Farming Together (Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program) – is a Federal Government initiative that aims to provide farmers, fishers and foresters with knowledge, skills and materials on collaborative ideas, co-operative structures and collective strategies. The program is managed by Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW.
Farming Together aims to:
Managing this program involves a significant amount of progress tracking and reporting. The Farming Together team had been using a proprietary CRM but needed more. The team members wanted access to data in usable formats and accurate reporting – at case or program level, delivered in a timely manner.
Mipela was chosen to provide a solution that could give them real-time access to accurate information, automating their workflow processes and approvals. The team at Mipela went about configuring X-Info Suite to align to Farming Together’s business processes and reporting requirements, ensuring that users had what they needed, when they needed it and in a format they could use.
Users of X-Info Suite experienced immediate improvements through the ability to access the data using the individually configured dataviews, improved search functionality and the ability to see a financial and service snapshot in one view. Seeing a summary of a case in one screen has made internal control easier and more effective. This has resulted in greater transparency over case files and improved efficiencies in time taken to complete tasks.
Having learnt a hard lesson on what didn’t work well, the team at Farming Together was committed to working with Mipela to invest the time and effort in implementing a successful solution – and it’s paid off in time-efficiency.
The result has been a more committed project team. They were able to undertake some major data cleansing and remove inaccurate data along the way which has led to improved, more accurate financial reporting. In turn, this made ongoing monthly financial reporting far more efficient, with no anomalies to review.
“We had a really good experience working with Dirk, he met our needs and was very patient with us during the process. Dirk persevered through some difficult moments with our data cleansing which was a relief and appreciated by our team,” said Emma Hunter, Farming Together’s operations manager.
“Overall, now we have something that makes our job easier!” she said.
Council had gone down the path of automating their Dial Before You Dig responses a few years earlier but were having issues with product usability and reporting. They needed access to an automated response system for the Dial Before You Dig enquiries that gave them real time reporting and data availability that could assist them in identifying upcoming planning from external contractors.
Once they had chosen and implemented Mipela’s X-Info DBYD suite, the results were immediate. They were able to free up their resources to focus on working together with the public to plan on minimising disruptions to the community from development or roadworks. Council staff have greater access to the DBYD enquiries through the portal to gauge what kind of work and frequency is planned within their Council region to forecast of workloads and potential environmental impact. Contractors are communicating more clearly with Council as a result of the DBYD response information that they are receiving.
Russell Hardie, Permit Inspection Officer for Greater Shepparton City Council said, “X-Info DBYD suite runs seamlessly in the background and provides us with advanced reporting. Not only does X-Info DBYD suite protect our assets but the range of real time data available is being used to benefit the community providing minimal disruption from any development or roadworks”.
If you’d like to learn more about how automating your Dial Before You Dig responses can work for your organisation, contact our DBYD specialist, Jaci, on 1300 807 770.
Linbeck Contractors provides construction, repairs and maintenance and licenced plumbing services to asset owners in the gas and water industry.
Their work involves underground works, which all require a Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) enquiry to be lodged, to ensure no damage is caused to underground assets. The lodging of an enquiry and receipt of responses is a time consuming process, something Linbeck’s Administrator, Melanie Hurditch hadn’t realised exactly how much until they started using X-Info Plans Management.
By implementing Mipela’s X-Info Plans Management, Linbeck were able to significantly reduce the administrative tasks related to collating, printing and scanning their DBYD responses. Linbeck’s field teams now have access to every job 24/7 through X-Info Plans Management via a browser on their smart phones.
Linbeck’s Director, Joe Lynch said, “Mitigating risk was one of the key factors in seeking out a solution but the economic and environmental benefits have since become clearly evident.”
For more information on X-Info Plans Management, contact Jacqueline Button on 1300 807 770.
Australian Terminal Operations Management (ATOM) is a company dedicated to operating 3rd party bulk fuel facilities safely, reliably and effectively for its customers. With a head office in Melbourne, ATOM currently operates and maintains 17 bulk fuel terminals across Australia.
National HSSE & Operations Excellence Manager for ATOM, Leon Harris, identified that having a lot of underground pipeline exposed them to potential significant risk when third parties are working close by.
ATOM were in need of a robust system to ensure they were informed of any potential digging and to provide the information to manage the actions of third parties within a certain parameter of their asset.
The implementation of X-Info DBYD suite gave Leon assurance that adequate controls are in place to mitigate any incidents.
Leon said, “X-Info DBYD suite has created a barrier to risk for their assets. In addition, the automation allows resources to focus on high risk areas, eliminating the administrative burden that comes with manual processing.”
The introduction of X-Info DBYD suite is providing everyone with an extra level of safety with little to no effort by the ATOM team.
Based in the energy rich region of Taranaki, First Gas supplies gas to more than 65,000 customers across the North Island of New Zealand.
First Gas owns and operates more than 2,500kms of high pressure gas transmission pipes and nearly 5,000km of gas distribution pipes that supply natural gas from the Taranaki region to industrial consumers throughout the North Island.
Earlier in 2017, First Gas engaged Mipela GeoSolutions to provide a comprehensive Lands Management System to help them manage their extensive property portfolio and its associated stakeholders. First Gas were looking for a solution that could automate the day to day management of its easement database, land and planning (risk assessment for owner/operator, visit and permit history) and to capture all associated information for their annual landowner contact program. Integration with First Gas’ existing GIS system, ESRI, was integral to the success of the proposed solution.
Mipela successfully implemented X-Info Suite to manage the Lands and Permit business functions at First Gas. This solution offers key workflows and automated processes that align to the nominated business procedures. First Gas have also embraced the opportunity to further optimise their business moving forward in a flexible and hassle free manner.
The implementation of an Automated Response System for their Before You Dig enquiries for part of their distribution business was also delivered. This solution is now protecting distribution assets with timely and detailed responses. This has enabled First Gas to refocus resources to pro-active asset management, rather than administration tasks.
Since GoLive of X-Info Suite, First Gas has noticed positive enhancements in operational efficiencies, reducing landholder update timeframes from one hour to five minutes.
The First Gas standard of data integrity has been clearly defined and is maintained by applied user security and live feeds from point of truth data sources such as GIS property. This ensures that the business can validate the information generated from the X-Info Suite and trust it to support their decisions and workflows.
The availability of on demand and templated reporting has ensured transparency companywide to key business information from the Lands Team.
Future strategies for field mobility solutions using X-Info Aware will see First Gas move core information seamlessly through the business from field to office to GIS to third party owners.
“The future potential application of X-Info for lands management is exciting and will provide a one stop holistic management tool for all First Gas land stakeholder management,” said Anthony Joines, Land and Planning Manager, First Gas.
Farming in Australia is in a state of turmoil. Many farmers are saddled with unsustainably high debts and are hit by unstable crop prices. Extreme weather events, from mass flooding in 2011 to intolerable droughts in 2014, exacerbate the difficulties faced by Australian farmers. By diversifying into solar generation, farmers can regulate their annual income and secure their finances.
Luminous Energy specialises in the planning and development of large-scale photovoltaic power plants, from initial site selection to connection and commissioning. They organise the development of solar farms, taking projects from initial site selection up to the point at which they are ready to be built.
Luminous recently sought assistance from Mipela with data management and mapping support to produce plans suitable for property agreements and site constraint mapping for three proposed solar farm sites in Queensland.
As part of the planning and development process, Luminous are required to submit site development plans to local council and plans to accompany ecological assessments to State and Federal Government. With the decision makers being geographically spread between Australia and the UK rapid revisions of mapping was required. Having someone experienced on the ground who can interpret requirements and turn the work around in a timely manner like Mipela has been critical to the project so far. This well managed revision process has resulted in better project delivery with quickly delivered result in an effective manner.
“In August 2017, Tasmanian Irrigation migrated from a manual system of responding to dial before you dig enquiries and implemented the X-Info DBYD suite automated solution.
This has proved to be a cost-effective method to reduce the internal resources required to respond to enquiries, improve response times and reduce opportunities for human error.
This has led to a reduction in risk to our underground assets. The process of implementation was well managed by Mipela and their staff were supportive and accommodating throughout this process.”
Emily Tys, GIS Manager, Tasmanian Irrigation
In South Australia we love wine and our newest clients based in McLaren Vale are all about the grape!
Integrated Precision Viticulture (IPV) assists vineyard owners and managers to make smart, cost effective decisions around their properties using a combination of airborne data collection, in situ hardware including hundreds on in ground probes and professional field observations to record data across the vineyard throughout the year. IPV were looking for a platform to bring all of this information together so that their clients could access information at any time using powerful tools to present and analyse location specific information as well as manage tasks to be completed in the field.
X-Info Suite has as allowed IPV to set up the AG-GIS platform which gives then the ability to map assets and features on a property using X-Info Aware to view this information and maps online. This has been useful for IPV staff who have now created a central repository for property access information. This means they no longer get lost going to a property! It’s also useful to vineyard owners who may want a map of their property and share other consultants.
Asset maintenance requests can now be raised by vineyard owners using X-Info Aware and tasks are assigned to IPV staff to complete the job. The staff are able to navigate to the exact probe location via the geospatial information provided.
Agronomist consultants engaged by IPV are able to use X-Info Aware to record field observations such as pest and disease monitoring, baume (sugar content of grapes) and phenology (growth stage of the vine) readings which are automatically sent to X-Info Connect where can be then mapped online in real time. Agronomists can also assign treatment tasks such as spraying or slashing, based on their field observations, and include relevant chemical application information to assign to vineyard workers to carry out. Reporting can also be completed in field and sent to vineyard owners either in real time via a secure Internet browser or scheduled emails.
The AG-GIS platform also provides the ability for vineyard workers to carry out chemical audits and keep records of which chemicals in what volumes are currently stored on a particular property. The location of emergency management assets such are assembly points, fire hoses and washdown points are also mapped and can be accessed in report or map format online during an emergency event.
So, next time you’re sipping on a McLaren Vale Shiraz, have a think about how technology helps make that glass of wine taste awesome!
Written by Alana O’Connor
In our last newsletter, we introduced you to X-Info Plans Management, a browser based solution that automated the collation of your incoming DBYD responses.
Zinfra were one of the first companies to hop on board with this new solution in the later part of 2016. The value of using this tool is clearly demonstrated the savings in time and resources taken to receive and reconcile the incoming responses.
“Being able to check on any job via a web based console gives us the opportunity to just get on with the other planning and scheduling tasks associated with field work”, said Jason Luichareonkit, Business Systems Manager at Zinfra. “We have seen a significant business process improvement since introducing X-Info Plans Management”.
The number of DBYD enquiries Zinfra is making using X-Info Plans Management in NSW alone has increased manyfold – a true testament to the buy in and peace of mind from the business.
“We are currently onboarding Zinfra’s other states to realise the value of X-Info Plans Management in our planning and scheduling work.”
“I have worked with many system integrators and I must say that the attitude and the customer focus centric approach of every one at Mipela is outstanding. Nothing was too big of a deal. All enquiries and teething issues during and after implementation were answered in a timely manner”, added Luichareonkit.
One of Mipela’s long term South Australian clients, ElectraNet, recently asked us to undertake a couple of interesting projects that are worth sharing:
GIS analysis is undertaken based on land use codes to identify the risk associated near nominated assets. Calculations may vary based on vegetation density, vegetation type and climatic variables as well as high voltage ratings, hardware and componentry. These are just a few considerations that can be used to determine what vegetation management tactics should be recommended to minimise bushfire risk. These proactive measures can also contribute to significant cost savings of insurance premiums.
Have you ever wondered how the initial corridor for a linear asset (like a powerline or a pipeline) is determined? Basically, based on a series of pre determined constraints, geospatial analysis is conducted across multiple layers of data to conclude on the most appropriate path for the asset. This doesn’t always result in the actual outcome as there are many other constraints to be considered like social and cultural aspects. The route analysis is just a small part of the route selection process.