Take Control of Violations & Utility Data Management with Alden ONE

Posted by Ashley Little on February 20, 2024

Take Control of Violations & Utility Data Management with Alden One

Utility asset owners and asset attachers face pressing violation management challenges due to the growing demand for broadband internet services, the expansion of smart infrastructure, and ongoing upgrades of telecommunications and wireless networks.

The fast-growing volume of attachments to utility assets, including poles, conduit, cell towers, and streetlights is leading to an increase in field violations, especially unauthorized attachments where unpermitted entities attach equipment to poles or other assets without proper authorization.

Though joint use contracts require adherence to National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) standards, some contracts may require additional, tighter controls.  

Meanwhile, a lack of standardized processes for joint use asset management, utility data management, and utility real estate management adds to the complexity and has led to an ad-hoc approach. It has become increasingly challenging to stay on top of notifications and to cost-effectively deploy resources to address field violations in a timely manner. Without proper risk mitigation technology and strategy, utility asset owners and asset attachers face an increased risk of legal and financial consequences. 

Asset Management: Utilities & Violation Challenges

Mitigating violation challenges in the field begins with understanding the root causes. We asked Dianne Costello, Product Manager and Director of Client Services at Alden Systems, to share her insights into these challenges and how to overcome them.

Multiple Asset Owners & Violations

Utility asset attachers often work with multiple field asset owners and handle different asset and violation types. They must manage who advises the violation, identify the violation type and severity, take the appropriate remediation action, coordinate construction crews, and ultimately respond to the asset owner that the violation has been corrected. All the information coming from different sources must be communicated to various key stakeholders, creating complexity that can lead to errors or delays.

"To overcome this challenge, streamline your process workflows with a central asset data repository where you can review all violations in one place. For example, Alden ONE software allows you to group violations by company, location, or violation type.

If you have multiple violations related to the same asset or location, you may address them in one go to
save time and lower costs. The data insights and centralized communication help you ensure the right truck roll and distribute workloads across locations effectively," says Costello.

Complex Processes for Electric Utilities & Joint Use Partners 

Manual processes often result in additional overhead and missed deadlines. For example, several people within the same company may receive the same violation notification via email and simultaneously work on the same issue. You risk duplicating efforts and driving up costs if you don't have a common system like Alden ONE to manage joint use communications. Also, you can miss deadlines if the people receiving these emails or phone calls don't realize they are violation notifications and fail to act on them promptly.  

Alden ONE software allows you to standardize and streamline your business process workflows, manage important notifications, and create accountability to ensure reliable outcomes.

"You can create reports and dashboards for administrative, operational, and executive insights to improve visibility, sort the violations systematically, and keep teams in the know. We help you facilitate accurate decision-making, reduce inefficient processes, and minimize duplicated efforts," adds Costello. 

Error-Prone Manual Utility Data Transfer

Service providers often have attachments on multiple assets owned by different parties, each with a system to notify and track violations. Processing violation notifications, and manually entering data from disparate sources into your system is labor-intensive and prone to human error. So how do you get the various software applications to exchange data seamlessly?

"To help Alden ONE customers manage asset information from multiple sources, we've developed robust APIs to automate data transfer from various sources and self-populate the information into our centralized platform," says Costello.

"When the APIs load violation correction requests into Alden ONE, a violation conversation is created automatically, allowing internal and external stakeholders to track all related activities in one place – enhancing communication and avoiding duplicated work."

What if there's missing information after the data transfer? Alden ONE automatically organizes as many items as possible without human intervention. Then, data entry staff can finish the work without having to start from scratch. When it comes to saving time, having some automation in your process is better than none.

Ensure Plant and Public Safety with Proper Utility Violation Management for Joint Use Partners 

Effective violation management is essential for ensuring plant and public safety, mitigating liability and risks, meeting compliance regulations, avoiding legal consequences or hefty fines, and cultivating trusting partnerships between utility asset owners and attaching companies.

Alden ONE provides a bird's-eye view of violation notices for all your utility assets in the field. Alden ONE users can sort violations by type, severity, or action required to quickly understand how they relate to safety priorities. The software facilitates seamless collaboration and communication among all the companies involved and at all levels — from executives to field technicians — to support efficient operations.

Alden ONE’s automation capabilities and standardized processes help resolve many administrative issues caused by human error or missed notifications. Our software allows you to efficiently manage the entire process, from handling violation notifications and managing construction crews to responding to utility asset owners and processing invoices associated with the violations, from an easy-to-use interface.

Schedule a meeting with a Product Specialist to explore how Alden ONE can help you improve your violation management processes and align joint use stakeholders around your company’s objectives and goals.

New call-to-action