With over 140 Water Treatment Works and over 1000 Wastewater Treatment Works, the utility company maintained a very broad range of assets and had massive amounts of asset data to manage. For example, compressors, building supplies, spare parts, tools and specialist items like portable traffic lights for road works when they need to put in a new pipeline or repair a leak.
The utility company had hundreds of thousands of assets that needed to be managed, but without data quality management plans in place the asset data had become both degraded and unusable.
Subcontractors were used by the company to service the Water Treatment Works. Assets were provided to these subcontractors to carry out the work and due to poor data management, these assets were then often lost, costing the utility company time and money.
The problem wasn’t record keeping as each item sent out was recorded, but it was recorded differently by each person in the utility company and in the many subcontractors who input data. The difference in the descriptions used for these items meant that over 140,000 assets were scattered among various subcontractors and became virtually untraceable.
This resulted in both inadvertent and fraudulent use of the utility company’s assets by subcontractors who then used these assets for different jobs not related to the company. For example when the utility company directed a subcontractor to send a portable traffic light to Site A, they could not find it. It had either been mistakenly put to use on another company’s site or it just got lost in the system.
This massively slowed the pace of work as the utility company then had to find another subcontractor (perhaps further away) and source more parts and machinery for that job through them. This was needless time and money wasted.