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UtiliQuest: Investigating and Documenting Every Damage as a Contract Locating Company


UtiliQuest’s data-driven operations and culture support rigorous damage investigations that result in high-DQI contributions to CGA’s DIRT database, particularly around damage root causes.  Specially trained damage investigators are dispatched when UtiliQuest is alerted of a damage. Damage investigations and utility locating functions are intentionally separate jobs to ensure the integrity of the investigation process. Damage investigators strive to arrive on the scene while excavating equipment is still present and they utilize a tablet or laptop to complete a thorough damage report including photos. The collected data is then delivered into UtiliQuest’s ticket management system. Mandatory reporting fields enable consistency in data gathering and reporting. Management reviews each report before it is delivered to the client Importantly, UtiliQuest also maintains these damage reports enabling identification of root causes to target further damage reductions and to submit annually into DIRT.

UtiliQuest uses damage data to continually monitor key performance indicators such as top root causes, clients’ damages per thousand tickets and/or utility type, etc. The organization-wide focus on thoroughly investigating every damage and providing detailed reports not only helps UtiliQuest improve its own operations but also assist their clients in identifying root causes that both parties can impact. While the organization’s DQI is relatively high for a locating company, there are areas for continuous improvement.

DIRT Analyst Perspective: UtiliQuest has made improvements in its DQI over the past three years, with a leading area being Part D - Excavation Information. Based on the DQI review and spotlight discussions, UtiliQuest identified and implemented immediate actions for further improvement.

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