How a lifecycle asset optimization solution saved New Brunswick’s Department of Transportation millions of dollars

The New Brunswick Department of Transportation (NBDoT) can now more efficiently build and maintain its provincial highways and bridges as well as continue to save millions of dollars, thanks to an asset lifecycle optimization management solution from Remsoft Inc., and help from its partner, xwave (a Bell company).

Kim Daley, the acting deputy minister of corporate services and fleet management, transportation at NBDoT, said the department has been utilizing the Remsoft software solution for the past three years.

There are roughly 2,100 employees within the NBDoT, which is responsible for managing all of the provincial highways and bridges. Today, there are about 18,000 kilometers of highway and 3,000 bridges in the province and growing, Daley said.

“We plan, design, construct and maintain all of the provincial highways, bridges and some buildings,” Daley said. “We’re also responsible for some air, rail, marine and ferries within the department as well.”

Before implementing the Remsoft solution, Daley said the NBDoT used a “worst-first” decision-making management style approach.

“We were using a management system where we did our best to collect data for certain assets,” she said. “Based on that data, we’d list those (assets) we’d consider to be in the worst shape and then we’d react. The problem with the worst-first approach was that say for instance if you have a highway, it would cost $600,000 per kilometer to bring the highway from its current condition to a new state, whereas if you go in earlier, it’s only about $80,000 per kilometer.”

The asset lifecycle optimization solution from Canadian vendor, Remsoft, focuses on long-term, high value assets, Steve Palmer, the company’s co-CEO explained.

“You want to make sure you’re managing that asset the best way possible throughout its entire lifecycle,” Palmer said. “At Remsoft we use mathematically-based optimization to crunch through a customer’s data and objectives so that they can pick the best lifecycle path forward for that asset.”

Once it started using the Remsoft solution, it didn’t take long for the NBDoT to recognize significant amounts of financial savings, Daley said.

“If we continued to use our worst-first approach for the past three years, we would have spent $210M to have our highways in the state they are today. The savings we’ve seen since using the Remsoft solution are huge.”

Mark Gallagher, program manager at xwave (a Bell company), was involved in the project with NBDoT. He said Remsoft’s asset lifecycle optimization solution was chosen by the NBDoT because it allowed workers to make decisions using different types of asset results and tradeoff information over a long period of time.

“Instead of our staff reacting, we can now do predictive modeling on which assets will be in worse shape over the years and we can pre-plan 20, 40 even 100 years into the future and come up with targeted programs each year,” Daley said.

Since the solution is scalable, flexible and “easy to work with,” Daley said the department is also considering adding other assets to the Remsoft framework such as traffic control devices, ferries and safety to help facilitate more intelligent decision making.

Palmer added that the Remsoft solution can also extend beyond the transportation industry into other vertical areas such as government, where for example, the solution can look at birth rate information to help decide whether or not to build a new hospital in a particular area.

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheung1.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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