With the growing popularity of its asset management and inspection software for utility operations, MinMax was invited to speak at the annual E&O conference organized by VMDAEC on May 2-3 at Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) exists to serve the member-owned electric cooperatives in the three-state area. Thirteen co-ops in Virginia, one in Maryland, and one in Delaware are members of the Association. Association member cooperatives serve more than 2 million people in the three states through more than 600,000 meters in Virginia; over 50,000 meters in Maryland; and more than 90,000 meters in Delaware. About 90 percent of these meters serve residences.

Speaking at the Asset Management breakout session, Dr. Nand Singh focused on the following three areas for building and deploying a successful asset management system:

Comprehensive data

Your asset information database must be comprehensive, but meaningful. The data you collect should be thorough, to allow for data analysis and modeling. At minimum, this should include each asset’s ID, location, characteristics, condition, failure, failure risk, depreciation, and replacement.

Meaningful processes

By identifying and standardizing processes, they become repeatable, measurable and continuously optimizable. By using best practices for reducing costs and risks, you can develop processes that improve employee satisfaction and productivity, meet regulatory compliance, maximize asset uptime, and improve the integration between asset management and financial management processes. Processes can turn asset maintenance strategies into actionable steps for managing risks and disasters.

Good technology

One of the easiest ways to bridge comprehensive data and meaningful processes is through technology. Well-designed technology enhances productivity and can promote integration of information across different geographies, operations, and even organizations. Software must be easy to deploy and maintain with existing staff. In order to ensure adoption and adherence to processes, it must be intuitive and easy for end users to understand.

These are the common elements that many in the electric industry have successfully used to solve the issues that had been plaguing them at night. I’m interested in hearing what your experience has been with these challenges.