Operational Asset Management

Getting the most from your assets by lowering risk and improving level of service through integrated data, technology and optimized work management.

This month, water sector professionals from across North America will gather at the AWWA Water Infrastructure Conference (WIC) to “learn about water infrastructure issues and discuss solutions to these challenges.” As someone who has spoken ad nauseam about the need for us to address these critical challenges, WIC is one of my favorite conferences of the year to connect, learn and share with industry colleagues. Every year, we come together a little older, a little more experienced and hopefully a little wiser.

This year I’m especially excited for WIC for two reasons: First, St. Louis is a remarkable American city that has earned a special place in my heart, and second, Xylem has a built a set of solutions like no other to help solve the water infrastructure challenges utilities are facing. As this solution set relates to WIC, we are excited about the merging of the Confluence Group (joining in 2019) and pureAnalytics (joining in 2018) to create a true operational asset management solution for utilities. Operational is a term that means connecting policy-level asset management vision with “boots on the ground” daily work using enterprise data integration, collection, analysis and reporting applications configured around a utility’s existing people, hardware and software investments. That’s certainly a mouthful, but important and effective none-the-less.

What Kind of Results Have We Seen?

A top 20 US utility faced significant costs to integrate enterprise data systems and develop a mobile field solution for their operational team. Partnering with Xylem to solve their operational data integration and mobile work application needs, the utility was able to achieve significant benefits in a short period of time.

  • $20M ROI & Climbing
    Savings computed on 1/3 of the mobilized work processes. A 30.7% IRR with a 3.4 year payback.
  • $2.5M Project Saving
    Saved over $1M in software license and support costs in one year plus over $1.5M in integration costs in the same year.
  • 30% Reduction
    In fleet miles per year due to better dispatch decisions and avoidance of multiple visits per area.
  • 30% Resource Realignment
    Staff assigned to other needs due to work optimization.

Another top 100 utility faced a growing number of water main breaks causing operational and customer impacts. With limited resources to plan, pay for and execute a replacement program, the utility sought a better way to prioritize their program than the traditional subjective desktop assessment techniques.

  • 5X Fewer Breaks
    Many more breaks avoided using our modeling approach as compared to traditional desktop methods.
  • 80% More Efficient
    Spent much less on pipe replacements and still solved more pipe breaks than traditional desktop approaches.
  • 30% Lower Cost
    Due to greater efficiencies, this analysis cost less to complete as compared with traditional desktop approaches.

What’s Next?

For nearly two decades, utilities in North America have been applying asset management strategies to manage their water and wastewater infrastructure with various levels of success. At Xylem, we’re working with utilities to disrupt these old strategies and deliver outsized social and financial benefits without disrupting your people and organization. In the future, we will post additional articles that further explore our utility partnerships, beneficial results, groundbreaking technical solutions, and unique delivery methods. We look forward to sharing our industry experience and knowledge with you.

If you have questions or would like to reach out to brainstorm how these solutions can help your utility, please send me an email or stop by our booth at WIC.

Author: Travis Wagner is Vice President for the Advanced Infrastructure Analytics team with over 15 years of experience in the development and implementation of water asset management solutions. His expertise lies in providing innovative, yet practical insights that help utilities to optimally manage their operational and capital investments using advanced risk analysis and management techniques. He can be reached at Travis.Wagner@Xyleminc.com.

by Travis Wagner