In data and document management, chaos is certainly not your friend. But, when managing data across a publicly owned electric utility, unpredictability and uncertain document integrity can be costly and even dangerous. Minimally, lost time and errant equipment purchases can result when engineers base decisions off of the wrong document version.
Project managers, architects, and engineers rely on accurate and up-to-date documents to plan projects effectively. Increased costs are most certainly passed along to the end-user. Everyone across all segments of society benefit when public utilities are efficient, safe, and reliable. Autodesk’s sure-fire data management solution, Autodesk Vault, is a win for everyone.
A Texas-based electric utility recognized the value of reliability and solid document controls. With project staff storing files across a typical network environment, it found that its personnel were having difficulties ensuring that the documents they were using were of the best integrity. Version control and change management were key issues to solve.
They realized that staff could be losing time by utilizing potentially antiquated data. It was like the wild, wild west, where the last person to have a file open was the winner. Their legacy systems did not provide the level of document management that could absolutely ensure safe, efficient, and cost-effective service.
Imagine starting a construction project from an earlier version of plans that did not include a new electric line that had been previously installed. Potential risks to staff and the public could be avoided simply by having the most reliable data available to everyone who needs it with confidence whenever, or wherever, it is needed.
The project manager for the electric utility contacted IMAGINiT Technologies to find a solution that could keep the utility compliant with regulations, reduce risks to power plant personnel, and increase efficiencies and reliability. After assessing the needs of the utility, IMAGINiT offered a solution that utilized Autodesk Vault Professional, a data management tool that would integrate with the utility’s existing design software. Autodesk Vault Professional helps design teams track works in progress, maintain version controls in multi-user environments, and manages data and processes from a singular interface.
Suggesting change to basic business systems within an organization can be a challenge. After an initial needs assessment, this solution was implemented within three weeks, including training for staff to become familiar with the system. Managing change is a key component of making systemic changes.
One major advantage of Autodesk Vault Professional is that it’s a configured system rather than a custom-designed solution. Rather than recreating a system from scratch, it is inherently making the most important service available as a standard for the industry, taking into account best practices.
It provides reliable data management that integrates with CAD and other systems, relatively quickly. In a short lifecycle, the electric utility realized controlled engineering data, immediate access to current records, and a document control process that complies with ISO standards.
Another advantage of this solution is that it allows future projects to begin more efficiently. With new design projects rarely starting from scratch, having the most recent version of projects allows a jump start to new work, based on previous designs. Engineers and architects can hit the ground running knowing that the stored data is accurate. Less downtime, safe, and reliable data all work to provide the best possible service to the communities served by the utility.
This publicly owned electric utility was able to improve its data infrastructure significantly. By combining good technology, training, and project management, this wild West of data management was tamed within the span of a few weeks. In the State of Texas, this is a big deal. And, this electric utility was able to increase its ability to serve its customers in an increasingly safe, cost-efficient, and reliable fashion.
For additional information on how Autodesk Vault can help electrical utilities and other public sector organizations get their facilities and design data in check, click HERE to download the case study, “Publicly Owned Electric Utility Increases Document Control with Autodesk Vault.”