Most of the challenges] faced by utility pole owners are due to a lack of communication with the companies using their poles (the attachers). A Joint Use Administrator did not receive the work order for a pole transfer, so now there is a double pole out there. Another joint use clerk overlooked getting a permit for an attachment because he never heard back from the pole owner. As the pole owner, however, you have to deal with attachers not only from all different entities, but also from unique industries.
These reasons make it that much harder to keep all these various entities on the same page. In the end, the pole owner is the one liable for everything that happens to a utility pole, whether it was caused by you or by one of your attachers. Therefore, improving communication between pole owners and attachers is essential for good business and community safety.
Joint Use Notification Systems
The best way to improve communication is with a notification system. A web-based joint use system, such as AldenOne keeps you in touch with all of your attachers for each of your utility poles. This allows you to contact them individually or en masse, so each attaching company is properly informed of everything that is going on with the joint use pole. Notification systems allow you organize all your asset data, contracts, billable items, and more from a single point of management, which reduces the headaches inherent in joint pole use. Here are some of the things a good joint use system will help you do:
Send alerts and reminders. Set automatic, timed reminders to go out to your attachers individually, as a whole, or to only certain people in a specific group. For instance, you can let an attacher know about a pole transfer and when it should be completed, then send periodic notices to those who haven’t yet transferred, gradually escalating in urgency until action is taken. You can set up automated alerts, keeping you apprised of everyone's compliance on the pole transfer.
Streamline workflows. Your notification system lets you define projects based on individual partner companies and customize a workflow for each one. A notification system enforces the policies and requirements of your company, so that your asset records are consistent. Separate workflows are used based on the type of work being done. This ensures everyone on the pole, including the pole owner, is up to speed on exactly what needs to be done at any given time.
Consolidate asset data. Collect data from each of your partner companies and consolidate it into one all-encompassing database. You can then categorize it for easy access later. This consolidation gives you an overview of the state of your business assets and work status, which you can then use to generate reports, both for yourself and your partner companies, to help make informed decisions regarding future courses of action. Having data, even great data, without the ability to act upon it, is useless.
Document management. A good notification system will have tools for archiving important documents and conversations digitally for quick and easy access later by all of your partner companies. This not only leads to better organization, but also creates a paperless system that reduces costs and is more environmentally friendly.
Improving communication between utility pole owners and attachers is vital to the way you do business. Not only will better owner/attacher communication cut costs and allow you to operate more efficiently, it can also help to avoid disasters and liability issues. With a notification system in place, no one gets left in the dark.