Our resource persons continue to tackle questions on using the software in infrastructure asset management practice.
And software does not equal asset management. It’s a tool.
And look, if I think about the biggest thing that drives asset management engineers in New Zealand mad, it is, I want to run a report because I’m going to produce something tomorrow.
I know that information is in the system, and I either can’t get that report out, or there’s a gatekeeper, or I’ve got to pay the vendor, ten thousand bucks to produce this report.
And I have to produce something for my boss or for the board tomorrow. I don’t have five weeks to specify the report. And I just hear that time and time and time again.
So, whatever you do, you need to create something that provides your line asset management engineers or managers or your operations, say maintenance, the operations guys, I know that information is in the system, I can’t get it out. There’s always the bugbear.
And if you can get something that’s got a reasonably flexible reporting tool that can just dump something out of the system to a spreadsheet or whatever, that’s going to solve a lot of your angst because that’s what drives people nuts.
They have a job to do and they can’t do it and they got to go cup in hand to get somebody who doesn’t have the same priorities as they do.
And that can be from a spreadsheet through to a sophisticated “all singing all dancing” enterprise, resource data management database that’s sitting on the cloud.
If you can’t get the information out of it to report on the analysis that you need, your life is not going to be a happy life at that point.
More questions on asset management software
Heather requested that the rest of the questions related to using a software in asset management be presented. These are as follows:
- Can you name some tablet or phone apps?
- Can you recommend a free GIS app?
- Are you familiar with a certain type of apps? Can you name a few?
So the short answer is we’re not going to name any piece of software here today nor the generic because it’s a contextualize question. You need to know what the situation of the utility is.
And so, for the people asking those questions, what I would suggest is contacting Heather and her team or EFC Network offline from the webinar and start getting an individual discussion going.
And there’s sort of the theme thing that we talk about with the asset management software. There are several different GIS companies out there.
Some offers are very, very expensive to the open-source QGIS, which is just an open-source thing that’s out there that I believe is free.
It’s just people get on and geek out and figure out how it works.
So, there’s pros and cons to using any one particular thing. What’s the expense to me to buy it versus what’s the cost to me to learn how to use open-source software.
So, there’s no hard and fast rule to say, this is precisely what you are to use, or this is the answer for a particular utility.
Kind of depends on what resources you have access to.
Is there somebody in your organization already who are doing the mapping?
We often find that if you are in the community, municipality setting, the planning department, or the zoning department or the tax department has mapping, GIS mapping, and you can tag along to their mapping.
They may have streets on there, and houses and you’re just there adding your pipes and other assets to their particular map, and you don’t have to start from scratch.
So, sometimes just even seeking out, what do you guys are doing, what else is happening in your community can help you get started with a particular approach.
Other recent technological innovations can improve the capacity of very small or small systems to do effective O & M.
I think one other thing is there are hundreds of these sorts of apps out there, but the ones that are form-builder apps where they just there lay the builder rapid data form to put on a phone or tablet, so you’re not carrying that paper around. A lot of those are laid, and you will just to grab a photo on a GPS reference, where you are.
And those alone I think can just be fantastic for just getting simple lots of information – Yes, I was at the site; I inspected it this day, and everything is good; and all of a sudden, I’ve got that coming back.
But again, you can either get a free one. There are hundreds of them around. You’re going to invest the time creating your forms, or you can go to somebody who’s working with utilities who’s done all that for you and has an interface, you pay some money for it.
Again, there’s no right answer, but getting rid of the double, triple, or quadruple handling paper and having the whole error step of translating stuff from paper into a system is, I think, that’s been a huge gain that people can use.
Even like your pump station logs, you can use those sorts of systems for say, your log, get ready your logbooks in and use a system like that, and just start building an information database.