NEW YORK, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Strong growth in the use of asset management practices within the water industry by current practitioners and non-practitioners alike is expected over the next five years, according the findings of a newly released study. The study, "Water Infrastructure Asset Management: Adopting Best Practices to Enable Better Investments," was developed by McGraw-Hill Construction in partnership with CH2M HILL. Preliminary findings were released at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 17.
The study shows that over 80% of current practitioners expect to be using eight out of the 14 asset management practices identified in the study by 2017. The greatest area of growth is for the development of an asset management policy, with growth expected in use among practitioners from 46% to 84% and growth among non-practitioners from 5% to 59%, signaling a clear commitment to the adoption of asset management practices across the industry.
The benefits being experienced by asset management practitioners have helped encourage this adoption. The study shows that:
-80% report an improved ability to explain and defend their budgets and investments
-67% have a better focus on priorities
In addition, a higher percentage of utilities engaged in 10 or more asset management practices report achieving the benefits measured in the report.
"The more committed an organization is to an advanced asset management practice, the greater the results they are able to see in their organization," said Harvey Bernstein, McGraw-Hill Construction's vice president of Industry Insights & Alliances. "With 43% of the practitioners currently only using four to six out of the 14 practices featured in the study, there is a clear opportunity for utilities to reap more benefits in the future."
The use of an asset management approach has a strong, positive impact on how utilities make decisions on their asset investments, according to the study. It shows that 84% of practitioners consider risk assessment an important element in their decisions about investments in new or existing assets, compared to 58% of non-practitioners. It further shows that 59% of practitioners are looking more than ten years out in their asset strategy planning, compared to 33% of non-practitioners.
When asked the single biggest driver of wider use of asset management by water utilities, 39% of respondents indicate significant needs in the industry to replace, upgrade or expand existing infrastructure, and 25% regard the need to determine capital investment and maintenance strategies and budgets as most important.
"A lot of people think of asset management as being about the infrastructure itself. While the focus starts there, it is much more holistic than that," said Scott Haskins, CH2M HILL director, management and strategic consulting. "It really is a way of doing business. It involves organizational, operational and decision-making changes."
In addition to helping utilities focus on priorities, asset management practices increase the ability to explain and defend budget and investment proposals to governing bodies, and help leadership better understand the risk and consequence of alternative investments, Haskins notes.
The study provides a unique approach for measuring asset management adoption by defining asset management practitioners by the activities they are currently using rather than by their own assessment of their practice. Based on this approach, 65% of the survey respondents are asset management practitioners (those doing four or more asset management practices out of the 14 practices provided in the survey.)
The 2013 Water Infrastructure Asset Management study was completed in conjunction with five industry associations that reviewed the survey and distributed it to their members: American Public Works Association, American Water Works Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, National Association of Water Companies and Water Environment Federation. The study included 451 respondents from the U.S. and Canada, from utilities ranging from those serving a minimum population of 3,300 to a population of over 500,000.
For the full report, visit http://analyticsstore.construction.com/index.php/water-infrastructure-asset-management-smartmarket-report.html. To see other reports in the McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report Series, go to construction.com/market_research.
About McGraw-Hill Construction:
McGraw-Hill Construction's data, analytics, and media businesses—Dodge, Sweets, Architectural Record, GreenSource, and Engineering News-Record— create opportunities for owners, architects, engineers, contractors, building product manufacturers, and distributors to strengthen their market position, size their markets, prioritize prospects, and target and build relationships that will win more business. McGraw-Hill Construction serves more than one million customers through its trends and forecasts, industry news, and leading platform of construction data, benchmarks, and analytics. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies:
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company's leading brands will include: Standard & Poor's, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.
About CH2M HILL: Headquartered near Denver, Colorado, USA, employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environmental, energy, facilities and resources. With US$7 billion in revenue and 28,000 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record and named a leader in sustainable engineering and environmental services by Verdantix. The firm has been named a FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For six times. Visit us at ch2mhill.com, twitter.com/ch2mhill and facebook.com/ch2mhill.Search for jobs at ch2mhill.jobs.
Media Contacts: Kathy Malangone, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, McGraw-Hill Construction, +1 212-904-4376, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Doughty, APR, Communications Director, CH2MHILL, +1 720-212-1290, Bill.Doughty@CH2M.com
SOURCE McGraw-Hill Construction