Street Cut Conflicts

Forty percent of a gas utility's construction budget is in paving -- at least that's what Chief Executive Officer Rick Fiery told me as he demonstrated Envista through a WebEx meeting last month.

Envista Corp. of Beverly, Mass., offers the only centralized, map-driven solution for the exchange and coordination of construction and maintenance projects online, according to the company's Web site (

Fiery, originally trained as a civil engineer, released the software that offers the same street map that local governments, utilities, and highway agencies use, except that now they can all see it at once and understand when and where the city plans to make street improvements so that utilities can take advantage of that timetable and save a few dollars and good neighbor points. The software automatically geo-locates projects and identifies potential date or location conflicts.

"It's very simple, but very on point," Fiery said.

Besides saving repaving dollars, the software enables utilities to better plan their pipe replacement projects depending on when local governments choose to establish "moratoriums" on newly paved streets.

The genius behind this product is that Fiery and company spent one year interviewing customers about what they wanted. These Compass Partners helped build the application, developed its marketing plan, and even had a say in what it should cost.

The price is based on population; for example, a town of 5,000 people would pay about $1,000 per year. Utility companies pay a base price plus 20 percent of the city's cost, Fiery said.

If you work at a utility or municipality, would you mind letting me know if this product would be useful to you? I'm not pushing this software; I just want to find out if this is the kind of tip that might be useful to Planetshed readers. Thanks.

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Dec 01, 2008