iROADS is our world-leading digital asset management software and is specifically designed for progressive highway authorities and other organisations responsible for managing roads and highways.
iROADS offers a range of features that help highway authorities manage their road network more efficiently and sustainably.
As a specialized road asset management platform designed specifically for road infrastructure asset management, iROADS offers a unique set of features and capabilities that distinguish it from broad-based solutions.
During iROADS discussions and demonstrations, a common question that arises is how iROADS differs from the asset management features available in common Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. In his latest blog, TRL Software’s Head of Product Management Subu Kamal shares his experience and expertise with a clear explanation of the differences between these tools, while also sharing his perspective on why iROADS stands out as the ideal solution for road infrastructure asset management.
iROADS Tailored for road asset management:
ERPs are broad-based solutions that cover a wide range of industries and business functions. While they offer asset management modules, these modules are often generic and not tailored to the specific needs of road infrastructure asset managers. iROADS, on the other hand, is a specialised road asset management platform that has been designed specifically for roads. Its features and capabilities are driven by “real data” obtained from the road network, which includes traffic speed condition surveys, structural condition surveys, skidding resistance of road surfaces, road geometry such as gradient, crossfall, and radius, rutting, longitudinal profile variance, bump measure, sensor measured texture depth, lane fretting intensity, noise, surface type, road crash data and cracking.
iROADS ensures that the right metrics that drive road condition and performance are measured, not just vanity metrics or RAG status created in an arbitrary way without any evidence base. The collected road data is then analysed and processed using well-established pavement science and engineering principles. The platform employs algorithms and formulas that are researched and proven to ensure that the resulting analysis is accurate and reliable. The team that helps us the embed this pavement science in iROADS is our Asset Management Team which includes experts with a combined experience of over 100 years, supported by a TRL team who specialises in distinct aspects of pavement engineering.
iROADS uses this data and pavement analysis to generate an accurate and up-to-date picture of the road network’s condition, enabling infrastructure asset managers to make informed decisions based on real data rather than estimates or assumptions.
One of the key features that sets iROADS apart is its ability to perform a comprehensive pavement analysis of assets. Unlike broad-based solutions, which often only consider financial and operational data, iROADS takes a holistic approach that considers the physical condition of assets, treatment definitions, treatment costs, material quantities, financial constraints, and operational limitations. This approach ensures that asset managers make informed decisions that are based on a complete understanding of the road assets and their organization’s strategic objectives.
The practical difference – an example
A good way to demonstrate the practical application of this is through the “Strategic Decision Analysis module in iROADS”. This module utilizes real road network data, condition data, and costs to conduct decision analysis, ensuring that your investment decisions are measurable, quantifiable, and based on evidence. Generic tools, on the other hand, may result in investment decisions that fail to provide the desired level of service since there is no direct link between the decisions and the projected condition of the road network. This is similar to driving without a map and hoping to reach your destination randomly.
When dealing with complex and extensive networks, generic asset investment tools run the risk of squandering public funds in an unaccountable manner, whereas they may suffice for small and straightforward networks. Making investment decisions without a scientific, evidence-based approach significantly increases the risk of failing to meet an organization’s KPIs. Here, by generic asset investment tools, I mean tools that work across multiple assets – like energy networks, water, utilities etc. Investment decisions based on generic Asset Investment Planning & Management (AIPM) tools that does not use real pavement condition data, treatment data and pavement analysis for assessment and monitoring will not provide guaranteed or evidence-based results.
Customisation and flexibility:
Another key difference between iROADS and broad-based solutions is the level of customization and flexibility offered by each tool. Broad-based solutions ERPs are highly customizable but require significant time and effort to configure to meet specific needs. iROADS, on the other hand, is designed to be highly flexible and customizable out of the box, with features and capabilities that can be easily configured to meet specific road asset management needs. You can start using iROADS in few weeks’ if you have an existing, legacy solution or get started in few days if you are starting afresh.
Additionally, iROADS offers specialized features that are not found in generic ERPs, such as risk analysis and pavement scenario analysis. These features enable road asset managers to identify potential risks associated with each asset and prioritize investments accordingly – “using real pavement data”, as well as test different investment scenarios using “real costs data” before making a final decision that is quantifiable and balanced.
Figure 1: The three key value propositions iROADS offers over generic tools
The value enterprise ERPs deliver:
For transportation authorities responsible for managing multi-modal transport assets, including roads, marine, trains, transit, and freight, enterprise ERP asset management can be advantageous. However, integrating these enterprise ERPs with specialised road asset platforms like iROADS can significantly enhance decision analysis linked to road asset management. iROADS offers road-specific functionalities and capabilities that are not present in generic ERPs. By leveraging real-time condition and inventory data and pavement analytics (driven by pavement science & engineering) from iROADS, transport authorities can make informed investment decisions concerning their road networks. Integrating iROADS with existing enterprise ERP solutions provides a comprehensive view of all assets, enabling prioritization of investments and optimization of resource allocation across the entire transportation network. Ultimately, this integration helps large, multi-asset, transport organisations improve their asset management strategies, meet KPIs, and better serve the needs of their constituents.
Broad-based solutions support a wide range of industries and business functions, including asset management. However, these modules may not always cater to the specific needs of road infrastructure asset managers. On the other hand, iROADS is a specialised road asset management platform that provides features and capabilities driven by real road data from your road network, making it an ideal tool for road asset managers. It empowers managers to make informed decisions, optimize their asset portfolio, and improve their overall asset management strategy. If you’re an infrastructure asset manager looking to quantify your decisions, we recommend exploring what iROADS – drop us a line at [email protected] for more information or to arrange a demonstration.