Talk to longtime users of TerraSpatial Technologies integrated plant management software, and it quickly becomes obvious that they feel a sense of partnership.

Mapworks_screen_grabTake Cedarburg Light & Water in Wisconsin, for example. In the late 1990s, Cedarburg committed to working closely with TST in creation of electronic maps. Cedarburg also helped TST link data through mapping, engineering, accounting and continuing property records.

To this day, Cedarburg appreciates the way TST’s Mapworks mapping application flows equipment and pricing data to and from TST’s Plantworks utility for work order, cost accounting and inventory management application (follow the link to learn more about how robust Plantworks is).

At TST, we know that not every utility needs our complete plant management solution. It’s not that John Gerstenberger, manager of the Hood River Electric Co-op for the last 18 years, doesn’t appreciate the power and unity built into TST’s Mapworks and Plantworks components.

He just doesn’t need the entire package. Why? His utility is fairly small — just 3,750 meters — and it isn’t growing much, largely because of zoning regulations in Oregon designed to protect farmland.

“We didn’t have enough work to keep an individual busy and productive with their full package,” Gerstenberger says. “We don’t do that much construction.”

But he thought his team could benefit from the Mapworks engine. Working with Joe McCulloch, TST’s owner, Hood River Electric created a hybrid solution.

Think of it as a little bit old, a little bit new.

Mapworks is typically hosted on a client utility’s own servers, and TST offers cloud hosting for client account and inventory data managed through Plantworks.

In the case of Hood River Electric, the utility provides TST with work order information it needs to update the GIS behind the utility’s electronic maps. TST then lets the Hood River Co-op’s staff remotely access those maps to see what’s installed, and where.

Gerstenberger says his team then can print out maps, and use those to build paper-based work orders.

“Then the individual planning the job will go to our accounting system to process the work orders,” he says.

He’s grateful for TST’s willingness to work with “a little guy.”

“We have such a small, stable system,” he says. “The zoning in the Hood River Valley is such that there is no significant growth potential. We just don’t do much plant expansion.

“We benefit because TST is a local company. I really appreciate Joe’s willingness to give us no more – or less – than we need.”