A New Perspective on ROA (Return on Asset)

Executive Interview: Quint Pertzsch,
Business Development, Cartegraph

Cartegraph is a geospatial software company that has traditionally provided location intelligence solutions around asset management to local, county and state governments. It primarily focused on extending the GIS environment within these organizations. Today, with its Operations Management System (OMS), it can integrate with other enterprise systems such as CRM, ERP, SCM and is expanding into the commercial sector. We spoke with Quint Pertzsch, Cartegraph Subject Matter Expert, about how the OMS system is being used to manage and sustain trees and other valuable natural assets.

LBX Tell us a little about your OMS solution.

PERTZSCH Cartegraph is built for organizations that want to do location-based work. It’s the first OMS that combines location and data to efficiently manage all the work, assets, resources, and requests at the center of an organization’s day-to-day operations.

LBX What do you mean by location-based work?

PERTZSCH Asset management is inherently location- based. Typically when governments manage assets, it has to do with infrastructure. Organizations have to do work around those assets in terms of maintenance, procurement, monitoring, inventory management and more. Assets can be a broad category; what they all have in common is location. All assets have a location. Asset management becomes efficient with the ability to store information about where an asset is located, its attributes, and problems or issues associated with the asset.

LBX Let’s talk about a particular class of assets: trees. Tell us about what is unique about trees as an asset class and how to manage them.

PERTZSCH Trees are natural assets that appreciate over time because of their natural growth patterns and their environmental benefits. While a fire hydrant serves a specific purpose, it deteriorates over time. Trees grow and contribute to ambient air quality benefits, nourish the soil, etc.

All assets have costs attributed to them. Trees are no different. In the case of trees in parks for example, there may be a team specifically assigned to evaluate, monitor and maintain trees. Those day-to-day activities have costs associated to labor, equipment and materials used. Cartegraph allows organizations to analyze those costs and see where efficiencies can be gained. See Figures 1 and 2.



LBX What is the formula for valuing trees?

PERTZSCH Organizations approach this differently. They may have basic tree information and specific objectives. Others may follow the USDA’s criteria. OMS comes standard with basic tree and species data, but organizations can customize their parameters and determine the type of tree information they want to collect and the types of attributes to attach to the tree species.

LBX What do you include in asset management?

PERTZSCH There are a multitude of measurable management attributes within different asset classes. Inventory, maintenance history and cost of ownership are among the most valuable in terms of making informed operational decisions. Fundamentally, organizations cannot value what they have unless they know what it is, where it is, the labor hours spent doing different activities to different assets, and the maintenance costs of the assets in terms of equipment and supplies. We find that organizations are looking for baseline metrics on their assets so they can plan and manage more efficiently. Having great baseline metric information is a terrific way to measure efficiencies.

LBX What does an organization need to implement Cartegraph’s location-based Operations Management System?

PERTZSCH Most of our customers have an underlying GIS system. However, not having an underlying GIS is not an obstacle. OMS comes standard with Google Maps which allows for the visualization of any location-referenced data. No integration between systems is even needed as long as data can be exported as a txt or csv file.

LBX From a pricing perspective, how does your solution work for different sized companies with differing budgets and resources to maintain the system?

PERTZSCH We offer different solutions for how an organization would like to deploy the system: it can be completely hosted; onsite deployment where the customer hosts the data and the system; or a hybrid, where we host the data, but the customer retains administrative privileges and the ability to make format changes.

LBX Cartegraph has been working with government organizations for a long time. What message would you like to share with our commercial readers?

PERTZSCH There are many vendors doing similar things, but they’re doing so with a “hodge-podge” of systems and applications. When you purchase Cartegraph, you are buying a holistic Operations Management System that integrates seamlessly with your other enterprise systems and is fully scalable to the number of users, workflows, assets and amount of data you want to collect. And once you integrate location data into your department’s day-to-day operations, you’ll see how it facilitates efficiency and you’ll want to extend it to other parts of your organization. Therefore, it’s very important that you think long-term and anticipate opportunities for growth when considering a location-based operations management solution.

cartegraph_pertzch-quint Quint Pertzsch is a Subject Matter Expert at Cartography. He has more than 17 years of experience in local and county government with particular emphasis on GIS, Work and Asset Management and Return on Investment (ROI) strategies.