Posted on March 16 2017
By Robert brook, VP Novara GeoSolutions
The capital planning process allows local government, utility and pipeline operators to define and coordinate capital projects, engage external agencies, and share capital improvement plans. Capital projects are typically defined for physical assets and are used to maintain, improve, and/or enhance them. They are key initiatives as they stabilize debt and allow organizations to consolidate projects, reduce reactive work, promote partnership and ensure efficient use of funds. These projects are often highly visible and have significant financial impact on the organization.
Technology can play a prominent role in the success of the capital planning process which requires information, communications and coordination. Over this three-part series I will discuss and give examples of how GIS (a specific technology), can provide key advantages and efficiencies during the planning process and ultimately lead to successful capital projects. In my previous role as an executive at a utility I would have loved to have what Novara can now offer to every one of its clients.
If you're still looking for a reason to continue reading, here is a simple example of value you can get from engaging GIS in capital planning. Capital plans required vast amounts of information from a variety of types to be successful. A GIS allows your team to create an easy to understand interface (a GIS based system of engagement) where maps, model results, tables and graphics encapsulating the plan are available. It can be used to support the planning process. It becomes the platform for valuable status meetings, keeps the organization's teams coordinated, and ensures that everything from detailed information through focused metrics are available when and where the organization needs them.
The individual capital projects are where the meat of the plan is defined by engineers and modeled by analysts. A GIS based system of insight creates measures which can be used to determine where and when money should be allocated. The results of this analysis can be used to establish the financial foundation for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). So how is it done? Esri offers two free solutions that can be used to facilitate capital planning projects. The Capital Project Planning and Capital Project Tracking solutions, provide the underpinnings for comprehensive capital project solutions. Let's say you are responsible for a city's capital transportation planning. You would be able to define your capital needs based on historic work and the status of your existing assets. Once budgets are approved you can use the same environment to coordinate project schedules, track project performance, and share project status with key stakeholders and if necessary, the general public.
What do you need to make the implementation of GIS capital planning system successful?
Capital planning is a significant undertaking for an organization with many complex elements and the adoption of a GIS system is just one critical component. In the next article, I will discuss the role of Predictive modeling in capital planning to provide an understanding of how predictive modeling can either reduce costs or provide justification for a capital cost.
Media Contact: Victoria Skogman, 781-982-7700, email@example.com
About Novara GeoSolutions
Novara GeoSolutions is a frontrunner in supplying the Energy industry with software solutions and consulting services to manage the full data lifecycle of pipeline assets. Our geospatial technology can be applied to a wide range of pipeline workflows such as DOT compliance, engineering design, asset management, right-of-way management, and mobile workforce computing. For more information, please visit www.novarageo.com.
About CHA Consulting, Inc.
CHA Consulting, Inc. is a highly diversified, full-service engineering and construction management firm providing a wide range of planning and design services to public, private and institutional clients. With more than 1,000 technical personnel and 40 offices, CHA offers engineering, architectural, survey, construction, and other services necessary to complete projects on time and within budget. For more information, please visit www.chacompanies.com.
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