Do You Need Joint Use Assistance and Not Know It?

Posted by Ashley Little on April 5, 2016

Do You Need a Third Party Administrator and Not Know It?Deep in the mines of days past, workers would carry along a small, caged bird on each subterranean trip. Its purpose? To serve as a warning signal. Should dangerous gasses like carbon monoxide build up in the tunnels, the songbird would expire from inhalation long before miners would, offering vital minutes to flee to safety. The practice was pretty barbaric, but fortunately a thing of the past. And joint use is certainly not coal mining, but it does have its own "canaries in the coal mine"—warning signs that could mean your organization could use some professional help - in the form of managed joint use services.

Some can be subtle. Others, fairly obvious. All could be signs you need help with utility asset management.

Your staff seems awfully busy.

You discover a few of your utility poles have been overloaded and could soon cause property damage if new poles aren't placed and equipment transfered.  A few more have produced NESC violations resulting in fines. You assume a few instances happen from time to time, but the hits should not keep coming. If your staff is bogged down working on joint use when they should be focused on primary jobs, a managed services provider can help you get a handle on the workload.

The reality: Resource contention has likely kept joint use—especially regular maintenance and field assessment—out of your regular rotation of tasks. A third party managed services provider can literally become your back office or field support staff for a short-term project or for a long-term engagement.

You think you have zero bootlegs or unauthorized attachers.

As far as you know, your utility poles are filled to an appropriate capacity with only equipment belonging to companies who are paying you an appropriate amount of rent.

The reality: Some lines are likely overloaded and to assume otherwise, without recent inventory data, is blissfully ignorant. It is unlikely any pole owner has a zero percent bootleg attachment rate. Managed services providers assume the time-consuming work of managing field inspections and make ready, while ferreting out unauthorized attachers and even helping joint use departments collect back rent from bootleggers.

Your billing has not changed in a long time.

You have the same number of poles, are collecting the same amount and attachers are individually paying the same amount to you year after year, and have been for many years.

The reality: Your assets, and more importantly, the contracts that govern joint use agreements, are living an unexamined life. Regulations, accepted rates, and contracts do change. The fact that your intake and assets have not means you either have the ability to freeze time—or you are just not keeping up with the times. Help from a third party can give you the extra firepower to audit contracts, reconnect with attachers and update databases with current asset details to help you make more informed business decisions.

You do not know exact asset conditions in the field.

Assets cannot simply get up and walk away. So, what was there last time we looked should still be there, in the same condition. Right?

The reality: Your last utility pole inspection may have happened years ago. Experienced managed services providers can help you discover, assess, record, and even more importantly, leverage data about your equipment, from how many you own to whether some are in need of repair or in need of removal, like in the case of double wood.

You have seen the signs. How long until you find your escape route by calling in a managed services provider to help?

Benefits of Joint Use Managed Services