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Modernizing Natural Gas Utilities with Unified Asset Management & Field Data Collection

Jul 26, 2022 9:00:00 AM

All day, every day your phone rings, email pings, text message alerts - so many ways in which the world is trying to get your attention. Running a natural gas operation continues to get more and more complex as infrastructure ages, regulation tightens, and the stakes remain critical – all while technology continues to evolve. You are likely inundated with emerging technologies, all claiming to resolve all your challenges.   However, what most vendors miss is that it not about them, it is about you. Understanding the unique challenges of managing natural gas infrastructure and the problems you must solve are critical to finding the right partner. Is your issue managing multiple contractor teams to ensure they perform the right tasks? How about managing the complexities of a leak detection program? Delighting your regulator with timely and quality data? Reducing onboarding time for new operators? How about planning upgrades to your capital equipment? How likely is it that all the vendors understand what you are up against?

Let’s start with the basics: where are you in your technology journey?

Are you still using paper and Excel? The tried-and-true methods of operations for generations have been paper and manual data collection of field work. More recently, Excel or simple forms and data collection technology have entered the arena. If this is your operation, you are not alone. Many natural gas operations live by an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” methodology when it comes to data collection. However, as technology blends deeper and deeper into how we manage our daily lives and the demographics of your workforce change, these methods become more challenging. Operators are looking to work the way they live and management is starting to expect (in many cases: demand) immediate access to real-time operational data.

Have you made the jump into tech, but have a LOT systems? Operator experience is one of the biggest challenges we hear from the utilities we work with. Depending on the type of work operators must remember which system to use for which task: one system for leak detection, another for maintenance tasks, a third to manage cathodic inspection, yet another for business reporting. And finally – utilities are held accountable to compliance reports, requiring managers to pull, cleanse, de-dupe, fill-in, copy, paste, aggregate, and QA data out of multiple systems. This leads to potential data integrity (and therefore liability) issues, disjointed operator experience, and lots of operational inefficacy.

What if you could have a unified experience?  With maintenance tasks outlined in Title 49 part 192 subpart M, finding a platform can be daunting. Layer in the need to continually refresh asset management and capital improvement plans and deliver timely and accurate compliance reports – and you have yourselves a “complex data environment”. This is where customers have told us we make their lives much easier, offering one platform to drive daily maintenance tasks, complex compliance programs, and inform long-range risk and assets plans.

None of this work is easy and the stakes are high. Natural gas operations are critical to the lives and millions. Embarking on a plan to digitize the operations should not be taken lightly. You’ll need a partner with the expertise and consultative approach to critically understand what problem YOU need to solve today, tomorrow, in five years, and never.

Utility Cloud customers have achieved unified solutions by working closely with our teams to develop a solution that solves their most pressing problems and provides transparency between the field and office. Our objectives are to make compliance data accurate and accessible, consistently apply asset management practices, and help you drive decisions to optimize the health, safety, and efficiency of your customers and operation.

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