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Tradeshow Trends and Topics

Our stellar sales team spent the end of February at Distributech and the beginning of March at TechAdvantage, hearing from clients about some of the most pressing issues and greatest pain points within the pole attachments process. Our industry is constantly changing and developing and tradeshows give us a chance to hear from the folks with their boots on the ground. Here are some of the major topics that continue to be hot topics within the world of pole attachments. 

1) Automation

Automation (and AI and machine learning) are buzzwords these days in most industries. The goal is to simplify mindless labor and reduce costs to humans. Automation can be utilized to do those things humans are really bad at and give people back their time. This lets them focus their attention on things that can’t be automated. Automating processes that don’t require human expertise can create space for people to do their best work.

That being said, there are many tasks where human flexibility and creativity are essential. When we’re doing something like make ready engineering, we need both art and science to find the best solution. We don’t want an algorithm to tell us the right answer (yet). We want people to weigh the consequences of each decision to build the best solution. Automation is one way of relieving the challenges to excellent work, but it isn’t a silver bullet to solve every problem. 

2) Reducing friction for better relationships 

Relationships between contractors and utilities are essential to a robust grid and good engineering. Building trust between utilities and their contractors comes down to transparency and accountability. Giving utilities visibility into the work for contractors deepens bonds of trust. It demonstrates that not only is the output solid, but the total process reflects best practices. 

3) OTMR contractors

Getting on the approved one-touch make ready contractor list can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to break into a new footprint. It’s hard to know who to talk to and how the one-touch process fits in with the over-arching approach to joint use. But now more than ever, utilities and attachers need contractors, especially those with OTMR expertise. 

Utilities have the responsibility of choosing the right contractors— the best people for the best ROI who are going to do the best work. Keeping those priorities in mind can help set up contractors to win joint use bids in new areas. 

4) Change Management 

Change, in general, is pretty difficult for people. Whether it’s partnering with a new contractor or starting an entirely new process, it puts strain on teams. The cost of change makes it easy to write off as pure debt—the gain has to be so obvious and the path to success has to be so clear to cost-justify it. That’s why having a plan for how to help teams onboard to new workflows is essential—without the right approach, transitions are painful and ineffective. If you’re hoping to get in with a utility, expand into new areas, or pitch a different process, having a step-by-step plan (and cost-benefit analysis that addresses the cost of change) makes the tough pill of change a lot easier to swallow. It’s essential to ensure long-lasting impact. 

Thanks for reading! Interested in hearing about some of our solutions? Contact us today to learn more!

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