Budgeting for Success: Modernizing Your Network by Investing in a Fiber Management System

With the year coming to a close, many of us are starting to plan for 2024. Now is the time to think about how you can position your network for future growth.

With historic funding tailwinds and a transformative influx of new and better digital tools for fiber, broadband service providers are looking at a big picture that includes an unprecedented number of new and emerging opportunities. But these opportunities also come with growing pains, like a constrained labor market, supply chain variables and, often, more aggressive competition.

But if you take the time now to invest in the right tools and technology, you’ll have a leg up over your competitors. Let’s face it, we all love our spreadsheets, but they have limitations in handling the scale and complexity of fiber networks. A fiber management system of record like VETRO FiberMap with a purpose-built underlying data model to manage fiber network features and relationships in multiple dimensions offers so much more than tools like traditional GIS mapping applications, Google Maps or spreadsheets.

Below are a few examples of the many realized gains when implementing a fiber management system of record.

1. Enhanced Efficiency: With a fiber management system of record, you can streamline your workflows, reducing operational costs and freeing up valuable resources for strategic initiatives. Your entire team can access relevant network data in a map-based context with simpler, more intuitive workflows. Ask yourself this critical question to understand potential ROI:

  • What is your average hourly cost for each employee including benefits and payroll taxes?

Let’s assume you have 30 field technicians and engineers with an average cost of $45 per hour. If each of these employees saves 10 hours per week with optimized workflows, that’s an overall savings of $720,000; or a gain of 15,600 man hours per year to focus on growth or other strategic initiatives.

2. Improved Outage Response Times: Network downtime is costly and frustrating, and has the potential to damage your customer relationships. VETRO FiberMap can help quickly respond to outages by geolocating what’s affected during an outage, helping your technicians respond quickly and precisely for the customers who rely on your service. Here are a few questions to consider when it comes to outages:

  • How often do you experience network outages?
  • How much does an average outage cost your business?
  • What is the cost of unnecessary truck rolls?

Let’s assume we’re estimating the expense of identifying network outages. Taking into account costs including labor of $3,000 (based on 10 hours at $300 per hour), vehicle costs of $70, and a potential customer loss of $500 due to service delays, bringing the total estimated expense per outage to $4,200.

Now multiply the $4,200 by the number of outages your network experiences to understand the savings you will realize with a fiber management system that helps you geolocate the outage in minutes, not hours.

3. Greater Visibility: Having an accurate picture of your entire network means you can proactively address issues, plan for future expansion, and make data-driven decisions to stay ahead of the competition. Questions you should ask yourself include:

  • Where should I build next and how much will it cost?
  • What’s my process to identify where I am at capacity and where I can provision service for new customers?

Let’s say you’re planning to deploy a fiber network in a new city. Without VETRO FiberMap’s time-saving GIS automations like our “Route to Network” feature, manual fiber route selection, analysis, and estimation could take several weeks, involving a team of experts. With VETRO FiberMap, this process might be reduced to a matter of days or even hours, thanks to the efficiency and accuracy it offers.

This time savings translates into cost savings. For example, if a team of network planners and analysts costs $10,000 per week, a reduction from 4 weeks to 4 days could result in a cost savings of $30,000.

As the year comes to an end, optimizing your network operations is crucial. Spreadsheets have limitations for managing complex fiber networks, making purpose-built software like VETRO FiberMap invaluable. Investing in a fiber management system of record early on yields gains in efficiency, cost savings, and improved outage response times. Request your free budgetary quote or get answers to your questions HERE.

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