National centre drives drainage surveying into the digital age

Drainage and wastewater specialist Lanes Group plc has created a national quality assurance centre that is significantly speeding up the delivery of CCTV survey reports for customers.

The new centre of excellence based at the company’s Manchester HQ offices is also improving the detail and quality of survey reports and supports major projects, such as large highways drainage programmes.

In some cases, the acceleration of CCTV survey reporting has been dramatic, with completed drainage reports sent to customers in less than two hours.

Development of the new department has also allowed Lanes to fully digitise reporting procedures, eliminating paperwork and intermediary digital systems to greatly improve the sustainability of its operations.

Lanes Group Operations Director Kevin Moon said: “The design and operational set-up of this new centre is driven by a desire to continuously improve customer experience of Lanes service.

“We’re taking advantage of advances in wi-fi and Cloud technologies to take our drainage survey services to a new level, in terms of speed, quality, accuracy and efficiency.

“This is delivering real value for our customers in terms of faster and more insightful reporting, and improved management of data for complex projects and multi-site national clients. This is helping our customers progress projects more efficiently and control costs.”

Twelve of Lanes’ 21 network depots now have all CCTV survey data processed centrally, with plans to add more over the coming months. The centre is also beginning to lead the delivery of survey reporting for major programmes, including highways, rail and large site developments.

The design and development of the facility has been led by Lanes CCTV Systems Manager Chris Wilde. He now leads a team of nine CCTV technical specialists, with more expected to join as the programme expands.

Investment in the latest CCTV drainage survey software, along with collaboration with its supplier, WinCan, to develop additional data management capabilities, have been key to the success so far.

Chris Wilde said: “Survey data is now captured and compiled in a consistent, highly-detailed format, and sent to the survey processing team in Manchester remotely via the Cloud directly from the work location.

“The system alerts us that survey data has been received and we can immediately start to put together a report, following a clear quality-controlled process. Reports are then sent to customers digitally, using the platform of their choice.”

Collaboration with CCTV drainage engineers and depot teams to standardise processes and carry out training has been vital to realising all the value-added customer benefits the new approach provides.

Chris Wilde said: “We’re also able to give customers complete transparency, with a log-in to view progress on their reports as they are being processed.”

All CCTV technical specialists working in the centre hold the OS19X certificate for the MSCC5 sewer condition classification, the latest coding standard.

Area Development Manager Ian Clapham has helped three depots across the North West of England incorporate the remote processing quality control system. He said customers have very much noticed the difference.

He added: “I left one client at a site where a CCTV survey was being carried out. He called me to say he was amazed that the survey report was in his inbox waiting for him when he got back to the office, and he had less of a journey than me.

“It’s very exciting to be able to help roll out this service because the speed and quality of the survey reporting can be critical to our clients’ operations and relationship with their own customers. We’re making a huge leap in service standards.”

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