PHOTO AND CAPTION CREDIT: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit via Flickr Creative Commons License