I am here for 3 days supporting the URISA Caribbean conference and presented to a group of Utilities who were interested in Asset Management of their electrical infrastructure. It was interesting to hear that they have the same issues that we encounter in the US related to infrastructure preservation funding – Limited budgets, underfunded programs and failing infrastructure.
We always do our best to stay “realistic” when it comes to Asset Management. It has not been a priority in the past and will not be one in the future – until things start failing. The funding will never be there in the amount that it is needed, so what do you do then?
We had a long discussion in this workshop about starting small and working your way into a larger AMS implementation. By starting small, you can increase the probability of success of your project and “correct the path of the ship” if something was missed or overlooked. Select one Asset Type and focus on building it into a comprehensive database of information. By selecting one Asset Type, you can limit the amount of effort and risk it will take to build it into your AMS.
Show it Off…
Once you have some good asset data, show it off to everyone and make sure the decision-makers understand that it is available for use. Build charts, graphs and reports about the Asset and build a plan around getting that Asset into the work cycle for maintenance and operations. One of the most important things I recommend is to identify the “Worst” Assets and get them fixed immediately. These typically create liability for your agency and if left unattended, could cost more than the AMS itself.
Make it Indispensable
Once the AMS is used to make decisions and answer questions related to infrastructure, it will become the “Go To” system that your agency will use moving forward. At that time, you will be able to show the value of the system and gain leverage in terms of future funding, new assets, etc. At this point, no one would make the call to shut this system down because of the value it adds to everyday decision-making.
Those are some recommendations that we discussed this week – looking forward to 2 more days of collaboration and learning about Trinidad’s Utility industry!