Access to accurate and current data allow businesses to make better, informed decisions. This is particularly true for utility companies — electric, gas distribution, pipeline, and water –- who all use geospatial data and tools on a daily basis for mission-critical aspects of operations. Whether routing an interstate pipeline or repairing a leak, utility companies can attain their goal of maintaining a safe and reliable infrastructure, streamlining operations, and improving profitability in a highly competitive environment by utilizing the full range of tools, data, and solutions offered by geospatial technologies. This includes field operations and maintenance support, one-call operations, emergency and service dispatch, compliance and risk management, and marketing and sales.
GIS can be used for both predictive and corrective maintenance, identifying problems, how to best address them, and scheduling and coordinating the necessary repairs more effectively. It can also help predict future areas of concern. Danger tree analysis can be performed very precisely, allowing utilities to treat the right trees and bypass trees that need no immediate treatment, saving money and simultaneously increasing the reliability of the line. Utility companies can use geospatial technology to improve internal communications as well as with customers and various other agencies.
Being able to identify problems and send out work crews in a timely manner is a key to customer satisfaction. When a customer requests new service, utilities use GIS data to locate the address, schedule the work, coordinate activities, and get workers out to do the work. Every utility company has to address business processes such as economic development, inventory and bad debt management, marketing, fleet management, and risk management. Geospatial technology provides utility companies with powerful tools to accurately represent their resources and provide a structure that can be easily organized, managed, and updated.