8.2.2 Consultants vs. Do it yourself

No one knows your utility better than you and no one is more familiar with your assets. It is better for your utility to have a simple Asset Management plan that you develop yourself that represents your values and priorities than a more sophisticated plan that was developed by someone else who may not share these values or may not understand your capabilities and limitations. If the plan sits on the shelf, it doesn't matter how good it is, it is a failure. The point of an Asset Management plan is to implement it and start operating and maintaining the facility using Asset Management principles. If you don't understand your plan because someone else wrote it without much input from you, then it is not useful and your money was not well-spent. This guide is intended to help you through the steps of Asset Management and to encourage you to do as much as possible yourself.






In some cases, a utility may desire outside assistance to get started, to help organize the effort, to provide encouragement, or to help complete a particular task. There are two types of assistance that may be possible: an assistance provider or a consultant. An assistance provider is generally free or low cost to the utility and will serve mostly in an advisory or training role for the utility. A consultant will be paid by the utility and may either be in an advisory role, or they may be asked to complete a particular task. The most important thing, in either case, is to be very clear about what you want from the outside assistance and to define the roles of your staff and the outside provider/consultant clearly. It is important to make sure that the outside assistance is done with you, not for you. No matter who does it, it is still your plan and that must be understood. If contract is made for outside assistance, it is important to make sure the Request for Proposals (RFP) clearly defines tasks and deliverables. This is especially important for smaller utilities with limited funds.