Achieving excellence in asset management is critical to optimize ROI among utility organizations, and GIS mapping is set to become a game-changer when it comes to utility asset management.
FREMONT, CA: Assets are the lifeblood of the utility industry. Having transmission lines, storage wells, generation plants, and many more as their valuable assets, utility enterprises are asset-intensive. Apart from these, buildings, fleet, heavy equipment, technology infrastructure, and others are also a significant part of running a modern utility business. Given that, it becomes challenging for utilities to manage all these assets and are looking for ways to get the most out of their assets and maximize return on investment. This is a challenging task, but Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is acting as an affordable and easier to use tool for utilities looking for asset management solutions. Here is a gist on how GIS is helping utility asset management.
GIS mapping entails layering multiple sets of geographical data points so that users can view various combinations of data on the map. This combination of data layers can help to identify data patterns. Given that utility assets always have a location base, mapping assets is the most effective method of logging them. But knowing where the assets are, provides utility managers much more than a simple geographical inventory. GIS mapping offers many more layers of asset data, and therefore, better opportunity for more in-depth analysis. Using GIS mapping can also foster robust communication and collaboration processes within various teams, given that databases can be accessed through multiple devices. This allows various organizational authorities to be involved in decision-making.
GIS mapping can fuel asset management practices by configuring and collecting data. Without collecting asset data, utility firms will struggle to strategize their asset management program effectively. The information that can be gleaned from GIS mapping can help utilities with more accurately estimating the lifecycle of assets, identifying preventive maintenance needs, determining risks that could arise from the breakdown in assets, and proactively plan for any failures. Overall, GIS asset mapping helps utilities visualize patterns, trends, and relationships. From minor details to details about breakdowns or the number of customers affected by an event, GIS mapping can help reduce operational costs by providing more accurate asset information.
GIS mapping can also help utilities to be more operationally savvy. By mapping assets and integrating this with facility management software, utilities can improve facility management and planning practices by being able to visualize spaces, assets, and personnel. GIS mapping’s predictive features can help in work order creation. GIS also enhances efficiency in searching for information on space allocation, precise locations of facilities, duplication of work, and adding and updating asset data. The remote monitoring nature of GIS mapping makes collection and access of data easy and convenient. This can reduce costs and increase efficiency. It reduces the costs associated with utility assets maintenance schedules, inventory tracking, location plotting, and many more. GIS platforms can also be customized in ways that help utilities tackle infrastructure repairs and improvements more efficiently.
Instead of embedding a utility asset management system into a GIS system, utilities should look for an asset management system that supports complete integration with the firm’s complete GIS data. This allows utilities to track all of their assets, ensuring that organizations can effectively track all of its assets at a deep, life cycle level. Capitalizing on the GIS can increase the effectiveness of organizational performance and maximizes the success of the utility’s asset management plan. Once figured out why utilities want to employ asset tracking, what assets are essential, and what utilities need to know about those assets, it is time to integrate GIS solutions for the needs.