Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Partnerships

In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, maintaining critical water and wastewater operations has never been more important. Yet, ensuring continuity of operations has never been more challenging, and it will require using every tool in the utility manager’s toolbox.

As water challenges intensify, new approaches are needed to create a step-change improvement in water system performance. Increasingly, public utilities are relying on innovative solutions, such as advanced wastewater treatment, water reuse, and clog-free pumping stations.

But utilities not only require integrated technologies and smart systems to solve contemporary water challenges; they also need the partnership of a team of water solutions experts to effectively implement a multifaceted water management program. In particular, utilities can benefit from experts that advocate data-driven solutions for proactive asset management that harness the power of digital technologies.

Now, more than ever, the speed and safety at which these digital transformations take place within water and wastewater utilities is critical for the success and health of the utility’s frontline workers. Never has the importance of collaboration been more apparent. With a united approach, utilities can bring their own insights to the partnership while the collaborative-delivery team can bring expertise on new digital technologies, along with the required safety protocols to ensure a quick and seamless system upgrade. Through this approach, the collective team can find custom solutions while identifying and mitigating risks.

This “decision intelligence” approach centers on leveraging the power of data. By rapidly building a more robust remote monitoring network, the utility can achieve the required visibility into their system without having to deploy their frontline workers into a field situation blindly. With the ability to better understand the performance of existing assets remotely, utilities are empowered to focus their limited resources on the areas that need it most.

Furthermore, this digital transformation positions the utility for long-term resiliency. Equipped with data, the utility has the ability to prioritize the weakest assets in its system, thus strengthening overall performance and achieving new outcomes that wouldn’t be available without these insights.

Even before the pandemic hit, utilities were increasingly being tasked to do more with less. Since utilities have fewer staff members to deal with an ever-growing workload, a decision intelligence approach is becoming an ever more important part of the solution. As public servants, utility leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve how they make use of those limited resources to meet the community’s needs. Decision intelligence solutions provide unprecedented insight enabling a shift in resources from emergency response to proactive management.

By providing greater visibility, continuity, and resiliency to critical water and wastewater utility systems, these solutions can be a force multiplier for talented but stretched teams of operators. Ultimately, a decision intelligence approach produces powerful value for water and wastewater managers and the communities they serve.

Collaborative delivery is a perfect fit for driving these technological advancements. In partnering with experienced digital water professionals and project delivery experts, the utility can gain insights on both what digital tools (from the suite of solutions available) are the best fit for their immediate and future needs, but also the best course of action to swiftly and safely implement them. This shared knowledge and partnership with common goals and clear expected outcomes is the best approach for completing the digital transformation.

Never has there been a more critical time for utilities to retain a strong collaborative-delivery team that is prepared to provide support well beyond business as usual. Against a backdrop of rising needs and insufficient resources, decision intelligence offers powerful new tools to help utility leaders achieve superior performance as they serve their communities. These solutions can help ensure compliance and operating performance, while building resiliency for what’s next.

Kevin Flis, Business Development Manager, Xylem Inc.

About Kevin Flis, Business Development Manager, Xylem Inc.

Kevin Flis, business development manager for Xylem Inc., has worked in the water and wastewater industry for more than 11 years in roles including operations, project management, application engineering, up-front project engineering, project design, and market development. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from Iowa State University. Working within the water utilities business at Xylem, Flis focuses on optimizing value for Xylem’s partners by developing integrated technology solutions for collaborative delivery projects.
Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Equipment/Technology Suppliers, Xylem.

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