Field Inventories Pay Off

Posted by Ashley Little on May 20, 2014

field_inventories_pay_offThere is little doubt that a thorough field inventory has its benefits. Taking the time to visually inspect utility poles and create an accurate database of information such as location, age, condition, attachers, repairs made, transfers needed and other important data is invaluable to increasing the life of utility poles and keeping tabs on what attachers are there, and who should not be. But did you know that field inventories can actually pay for themselves?

There are a number of ways this can happen, but finding unaccounted-for poles filled with bootleg attachers is one major way an inventory can transform from a begrudged expense into a welcome relief.

Consider this story from a Joint Use Manager. For the company in question, pole records noted less—significantly less— utility poles than were counted after the field inventory. In addition, the inventory found over 31,000 unauthorized attachments, each with an average rental rate roughly $3. The Math: That results in an identified recurring revenue total of over $86K, with contractual agreements enabling recovery of five full years of back rent. The grand total: over $400k dollars that could be recovered.

That is not an insignificant chunk of change, but the story gets better. As a result of this inventory, the company also reduced their annual recurring rental by around $22K, so they actually SAVED money. The best part? The total dollar amount gained upon inventory completion was less than the cost of the inventory. The company was happy.

This is just one instance in which a field inventory found so many unauthorized attachments that simply collecting current and back rent made a huge difference. What else might an inventory find that could impact a pole owner’s operations or revenue?

  • Pole count and location: Locating and inventorying every pole you own is vital to ensuring they are healthy and enhancing network reliability instead of hindering it. Happy customers mean good business.
  • Pole condition: From carpenter ants to dry rot to storm damage, a utility pole with the potential to fall means the potential for liability. Problems proactively prevented equals money your business saves.
  • Outstanding double-wood issues: Double-wood is double trouble. Let us tell you why.
  • NESC violations: From worker safety issues to other hazards, turning a blind eye to issues on your poles is asking for trouble—and fines.

Your utility poles are out there doing their job. Are you making sure they are safe, healthy and covered only with approved attachers? If you cannot say with certainty they are, a field inventory should be in your near future.

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