How to make change predictable through data

Building resilience into your asset portfolio is essential to maintaining positive customer perception while capitalising on process efficiencies

In the wake of the pandemic, ‘resilience’ is at risk of becoming a bit of a cliche. But in an uncertain world, it really is key to business strategy. Data-empowered software can help organisations transform their efficiencies and gain better oversight over vast operations.
Traditionally, managing operations may have relied on the hiring of more staff. But, with the new capabilities of software to support water, utilities, transport and other critical services, money, time and manpower can be proactive rather than reactive. Software can make a positive difference. Evidence-based asset management is key.

Rachel White, CEO of Arcadis Gen, says: “Every organisation is operating in an environment that is becoming more complex by the day. It is no longer sustainable to rely on spreadsheets for managing your organisation’s future actions or asset needs. To be truly resilient requires evidence-based real time decisions. We make change predictable through data.

She adds: “Business leaders need to know how likely is it that an asset will fail in the near future or how much will it cost to repair. What do we tell regulators when they ask about the state of this asset? To get these answers, you must leverage the power of data.”

For asset-intensive organisations, the health of physical assets is critical for the health of the business. Knowing the true state of those assets, and how they’re likely to perform, is the first step to a resilient strategy.

Unlocking the power of data

Arcadis Gen products unlock the power of data, providing an industry-led framework with analytic insights that can be applied to existing datasets. These products have been developed with three key objectives for customers: efficiency, sustainability and resilience.
Arcadis Gen’s AppliedInsight solution is a one-stop resource for advanced analytics, using a secure cloud-based platform, which transforms asset data into actionable insights. It offers a library of apps including two, complementary data apps, each focused on a key stage of data analysis and improvement. The first helps to examine and visualise data; the second focuses on repairing it. Arcadis Gen also offers an interactive tool called Project Prioritizer, which helps to identify ‘quick win’ projects to develop a personalised plan.

White says: “We encourage people to start their journey towards digital maturity with the data they have, using industry specific frameworks and then scaling up over time. This enables them to gain greater understanding from data.”

Asset management is essential to asset intensive oganisations, particularly for reducing failures and unplanned outages. Smart asset management helps to mitigate risk and stay one step ahead in a landscape that is more complex than ever.

Business leaders need to know how likely is it that an asset will fail in the near future or how much will it cost to repair. To get these answers, you must leverage the power of data

Moving from spreadsheets to software is critical to effective asset management. You can only hope to achieve organisation-wide efficiencies if everyone is working from the same platform. Siloed spreadsheets, maintained by different people or teams or departments, are a recipe for inconsistency and inefficiency. Conflicting data points, inconsistent parameters, disjointed updates, will only become more apparent, and more concerning, as your data grows. Software can bring an organisation together, identify and resolve data discrepancies, and transform data management.

Access to company-wide data supports decisions that benefit the entire organisation, not just specific functions potentially at the expense of others. For example, if you have an asset in poor health, but has low criticality and low risk, you can be less concerned about it than a high-risk asset in a similar condition. But if your data is siloed, you will lose this insight.

Arcadis Gen works across a wide range of sectors, including water, energy, rail, aviation and highways. UK clients include Transport for London, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Electricity North West and Costa Coffee. Network Rail has chosen Arcadis Gen to help improve asset and workforce planning.

Plan for the future with confidence

Arcadis Gen has been supporting Severn Trent Water’s digital transformation. The company serves more than eight million customers across the UK, operating from the Bristol Channel to the Humber, and from mid-Wales to the East Midlands. With a wide variety of assets on its portfolio and a growing customer base, Severn Trent needed to up its data management game to make the right investment choices. Through Arcadis Gen’s Enterprise Decision Analytics solution, the company succeeded in optimising this key part of its operation and set up more efficient ways to manage its assets.

For more than a decade, Severn Trent’s decision-making roadmap has combined investment scenarios, risk and uncertainty, conducting thousands of optimisations each year. Because this was a time-consuming exercise, the company sought a proven decision support tool that was capable of complex asset-level investment modelling, risk management and optimisation.

Using Arcadis Gen’s industry-leading EDA software, Severn Trent now manages all its asset and portfolio optimisation needs in a single, web-based, platform. EDA’s rich visualisation dashboards enhance communications, and predictive analytics allow the company to plan for the future with confidence. Severn Trent has made significant changes to planning processes and culture for non-infrastructure assets, creating cost efficiencies of more than 15%.

This performance has placed Severn Trent consistently in the upper quartile in industry rankings, and a record of significantly and consistently outperforming performance commitments to the regulator has resulted in record-breaking rewards of £50m.
Min Grimshaw, Severn Trent Water’s former head of regulator oversight, says: “We have worked collaboratively with Arcadis Gen and we have been using the EDA system to help us make more informed and optimal decisions. Over time we have extended and evolved our suite of asset models to cover all of our above and below ground assets. These asset models ensure the decisions we make are fully optimised and provide long term asset resilience to our customers.”

There’s no question that successful asset management increasingly depends on successful data management. The two will only become more intertwined as time goes on. This is why it is so important for organisations to lay the foundations for effective data management as early as possible to benefit from improvements in asset management and the impact of resilience.

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Promoted by Arcadis Gen