Turnkey Pole Replacement Management

Going Beyond Inspection and Restoration with Optimized Program Management

 

Infrastructure continues aging as the need for reliable power delivery continues to grow.  In an age of rapid technology development, grid modernization, and increased storm events, it’s vital to ensure utilities have resilient infrastructure to handle these growing needs and demands.  

The Situation

In 2011, due to limited resources and overburdened schedules, an investor-owned utility in the northeast was looking for a way to more efficiently manage pole replacements while minimizing the impact on its own engineering resources.  With that end in mind, the utility partnered with Osmose to define and establish a more turnkey approach to pole plant management that would improve reliability while increasing program efficiency, economics, accountability, and safety.  The belief was that transitioning to a turnkey approach managed by a single vendor-partner (handling pole inspection through to construction) would allow the utility to:

  • Focus their own engineering resource’s efforts on power delivery improvement projects (while ensuring all required replacements were managed, ensuring the safety of their plant)
  • Leverage potential efficiencies by having the vendor performing the initial pole inspection (and identifying poles for replacement) prioritize poles and execute the replacement process through to post-construction closeout, thereby minimizing trips to the pole, hand-offs between departments, and improving the coordination of construction work

The Solution

With these goals in focus, the utility and Osmose set out to place clear definitions of what this optimized program would look like.  A workshop was conducted to understand their current pole remediation workflow, the systems used and the best path to incorporate a vendor-managed turnkey approach that would minimize disruptions during the transition phase.

Steps were identified that could be consolidated to streamline the new process.  The utility provided training on their program, standards, and software suite to successfully integrate Osmose into their business.  

Through the workshop, the two companies paired their tools and knowledge to expand the inspection program into an optimized pole plant management program that accounted for both current (and future state) needs, including engineering data collection, pole replacement designs, structural analysis, NESC compliance, and work order creation.

 

The program has now been running successfully for over eight years and provides the following metrics and benefits to the utility:

  • Processing over 2,500 poles per year through the construction process
  • Up-to-date, accessible program performance reports provide visibility into current (YTD) and estimated future spend for optimized budget allocation
  • Substantial reduction in (previously) growing and burdensome backlogs of pole replacements, constrained only by annual budgets

Through the turnkey approach, the following benefits have been realized through process improvements, full-time focus on program management, and better visibility by all stakeholders.

  • Improved prioritization and planning to address high-priority poles first (while including lower priority poles within the area) to improve construction productivity
  • Improvements in worker safety and efficiency by minimizing trips to the field
  • Efficiency gains by reducing handoffs and streamlining workflows
  • Productivity increases for construction through more efficient procurement of materials/labor and by allowing work orders to be created and batched by circuit and/or region

To learn more about how Osmose can provide turnkey program management to your utility, please contact your local Osmose representative.  Not sure who your local Osmose representative is?  Email poleinfo@osmose.com to find out.