Water Quality, Costs, Aging Infrastructure are Top Three Concerns – PeopleService Industry Insights
As leaders in water and wastewater operations and management we look to our customers and beyond to see the issues facing us all. This month we asked over 2,000 people in the industry what their concerns were in the latest PeopleService Industry Insights survey.
Our survey showed that the quality of water, costs, aging infrastructure and the system’s ability to cope with severe rain, flooding and other weather-related conditions are the top concerns of those running water and wastewater systems in the Midwest today.
This exclusive poll of city owner/operators across the Midwest found that keeping up with increased state and federal regulations, licensing and certifying staff and maintaining a handle on maintenance expenditure were the next big “pain points”. And, over half linked this to the viability and economic development of their communities. Fully 66% were concerned about pollution of lakes and streams.
Difficulties in recruiting – and the turnover and retirement of qualified staff – was also seen as a challenge with 47% reporting this issue was either of critical importance or very important.
“All too often companies make assumptions about what their customers are going through, and what their prospects need – let alone want,” said Chris McMillen, Director of Sales. “We prefer to operate on data. This month’s survey was affirming in most areas, and opened our eyes in others. In the end, we’re here to serve, so we want to get a clear grasp on what that means to our customers,” he added.
“What the survey affirms is that it’s becoming harder for cities to handle these critical issues with the staff on hand today or available to them in their community,” said President Chad Meyer. “It’s a bench strength issue. The experts at PeopleService provide broad and deep experience. To say they’ve seen it all is an understatement. And, to say they stay up on the latest safety procedures and regulations is an understatement. Just ask Director of Operations Mike Adair who is on the road at plants training and updating more than he’s in the office.”
Critical Concerns Growing
Our high-level take on November’s Industry Insights survey is that in our 31+ years of serving customers in this industry, the list of critical concerns (those ranking from 4-5 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being “very concerned”) is growing. Add plant sustainability and cost concerns to the growing talent crisis in most markets, and one can see why communities are turning to PeopleService for solutions.