Software Program Offers Unique Pipeline Benefits

Pipeline Technology
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | April 2012, Vol. 67 No. 4

SunWorx is a web-based work management system providing asset tracking and field force automation that is growing in popularity with construction companies and offers several benefits to pipeline and utility contractors, said Paul Heino, president of Sundex, Inc., developer of SunWorx.

Work can be managed from anywhere with access to the internet. Because SunWorx is web based, there is no capital expense, no installation, and no maintenance, Heino added.

“SunWorx provides the capability of efficiently organizing, managing and scheduling work of field crews,” Heino said. “Using hand-held computers such as PDAs or smart phones, on-site foremen track the locations and progress of field crews, time that crew members work, document equipment usage and other project details. Information is immediately accessible for preparing work orders, managing payroll, mapping manpower and equipment locations and other project details for preparation of management reports.”

The system offers several benefits for projects requiring excavation, including a visual map of right-of-way, visual representations of permits, environmental hazards, silt fencing, road crossings, river crossings and sophisticated location tracking of existing utilities.

“Maps and information assist all involved parties see what is coming up and will reduce ‘go arounds’ and deviations from the plan,” Heino added.

There is a set-up charge to initiate the service and monthly fees to use the service. “The set-up fee covers our time for two on-site visits,” Heino explained. “The first one is to learn about the new client’s business; the second is to train the client how to use SunWorx.”

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Useful applications
SunWorx’s reporting and management systems are useful for any size company, but organizations’ with more than 10 field crews will realize the most benefit, said Heino.

Fees vary with plans tailored to individual customer needs. “A plan depends on what services are needed, such as mapping, amount of asset history and the number of crews using the service,” Heino explained. “Start-up and operating costs can range from $5,000 set-up and $1,500 per month, to $75,000 set-up and $15,000 per month for a remote mainline gas project.”

Heino said SunWorx is a proven system that was introduced in 2008 and has been in use ever since, with continuing updates. Version 3 currently is in use.