Joint Use Departments: The Benefits
Navigating the connections, communications, contracts and other complexities that come with joint use asset management may be one of the most intense aspects of owning utility poles and vaults. From enforcing contract details and communication with attaching companies to simply keeping track of attachers, equipment, repairs, and the state of poles and vaults themselves, there is a lot to do. Creating a dedicated joint use department—and making good use of available software tools designed specifically for the utility industry—makes good sense.
Here are a few reasons why:
Safety and accountability. One department for joint use means a single, dedicated group of professionals focused specifically on joint use issues—able to give full attention to detail, repairs and potential problems before they become liabilities or dangerous situations. The more eyes trained on the equipment and ready to react when problems are detected, the better.
Communication. Maintaining open, continual and effective communication with attaching companies is vital to ensuring compliance with contract stipulations, facilitating good-faith self reporting and generally creating a good relationship with partner entities. Joint use departments can serve as a dedicated hub of two-way discourse between pole owners and attachers, boosting efficiency and effectiveness and making for well-cultivated business relationships.
Dedicated ownership. No one cares more about the complexities of attachment logistics, including billing and rent, violations and safety than those dedicated to joint use. Having one, go-to group responsible for the related tasks of field audit, data collection, organization, billing, bootleg banishment and rent collection is a huge boon to operational effectiveness.
In addition to having a dedicated joint use department, also making use of a robust, configurable, joint use management solution can make a difference to the three areas mentioned above. Web-based systems allow paperless submissions for permit to attach, facilitate searchable organization of pole logistics, pole health and attachment equipment, and make communication as easy as typing an email.
So, double up and double down on your joint use management plan. Define a dedicated joint use department to ensure focus and a joint use management solution to create efficiencies. The result can be increased effectiveness and happier owner/attacher relationships.