LSBUD BLOG: 24 March 2017
2017 is moving on with speed and we’ve been busy here at LSBUD. The enquiry volumes are through the roof; the events have started and new Members are coming. Below is a summary of each area and where we’re up to.
With 173,000 in January and over 160,000 in February, we’re processing almost 20% more searches than at this time last year. March is set to be another record month andwith the monthly record broken four times already in the last 6 months, we couldn’t be happier with the volumes coming through the system. Thanks to all users for your dedicated searching- it remains the most important factor in the pursuit of eliminating utility strikes.
We have attended three events in March; starting with the annual CGA Conference in Orlando on 14-16 March. This conference is all about avoiding damages to utilities, in alliance with the ‘811’ service in the US.
Visiting this event allows us to understand what utilities are doing in the US, as well as in other countries across the World, to protect their assets. We have always learnt from and shared experiences with organisations across the World to ensure that we can all understand what constitutes best practice in the pursuit of eliminating utility strikes. There were several presentations on the reduction of utility strikes through risk assessing the searches made before works commence. This is of particular interest to us, as we are passionate about fully understanding third party works rather than simply showing assets on a map.
Next up was the HAUC (UK) National Convention on 21 March at the Celtic Manor, Newport. The focus of the morning session was ‘planning, co-ordination, communication’ which then moved on to ‘systems, performance’ after lunch. With these topics to the fore it was a ‘must-attend’ event for LSBUD and our stand was kept busy all day with an impressive 280 delegates in attendance.
On the same day, we attended the Future Networks Conference held at the Birmingham Events Centre. Here we heard from many of our Members, including Western Power Distribution, Electricity North West, National Grid, SGN and UK Power Networks.
The focus of this event was the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) role becoming a Distribution System Operator (DSO) and the complexities of engagement with multiple sources of generation and demand. Customer engagement remains critical to all which is really encouraging to hear for the industry.
We’ve got plenty of events already planned for 2017 and these are all available on the website here. Please do come and see us at these events. Even if it’s just to get a free Larry for submission to the 2018 Calendar Competition!
One of the newest members of the team, Fionn Wardrop, who started in November 2016, is going to coordinate some webinars on the service. We will be promoting these events soon and topics covered are set to include an introduction to new members, new tools for high volume search enquirers and some analysis of patterns in searches.
As reported previously, we are in the setup phases for both SGN and UK Power Networks (UKPN) and both should be live within the next three months. These will bring a step change in the service in the South East and Scotland and are a significant step forwards.
We’ve also been proud to announce Veolia SELCHP and Gigaclear as new Members in 2017. These two Members show the variety in asset owners that the service can help. Please do look out for them in your responses.
Ensuring the quality of our processes
We were delighted to be awarded approval for our Management System to the ISO 9001:2015 standard within the last couple of weeks. This is testament to the efforts of the whole team, but particularly to our technical colleagues who work hard to ensure that the service keeps running 24/7.
That’s it for now, we look forward to announcing more news soon, both on new Members and enhanced functionality for the service. Until then, thank you again for supporting us and as ever, please do get in touch with any queries.
Richard, Fionn and the LSBUD Team.
P.S. Please follow us on twitter @lsbud for up to date news and tips etc.