- Adam Schmehl
Katapult Pro Pole Attachment Audits
Updated: Mar 21
Attachment audits are an effective way to quickly true-up records and ensure that there are no exigent safety violations within a utility's distribution footprint. Getting a project of this size moving can be difficult, but once in motion, it can be a valuable tool for both pole owners and attachers alike. In addition to complete attachment records, a comprehensive attachment audit can provide a terrific base of photo data that can be leveraged for a multitude of applications; especially the third-party attachment process. Here is an outline of how these projects flow utilizing the Katapult Pro platform:
Step 1: Before Project Start
The engineering contractor conducts a random sampling of the pole owner’s distribution assets to assess project viability. After working with this data and becoming familiar with the attaching agreements, the cost recovery strategy may be altered to help achieve faster resolution. During this period, the contractor's attachments liaison meets with the other ILEC pole owners to find ways to incorporate their poles into the audit.
In general, the findings of these audits will more than fund the cost to acquire the data, and each pole owner and attacher will walk away with a complete set of records for the given territory. Once project viability is determined and the final strategy is set, the engineering contractor will meet with attachers and communicate via email the details of the audit a few weeks before project kick-off.
Step 2: Project Ramp-Up
The engineering contractor imports GIS data from the pole owners into Katapult Pro, with the utility data being treated as primary and ILEC pole data treated as secondary/supplemental. The project manager begins to train existing staff on the audit workflow and slowly begins deploying two-person crews throughout the first operating region. These teams will typically be more experienced to problem-solve any issues of the particular market. As their work is processed in the back office, feedback is provided to improve the technicians’ performance and software automation screens poorly taken or badly organized photos. Solo crews will be deployed to correct field mistakes and determine unresolved pole ownership.
Attachment records are seeded onto each photo of the locations and office staff trace authorized and unauthorized attachments through the system. Unauthorized attachments will auto-flag as yellow or red on the map to indicate the type of violation (too many vs not on record at all). The project manager will QC each pole and develop tools to remove mistakes from occurring in the future.
When the region is complete, the engineering contractor delivers their findings to attachers so that they can begin reviewing findings via virtual walk-down with the attachments liaison. Pole owners will determine the preferred form of secure data delivery as well as the frequency (typically weekly).
Step 3: Project In Full Swing
While the attachments liaison is working with attachers to recoup one-time attaching or audit fees, the project manager moves existing crews to the next priority region and continues to add two-person crews as necessary to stay ahead of all project deadlines. During this phase, slight changes may be made to the workflow to improve safety, efficiency, or overall data quality based on dialog with the pole owners. Data is continually delivered to attachers and pole owners.
Step 4: Project Wrap-Up
During this stage, field crews are winding down while final data is being collected for remaining disputes. The attachments liaison begins to prep documentation for any legal escalation while the project manager delivers the last region to the pole owners and attachers.
A copy of the data is maintained for approved uses and will be stored for a set duration before being destroyed. The pole owners will retain a copy of the data that they own in perpetuity.
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