For organizations that have damage prevention teams, identifying ways to reduce damages, maximize staff efficiency, and reduce costs is a central responsibility. The industry’s leading stakeholders have established a comprehensive set of best practices that empower their organizations to achieve operational excellence in damage prevention.
‘Where to begin?’, The first step in building a damage prevention team that achieves operational excellence starts with ensuring your locators are properly trained and that locator training is documented and refreshed annually. The Common Ground Alliance recently released it’s Next Practices Initiative, and in that report, the #1 critical issue identified was the frequency with which facilities are not marked accurately or on time. The initial step in putting your teams in position to succeed begins with ensuring you have a comprehensive training program to guarantee that your field staff understands how to perform their work accurately and efficiently.
The next step in achieving operational excellence is removing barriers that cause inefficiencies for your field teams. What types of tools does your team have at their disposal? Are they viewing and managing tickets via e-mail, or have you made an investment into a modern 811 ticket management system? Do they have access to GIS data, and if so, how efficiently can they leverage that information and pair it effectively with ticket data? As a best practice, being able to see this information centrally from one interface is a way to ensure maximum locator efficiency and accuracy in the field.
Lastly, spend time assessing what work you are prioritizing by leveraging effective risk management techniques. Many of the industry’s leading companies are screening tickets where assets are not at risk or are at very low risk. By leveraging comprehensive GIS data, organizations are able to screen out tickets and prioritize locating resources on tickets where risk is the greatest. Flagging high risk tickets and utilizing more experienced resources to perform that work is another proactive step towards reducing damages.
Achieving operational excellence in damage prevention requires a multi-faceted strategy. By implementing some of the approaches outlined here, you’ll be well on your way to achieving operational excellence 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.
Talia Hill – KorTerra, Inc.