Aussie success story Shepherd Services has developed an advanced technological and cost effective solution to road asset management and maintenance called RACAS (Road Asset Condition Assessment System).
For Australia’s vast road network spread across multiple federal, state and local government jurisdictions road maintenance is a critical issue.
Shepherd Services provides its customers with the technology to spatial map an entire road system while simultaneously identifying the level of disrepair and surface degradation across every kilometre of road.
The implications for road maintenance and asset management along with forward budget planning are obvious. But it doesn’t stop here, due to Shepherd Services unique technology these vital logging, analysis and advisory services are delivered at a uniquely competitive price.
The brainchild of the product came about when the founder of Shepherd services saw a gap in the market. That is where an obvious customer need was not being serviced because there was no cost-effective product to satisfy the market need.
Where products and services were notionally available the costs were prohibitive.
Service at an affordable price
The team from Shepherd services knew what they needed to do – produce world class technology and deliver the services at an affordable price – and that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Equally impressive is how Shepherd Services is now exporting its technology to Asia and beyond. International enquiries are already well up on last year and the future looks very positive for RACAS.
Crowning achievements usually require time, capital, hard work and no small measure of ingenuity. It will come as no surprise that Shepherd Services current technological offerings were four years in the making.
Almost 1,500 hours of research & development as well as considerable time with ongoing product refinement and upgrades. The product development cycle cost over $200,000 which for a small or small-medium business represents a considerable investment and some heavyweight coin to put on the table.
A clear technical vision and a laser like focus underwritten by a lean organisational structure with appropriate intellectual property can bring an organisation to the threshold of invention and innovation. It’s usually plain hard work that delivers the final result.
In the words of the great Inventor Thomas Edison invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
It is easy to see how regional council engineers and works managers get excited about the endless applications that Shepherd Services Geographic Information System (GIS) solution can be put to.
Road mapping and maintenance is one but Shepherd Services imaginative deployment of the technology means it can transcend limitations of lesser products and reach out to other applications.
Recently Shepherd Services technology was effectively utilised into mapping the effects of a major weather event such as road flood damage across a vast area of the nation, mapping drainage & sewer systems, mapping bridges and culverts.
When it comes to mapping, indexing and assessing infrastructure the Shepherd Services solution has widespread uses in planning and determining a scope of works and formulating maintenance budgets.
Similarly, a database or knowledge base of all assets can be created permitting historical and comparative analytics thus providing planners with the necessary actuarial tools to forward plan and budget.
To think that the Shepherd Services team has achieved all this technological product development without any Government research & development financial assistance places them in the first tier of Australian innovators and commercial success stories.
Contact Shepherd Services to learn more: www.shepherdservices.com.au
David Gray is lead consultant at Digital Information Partners, a company that provides communications & technical and policy documentation for the manufacturing & export industries, political media communications, public & social media relations. www.diginfo.com.au