WHAT DO YOU KNOW? HOW TO GET THE BEST INFORMATION OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM AND THE FOLKS THAT RUN IT.

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1 WHAT DO YOU KNOW? HOW TO GET THE BEST INFORMATION OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM AND THE FOLKS THAT RUN IT. ABSTRACT Steve Shoaf, City Of Asheville Nicholas Dierkes, Brown and Caldwell Understanding how well our Utilities operate can be a daunting and cumbersome prospect, particularly when the information we need is not conveniently available. Specific metrics are necessary to gage the effectiveness of an organization and allow staff at all levels to measure key system characteristics. The City of Asheville s Water Department has developed the Asset Information Management System (AIMS) as part of an aggressive asset management program to aggregate information from a variety of data sources including CMMS, SCADA, GIS and financial systems. AIMS provides reports that are useful for streamlining operations with simplified work order histories, characterizing customer billing information, and developing a CIP using asset specific replacement planning tools. City staff undertook a significant effort to update their GIS and address gaps in how the CMMS was used in order to provide high quality data required for accurate reports. Participation by City staff at all levels has been critical for developing AIMS into a tool that allows essential characteristics to be accessed easily and monitored as the City strives to improve system efficiency and performance. Workshops to engage staff at varying levels of required AIMS competency helped ensure that the users had access to the information they needed without being overwhelmed with excessive IT background. Department managers worked to integrate the use of data sources, especially the CMMS, into daily workflows for all staff resulting in reporting that is current and sustainable. This paper will discuss the population of component data sources and adoption of the system by City staff as they took on ownership of the reports and underlying data. A variety of reports and how they are used will be presented to serve as useful examples for other organizations as they look to characterize their own systems. Lessons learned from the implementation of AIMS will help illustrate how to gain buy-in from staff and ensure a sustainable asset management program into the future. KEYWORDS: Asset Management, Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators, KPI, Optimization INTRODUCTION The City of Asheville operates a water utility that provides service to a population of approximately 125,000 residents. The City s water system delivers 20.5 million gallons per day to its customers and consists of 1,670 miles of pipe, 40 pump stations, 32 storage tanks and 3 water treatment plants. Over the last ten years, the City has developed an aggressive asset management program that includes a Computerized Maintenance and Management System (CMMS), enterprise GIS, financial accounting system, Supervisory Controls and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, and Asset Information Management System (AIMS) business intelligence tool to help tie the systems together. While these asset management tools are powerful, they require appropriate skills and attention by City staff in order to be fully utilized. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used by staff to evaluate the current and historical system performance, and to determine if management changes are having the desired operational impacts on the system. This paper will discuss the tools used by the City and how they work together; the efforts undertaken by the City to inform and optimize these tools; and how the City is using the tools to establish benchmarks within the utility and improve system efficiency and performance. METHODOLOGY The City of Asheville initiated an asset management program in 2006 and has continued to refine and enhance the program over recent years. Information systems have been established to monitor and

2 manage the system, and to help measure KPIs. KPIs are a critical component to asset management and help to reconcile the goals and performance of an organization. Goals relevant to different management levels within the City (City, Department and Asset Management Team) were identified and various perspectives within the utility were also represented, including,,, and Innovation and Learning view points. KPIs were then developed for each of these goals that would provide staff with a way to measure how well the utility was performing. Table 1 presents the current KPIs used by the City and how they are calculated. Goals goals for the City included the desire to maximize value of all assets while minimizing costs and rates, creating and maintaining financial strength, and development of a long term plan to fund operations. Finance related KPIs incorporate revenue streams, operational data and work order histories and allow managers to observe how current operations affect the bottom line. Service goals for the City addressed the ability of the water system to provide the highest quality drinking water and to meet customer expectations. Metrics for these goals focused on customer complaints and satisfaction, and included reaching out to the community with survey and education efforts. goals were the widest ranging and addressed topics at all three levels of the organization. Sustaining smart growth that provided infrastructure that meets the needs of the present customers without compromising future needs was the broad goal of the City. At the Department Level, key goals included providing timely operational and professional (engineering, management, financial, safety and administrative) services, reduction of non-revenue water, and prioritization of health and safety initiatives. Finally, Asset Management Team goals included the following: Asses water distribution system condition to ensure system integrity Enhance scheduling of preventive maintenance Use asset management principles, including life cycle cost analysis, in decision making Identify all assets and develop processes to enhance the capture of new asset information Attach maintenance costs to specific assets Develop refurbishment and replacement costs and schedules Ensure that information systems agree and are linked Innovation and Learning goals address the evolution of the asset management program into the future. Key goals include environmental stewardship; development of products, systems and processes to maximize customer satisfaction; and communication and education associated with the asset management program. KPIs and Business Information Tools Information technology tools including GIS, SCADA, CMMS and financial reporting systems are used to measure KPIs. Accessing these separate systems can be a cumbersome and manual process, especially when determining KPI trends over recent months and years. For example summary operational information such as the quantity of non-revenue water produced in the system required access to multiple data sources and was generally a manual process that had to be performed for each specific time period of interest. records are kept in the financial database, water production records were maintained by treatment plant operators, and non-revenue water was recorded in an offline database. These types of information silos limit the ability to understand how the utility is performing, particularly when real-time summary data is desired. Changes were made to how the system operated so that treatment plant production data was reported automatically in SCADA and non-revenue water was reported in the CMMS. AIMS was developed to tie these information systems together and provide a report that summarized the non-revenue water percentage as well as reports on the rest of the system for benchmarking purposes. AIMS accesses databases all of the utility information systems to provide

3 consolidated reports that may be used to monitor the impact of management and operational changes within the utility. It is worth noting that sophisticated tools are only useful if the data behind them is correct and complete. Population of the information systems has been a top priority of the City as indicated by recent efforts to address GIS dataset completeness and the procedures used to complete work orders in the CMMS. The City performed a detailed review of the GIS inventory to address data gaps for install year, pipe diameter and pipe material. Historical maps and record drawings, as well as institutional knowledge from long tenured staff, were used to update and fully populate the GIS for pipes, valves and fire hydrants. Ongoing efforts to improve the GIS accuracy include the field verification of pipe diameters and materials when crews are making repairs. The asset inventory and work order histories in the CMMS, particularly for assets at treatment plants, pump stations and tanks, have been targeted for improvement as well. Updates to work order entry forms based on feedback from staff and greater management awareness of the usefulness of asset histories has led to better utilization of the CMMS. Staff Buy-In Identifying staff accountable for monitoring KPIs is critical for a successful asset management program. While AIMS minimizes the time and resource required to research KPIs, City staff is responsible for verifying and improving the reports used to calculate the KPIs. Unfortunately, staff turnover may result in a KPI being orphaned as it is no longer being monitored. To resolve this, the City has identified both the existing staff and position that is responsible for monitoring each KPI. Ultimately, KPIs are useful for measuring how changes in management and operation of the system affect utility performance. For example, the City has worked to replace all older water meters in the system with Automatic Meter Reader (AMR) meters, addressing the meter accuracy KPI. The City conducted workshops with staff to establish three levels of competency with AIMS. The first level of competency allows users to access AIMS through a web portal and quickly retrieve information that would be of interest to management and City council members. City staff at the second level of competency is able to access reports and also understand how reports can be created and modified. They are not required to understand the technical specifics of programming new reports but would be able to convey their vision for a report to staff at the third level of proficiency. City staff with a third level of competency requires an IT background and enables them to access the inner workings of AIMS. Their role is to create and modify reports based on the vision of staff at the lower two levels. This staged approach to competency with AIMS allows City staff to understand how their roles fit together when it comes to creating new reports used to monitor the system. RESULTS The City has worked to make management changes that focus resources and allow the utility to monitor performance. Key examples of this include development of a criteria based Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) development process, replacement planning modeling, and reduction in the amount of non-revenue water loss in the system. The goal of reducing non-revenue water has led to the creation of valve and leak detection teams that target specific operational components with management strategies. Modification of system pressures and flow metering of zones within the service area have helped reduce the factors that cause non-revenue water and identify areas where the issue is more prevalent. DISCUSSION Succession planning and staff turnover must be addressed in a successful asset management program. The City has identified management staff (including the Director) responsible for ensuring that each KPI is being tracked. Also, each KPI has been assigned to a specific job role so that management of the KPI is not lost with staff turnover. Automatic report generation using the AIMS tool ensures that KPIs will be calculated accurately and consistently over time and allows for meaningful trending of the data. AIMS

4 addresses the issue of staff turnover as well considering the KPI calculation could vary over time depending on who is performing it. Performance of any utility starts with the staff that operates it, not the tools that it owns. While KPIs are effective for measuring performance, utility staff must ultimately have ownership over the strategies and solutions that are implemented. A utility must have buy-in from staff on the goals of the organization for them to accept accountability of system performance and how it is measured. The City has used the approach described in this paper to achieve staff buy-in and provide a path forward for monitoring system performance. Table 1 Key Performance Indicators Perspective Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Operating Ratio Debt Service Safety Margin Debt Service Coverage Debt Ratio Operating Margin, percent Water Treatment Cost per Million Gallons Water Treated and Distributed from Treatment Plants Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Cost per Account O&M Cost per Million Gallons Water Distributed O&M Cost per Mile of Pipeline Definition of KPI Operating and Maintenance Expenses divided by Total Operating Revenue (Net Revenue minus Principal and Interest Requirements) divided by (Gross Revenue plus Income) Net Revenue divided by Principal and Interest Requirements Net Funded Debt divided by (Net Fixed Assets plus Working Capital) (Operating Revenue minus Operating Expenditure minus Depreciation) divided by Operating Revenues Water treatment costs include all costs associated with the treatment plants and reservoirs. Pump and tank costs are excluded from the calculation. Volume of water treated includes combined annual net production volume of all water treatment plants. Total O&M costs divided by Total number of active customer accounts Total O&M costs include employee salaries, direct benefits, and direct O&M costs associated with treatment (less depreciation & debt service). Total Annual O&M costs divided by Annual Volume (in MG) distributed Total O&M costs without debt service and depreciation divided by miles of pipeline excluding service lines Debt to Equity Ratio Long Term Debt divided by Total Fund Equity Liability to Asset Ratio Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets at Original Cost Less Depreciation Total liabilities include outstanding bonds, outstanding long-term and short-term debt, payment owed to others, accounts payable, and deposits collected from customers.

5 Working Capital - Days Cash on Hand Meter Accuracy Reduce Internal Tear outs Reduce External Party Tear outs Total assets include accounts receivable, cash, inventories, service delivery facilities [less depreciation], cost of easements, cost of water rights, and all other items of value owned by the utility. (Cash and Cash Equivalents, including investment balances) divided by (operating expenditures minus depreciation divided by 365) Exchange 1,100 residential-size meters 10 years old per year per year Reduce 10% per year Reduce 10% per year Complaints per 1,000 customer accounts. Technical Quality Complaints Protection of High Hazard Connections Continue Water Education Measure Satisfaction Service Cost per Account Improve Service for Fire Flow System Integrity/Condition of the Water Distribution System System Renewal/Replacement (R&R) Rate for Water Treatment Facilities and Pumping Technical quality complaints include costumer complaints associated with water quality, taste, odor, appearance, pressure. KPI also includes complaints associated with disruption of service, disruptions of traffic, and facilities upkeep. Backflow Prevention - Address all identified high hazard connections. Classroom Outreach Program Satisfaction Surveys Total customer service costs divided by Total number of active customer accounts Quantifies resource efficiency. Total customer service costs include all direct salaries, employee benefits, and direct costs, including contracts that are associated with the following services: activation of new accounts, meter reads, meter maintenance and R&R, bill preparation and delivery, payment receipt and processing, records maintenance, collection of delinquent accounts, processing of bankruptcies, provision of turn-on/turn-off services, receipt/investigation/and resolution of complaints, preparation and provision of outreach and education materials. Switch Over of Services of Parallel Lines (2-inch to 6-inch) 100 times (Annual total number of leaks plus Annual total number of breaks) divided by total miles of distribution piping Leaks and breaks excludes service lines and hydrant laterals 100 times (Total actual expenditures or total amount of funds reserved for R&R of water treatment facilities and pumping assets) divided by Total present worth of R&R needs for water treatment facilities and pumping assets Quantifies the rate at which the utility is meeting its individual need for the infrastructure renewal or replacement for water

6 Innovation and Learning System Renewal / Replacement Rate for Water Pipelines (excludes service lines and hydrant laterals) Ratio of Galvanized Service Lines Renewed versus Repaired Regulatory Compliance Develop site sampling plan and conduct tracer study Work Order Resolution Time Crew Productivity Planned Maintenance Ratio Distribution System Water Loss Pressure Reduction Employee Training treatment facilities and pumping. 100 times (total actual expenditures or total amount of funds reserved for renewal and replacement for each asset class) divided by total present worth for renewal and replacement needs for each asset group Number of galvanized service lines renewed divided by Number of corrective maintenance work orders for galvanized service lines (renewed and repaired) % of Water Quality Regulations Met Meet Disinfection By-products Rule 100% within 10 Business Days for normal work orders 100% within 15 Business days for renewing service lines 100% within 30 Business days for taps and meters Number of resolved Work Orders per District/crew. Includes asphalt crew, construction crew and hydrant crew. Does not include central storage management. (100 times hours of planned maintenance) divided by (hours of planned plus hours of corrective maintenance) Water Production Only 100 times (volume distributed minus volume billed plus volume unbilled but authorized plus Unavoidable Annual Real Loss) divided by Volume distributed Identify and prioritize pressure reduction projects for inclusion in Capital Improvements Program Switch Over of Services of Parallel Lines (2-inch to 6-inch) Total of annual qualified formal training hours for all employees divided by Total FTEs worked by employees during the reporting period

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