As Ameren Illinois’ damage prevention efforts and 811 ticket volume increased, UtiliSphere streamlined workflow, focused efforts on high-risk tickets, and created efficiencies to save millions for the electric and gas company.
Electric and natural-gas provider Ameren Illinois is an industry leader in damage prevention. They became an Irth customer in 2002 when they began using our 811 ticket management offering.
Prior to Irth, the Ameren Illinois team passed all 811 tickets to contract locators for processing and relied on their contractors for damage prevention data. Ameren Illinois determined they needed to upgrade their damage prevention program by reducing the number of unnecessary locates being sent to their locate contractors and focusing on locates with a higher probability of having facilities in the dig area.
In addition, Ameren Illinois was looking to increase damage prevention monitoring by implementing locate auditing and watch-and-protect processes. Ameren Illinois was also seeking to reduce data entry and inefficiencies associated with the manual process when recording and reporting their damage prevention data. It also wanted to eliminate the need for multiple spreadsheets and SharePoint sites used to track and store the data. To assist in these efforts, they partnered with Irth to help upgrade their damage prevention efforts.
With UtiliSphere, Ameren Illinois manages the entire 811 ticket management process in one place, including screening tickets to assess the level of risk before they go to contract locators. UtiliSphere integrates multiple applications on one platform to deliver a comprehensive damage prevention, asset management, and risk management tool used by Ameren Illinois’ JULIE screeners, damage prevention team, and contract locators.
Ameren Illinois’ JULIE screeners are informed with up-to-date data from the field and other critical information collected during damage prevention activities in UtiliSphere. For example, the platform has map layers to help screeners definitively know where assets are located. With this insight, screeners can more confidently clear tickets without scheduling an in-person locate.
We worked collaboratively with Ameren Illinois’ damage prevention team when they launched their watch-and-protect program to ensure UtiliSphere had functionality that would best support them. Ameren Illinois utilizes Utilisphere for work management and documentation of additional damage prevention actions. For example, when a high-risk ticket is identified, UtiliSphere triggers a notification to the locate contractor and will automatically open and assign a Watch & Protect work item if the locate contractor verifies the presence of a high-risk facility.
Users access 811 tickets through UtiliSphere; whether they are a damage prevention specialist, screener, or contract locator, they have the same system of record. Ameren Illinois no longer needs to copy and paste data from one system to another, giving unparalleled visibility to the damage prevention team.
Ameren Illinois has a robust screening and damage prevention program. Not only have damages been reduced, but the screening process made possible by UtiliSphere also saves Ameren Illinois millions of dollars on contract locator costs.
UtiliSphere allows the Ameren Illinois team to access everything they need to screen and manage 811 tickets through one system as well as determine where their efforts are having the most impact.
Having one integrated system reduces human error, streamlines workflow, and boosts efficiencies saving time and money. Now that Ameren Illinois screens 811 tickets and doesn’t send a contract locator to every site, they save millions of dollars each year.
The Ameren Illinois damage prevention team is freed from manual data entry and can spend more time in the field talking to excavators, coaching locators, managing ticket load, and accommodating more audits than ever before.
“Having that one-on-one contact out in the field with other locators or excavators is what really drives those damages down,” said Allen Kish, Ameren Illinois damage prevention supervisor.
With a more strategic approach to damage prevention by sending auditors and locators to high-risk tickets, Ameren Illinois has intervened to reduce damages on cases that may have slipped through the cracks.
Irth's market-leading SaaS platform improves resilience and reduces risk in the sustainable delivery of essential services that millions of people and businesses rely on every day. Energy, utility, and telecom companies across the U.S. and Canada trust Irth for damage prevention, training, asset inspections, and land management solutions. Powered by business intelligence, analytics, and geospatial data, our platform helps deliver the 360-degree situational awareness needed to proactively mitigate and manage risk of critical network infrastructure in a changing environment. Irth has been the top provider for 811 (one call) ticket management and utility locating software since 1995.