Six questions you need to ask about your assets during times of uncertainty.

The global economic landscape is changing before our eyes, in unprecedented and possibly lasting ways. As we adapt to this new normal, businesses and public institutions in the industries of power generation, transportation systems, and renewable energy need to think of new ways of planning for future uncertainties.

This is why it’s paramount for organizations to quickly adapt to the shifting economic landscape by proactively seeking new and smarter ways of doing business. Now, more than ever, is the time to be nimble and flexible.

In these uncertain times, your business is likely enacting mitigation plans. But you still may be wondering if your assets are prepared for other scenarios or future unplanned outages and failures. With increased supply chain vulnerability and prioritizing capital spend, maturing an asset management plan or program can bring you a necessary dose of peace of mind.

As an exercise in preparedness, consider your answers to the questions below as leading indicators of how to drive predictability with your capital asset lifecycle:

  1. Is assessing critical assets, whether visually or with routine maintenance inspections, part of your normal process?
  2. Do you have critical assets identified and tracked and have you identified lead times for replacements?
  3. Are your maintenance needs funded to a reasonable level?
  4. Do you have the data to support and gain organizational buy-in to invest in new critical assets?
  5. Do your resources have devoted time set aside and are they prepared for disruptions to your critical asset infrastructure?
  6. Are you actively monitoring, and tracking failures or manufacturer recalls that could disrupt your fleet?

Regardless of how you answered the above questions, it’s more important than ever to take a deep dive into assessing and analyzing your organization’s critical assets. Our engineers are here to help you look ahead to what’s next. Not just the next quarter, or even the next year. But three, five and ten years down the road.

Together, with our expertise and yours, we will make the smart decisions today that will help to position your organization to nimbly handle and adapt to whatever comes next. We’ll help find the silver lining so that you can leverage the present to develop a leaner, more cost-efficient, and effective asset management strategy for the future.

Authors: Sarah Beckman and Matt Bates

As Program Director at Ulteig, Sarah Beckman collaborates with electric utilities to build strong, trusted relationships and to develop innovative solutions to address unique challenges. Sarah’s results-driven and strategic focus is founded on more than 15 years of experience in the Power Delivery industry in both the electric utility and renewables sectors.

Matt Bates has over a decade of experience in the Power and Renewable markets supporting Owners and Developers from early stage development through operations and maintenance. His role managing a multidisciplined team and supporting key client relationships helps him bring complete solutions to our changing industries.

Ulteig defines Asset Management as the data-driven, systematic tracking of key infrastructure elements to assess organizational risk, governing and automating capital spend. This solution benefits stakeholders’ priorities by taking quality data collection and inspection and provides a roadmap to maintenance and replacement, informing new infrastructure investments.

Keeping lines of communication open is key to controlling costs and managing construction schedules in today’s social distancing/working remotely environment. Ulteig engineers are regularly onsite with our clients to collaborate on project details and work through design challenges in person and look forward to working that way again soon. In the meantime, we’re providing our clients with complimentary online access to their project information, anytime and anywhere, whether they’re in the office, in a trailer, or onsite.

To increase efficiency, improve quality and reduce risk during this pandemic and going forward, Ulteig engineers are working with clients utilizing the BIM 360™ cloud-based document management system. By leveraging this software internally and externally with our clients, we are able to collaborate throughout the design and construction of projects with computer-aided design and drafting (CAD) schematics, drawings and documents through the BIM 360™portal on a computer and/or through an app on a tablet or smartphone. Using this collaborative system virtually eliminates the need for communicating via emails on a project. This unique value-added benefit gives the client’s remote team instant access to designs, project details, and documents while reviewing construction plans (with versions, edits and times clearly marked) whenever and wherever necessary to keep the project flowing and their staff working effectively.

What if a client uses a different cloud-based system?

Ulteig has found that BIM 360™ platform is a great tool for design coordination and collaboration as it allows our clients, as well as other required organizations access to project information quickly and efficiently without additional fees or licenses subscriptions.  Clients may already utilize a different platform like Procore®, SharePoint®, or, which Ulteig has and is willing to support to ensure collaborative page turns and quality reviews.

Creating technical solutions to meet current business challenges

Ulteig engineers use BIM 360™ to organize, distribute, and share documents with project teams in real-time. By using this cloud-based management platform, our engineers can circulate designs and collaborate with project stakeholders anytime and anywhere to help keep everyone in sync throughout the project.  

Author: Chris Smaaladen, PE, M. ASCE, Technical Manager

Developing and maintaining effective partnerships has been at the cornerstone of Ulteig’s identity for more than seventy-five years. With today’s rapidly changing marketplace, Ulteig remains steadfast in our commitment to providing the solutions and innovative ideas you need to navigate through these tumultuous times.

Social distancing and stay-at-home requirements have forced trade show cancellations and travel plan disruptions. But while in-person meetings and events are not taking place, vital industry conversations must continue. That’s why we’re introducing a new Energy & Infrastructure” 8-part podcast series. Our goal is simple: to inspire you, through new ideas and conversations, to think differently about industry challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting financial crisis.

The new series, spanning our Lifeline Sectors® of Power, Renewables, Transportation and Water, offers thought-provoking and engaging conversations with key industry stakeholders on technology, innovation, policy and funding. There will also be lively discussion mixed in about the latest hot button issues facing our industries.

In our first podcast, “Lessons Learned from 2009: Be Prepared for a COVID-19 Infrastructure Stimulus Package,” Aaron Lauinger, Market Director at Ulteigexamines infrastructure investments in 2020.  This discourse addresses how stimulus funding could incubate and modernize infrastructure or be lost or exasperated if companies do not prepare ahead of time. The stimulus’s potential impact on transportation, water, and renewables sectors is also covered.

The second podcast continues the discussion of COVID-19 with special guest Dan Whitten, VP of Public Affairs, SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), as we focus on what a repeat of the 2009 ARRA Renewable Tax Credits would do for the industry (as 09 ARRA catapulted renewables) and SEIA’s strategy for federal stimulus. Future podcasts will include discussions with industry leaders on smart grids, battery storage, USACE stimulus flooding and much more.

Ulteig remains committed to being a thoughtful and innovative partner for our clients. We hope the Energy & Infrastructure podcast series provides the insights and creative ideas you need to overcome the COVID-19 crisis now and afterward as we face what will more than likely be a changed landscape.

Click here to listen to the current podcast or download it through AppleGoogle Play, or Spotify.