Many utility companies are faced with the task of deciding whether their organization could benefit from screening locate tickets at some point. Screening tickets can be an extremely effective way for some to save both time and money. However, ticket screening is not necessarily the most fitting approach to ticket management for every company. It can be difficult to determine whether screening tickets is right for your specific situation, but it helps to consider a few key factors when making the judgment call.
The most decisive factor to consider when debating the potential benefits of ticket screening is volume. How many locate tickets does your operation receive? Automated dispatching processes that route tickets based on rules or geographic location without added effort from personnel result in ample efficiency gains for many organizations. If your organization has already implemented these processes and is looking for even greater efficiency increases, screening tickets can provide these results.
Does your organization submit a great deal of tickets near your own underground assets? Many organizations that submit a high volume of tickets near their buried assets opt to automatically screen out tickets which they submitted to the one call center. If your organization falls into this category, screening tickets would be advantageous because your locators would no longer spend time or resources to clear tickets for every maintenance dig performed.
How precise is the facility data that your state’s one call center has on file for your utility lines? If the one call center has extensive buffer zones for your facilities, you are far more likely to receive locate tickets that could be cleared through screening. Conversely, if the one call center has extremely specific facility data and minimal buffer zones, the odds of receiving “false positive” notifications from the call center are greatly decreased. How accurate are your organization’s facility maps? The higher the accuracy of your GIS data, the more viable ticket screening will be.
How many tickets is your operation able to safely clear without the need for a field visit? This number increases when utilities are located far enough below ground that most excavation projects do not encroach on them. The higher the probability of clearing tickets without the need for a field visit, the greater the benefits and savings from implementing a ticket screening process.
In summary, the benefits of ticket screening can include a reduction of overall site visits and a reduced need for employees in the field. Potential drawbacks of ticket screening can include the cost associated with the employment of a ticket screener or screeners, and the risks associated with human error if a ticket is incorrectly screened. It is vital to consider each of these benefits and drawbacks as well as the factors detailed above when determining whether ticket screening is the right fit for your organization.
KorTerra is the leading provider of damage prevention software, protecting billions of dollars in underground infrastructure. For over 30 years, the leading stakeholders in gas distribution, pipeline operation, telecommunications, electric distribution, contract locating, and city, county, and state governments have trusted KorTerra as their damage prevention solution. KorTerra helps mitigate risk and ensure the safety of field personnel by providing secure software platforms for processing 811 locate tickets, tracking and reporting asset damages, meeting regulatory compliance, and more. Explore additional solutions at korterra.com and follow KorTerra on LinkedIn.
Paige Nygaard – KorTerra, Inc.