With help from Pro-West, West Dakota Water utilizes ArcGIS Online daily for planning, operations, and management of company fixed assets. ArcGIS has become an essential tool for all of our company divisions to carry out our day-to-day operations.
West Dakota Water: Optimizing Asset Management with GIS
West Dakota Water (WDW) wanted to fully utilize the Esri platform, build a robust GIS foundation for each of its four departments, and make its data more user-friendly, but it lacked the requisite in-house geographic information system (GIS) expertise to do so. So the organization hired Pro-West & Associates to function as its GIS department and collaborate to achieve its goals.
West Dakota Water was faced with a number of challenges that the implementation of a modern, robust GIS would help solve.
- First was the lack of in-house GIS expertise that would enable the implementation of a modern GIS. This prevented WDW from knowing how to achieve its goals or whether doing so was even possible.
- Second, WDW's data was not in a format that was sustainable for growth of the GIS or the expansion of operations. Paper maps were the status quo, and the organization did not have a visualization of its infrastructure in GIS.
- Third, valves along WDW's pipe route weren't routinely inspected, and when they were, many more were found to be in need of repair or replacement than anticipated. Implementation of a modern, robust GIS would make the data more user-friendly, enable a streamlined inspection solution, and increase operational efficiency.
Pro-West is a GIS services business that serves local, state, federal, and tribal government and commercial organizations to empower them with location technology. It supports utilities and infrastructure clients across both government and the private sector, providing data services, solution configuration, enterprise implementation, and more, to help them meet their GIS and organizational goals.
Project Team: WDW Planning Department, Pro-West & Associates
A set of three applications was configured and deployed, enabling the organization's Layflat & Transfer Department to use modern GIS technology to become more efficient, work with and manage data more effectively in the field, and better understand the locations where they were working:
- Layflat & Transfer Manager This app has a swipe tool that allows users to explore historical imagery when scoping out locations for laying hose across privately owned property. A connected field map enables staff to collect data in the field, while the web solution allows for understanding of the whole system and its data attributes.
- Valve Inspection Manager includes an ArcGIS Survey123 form configured to conduct inspections in the field and a dashboard that provides a summary of inspections conducted, giving users the ability to explore individual inspections.
- Asset Manager supports monthly meter readings and, in addition to collecting the reading, allows for the meter's condition to be recorded along with a photo and exports a table every month that is consumed by a third-party business system within the organization. Smart Editor can be used to edit asset data in the app while working in the field. Asset Manager is paired with a Field Inventory in ArcGIS Field Maps and Survey123.
The solutions are enabling WDW to be more efficient in planning maintenance and repair.
The Layflat & Transfer Manager solution provides greater insight and efficiency for mobile staff, enabling them to quickly understand and evaluate locations when laying hose.
Valve Inspection Manager enables a process—which could not previously be conducted on a regular schedule—to happen twice a year. Results that are collected and understood quickly allow for accurate and efficient planning; more timely repairs; and, ultimately, assets that are in better condition:
- The Valve Inspection Manager dashboard provides a way to efficiently understand inspection outcomes and maintenance needs. A robust inspection schedule is now in place, thanks to GIS.
- For the first time, WDW can understand the condition of its entire system and is therefore empowered to plan more effectively. This is a huge efficiency transformation. Before implementing the GIS solution, inspection data was not collected on a regular schedule and, as a result, was often inaccurate.
Asset Manager uses GIS to add a valuable component to an existing process (meter reading). It provides not just time savings in conducting the original meter reading process but also in leveraging that process by using GIS tools to collect more data.
WDW is getting greater value from its data by making it more user-friendly and focused on addressing the organization's needs, thanks to the right expertise. With datasets now in an updated format, WDW can extend the amount of data point and attribute information collected in the field or modified in the office to gain an understanding of where more data is needed or where data is not providing value. All data is now stored in ArcGIS Online, where its security is assured and it is organized for planning operations and management of mobile workers.
In addition, WDW was able to deploy ArcGIS Web AppBuilder (developer edition) to utilize a custom version of the Elevation Profile Widget to help with hydraulic calculations. Being able to download latitude and longitude point locations with elevation saves the planning department the time and effort of loading this kind of data into other systems.
The benefits—gained by the implementation of ArcGIS—and the support from industry experts continue to grow.