Virginia Beach Crew Returns to POSM Software

Photo of Virginia Beach's BeachMarvin Tatem, the Utility Crew Leader for the City of Virginia Beach, VA., has worked for the City for 25 years and hasn’t seen a slow day. Marvin directs a crew of eight workers with six trucks (three pairs of truck crews, each consisting of a closed-circuit TV (CCTV) truck and a cleaning truck). Marvin stays on top of the city’s ever-demanding pipe maintenance needs. He delegates assignments and personally performs CCTV inspections daily.

Virginia Beach takes an aggressive approach to pipeline maintenance:

City of Virginia Beach LogoOf highest priority, the Virginia Beach team stays on top of Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) events. “We investigate any manhole overflows near water areas.” The crews clean, vacuum, perform a CCTV inspection to determine the cause, then file a report to their SSO bureau. The bureau may recommend a repair, determine the spill to be a one-time event, or mark it as a “hot spot” that needs revisiting every 30-120 days.

The crews also inspect local business and home lateral lines as needed to pinpoint sewer tap clean-outs and as part of the city’s Root Program. “We assess areas where we suspect tree roots have grown down into the pipes. We may cut the roots with a chain cutter or flush the line with a chemical treatment, perhaps on a regular basis, to keep the line clear of roots.”

Finally, “We’re on a cycling schedule to inspect 22,000 feet of pipeline per month. It takes five years to cycle through all the pipes of Virginia Beach before we hit the same spot again.”

Virginia Beach Sewer Inspection CrewAnother day at the office for the pipeline crew of Virginia Beach!

Marvin remembers, “We’d used POSM Software since 2003 and our crew loved it. Prior to that, we’d used a DOS-based program where we typed commands directly into the system. Everything was rudimentary, and our industry had no standard.”

Marvin...delegates assignments and personally performs CCTV inspections daily.

Customer Photo Marvin TatemHe was introduced to POSM in 2003 when Bob Katter (POSM’s founder) visited the Virginia Beach facility to offer a demonstration. “Bob was a young, very smart guy. He customized the software to work exactly how we needed it.” Among his favorite features, “POSM is intuitive, flexible, and for the guy in the truck performing the investigations, the OS is laid out sensibly. When we’re out in the field, the tech support is always available and responsive. A ‘long wait’ to fix a complicated problem might take about two hours, usually much less.”

Then in 2016, their superiors informed the crew that Virginia Beach would change software. “Our team was not consulted. It came down to the government contracting the lowest bid. We swapped out the crawlers, and, per the contract, we loaded the other company’s proprietary software onto our computers. We were told the software was specially created to run our new hardware most efficiently.” Marvin’s crew quickly learned that there was nothing efficient about the new software.

“It was a nightmare.” POSM’s sensible layout was gone. Instead, “you had to navigate several menus and sub-menus to get to what you needed. Instead of one button, we had to navigate 12 layers. The standard truck operator doesn’t want to figure out all that. We all got frustrated fast.”

Gone also was the customer service. “The only way to reach their tech support was by webinar maybe once every six months. If you didn’t get in then, you just didn’t get in. They were very uppity. ‘Why are you calling us?’ And we’d have to explain our issue to someone who didn’t care. The so-called tech support was triple the price of POSM’s. Just not good at all.”

The so-called tech support was triple the price of POSM’s. Just not good at all.

Then came the final straw. Two years into the contract, the company pulled support of the software. “They demanded we purchase new licenses and enter into a new contract before they would supply the upgrade. Our supervisors were in a panic, so I offered to get Bob in a conference call. Bob reminded us that we still had three POSM licenses he could port over, and he’d help set them up to run our hardware. He was very professional, no hard feelings, and our crew was happy as hell to return to POSM Software.”

Virginia Beach Sewer Inspection Crew View 2

Marvin Tatem and some of the Virginia Beach crew happy to get POSM back!

Don’t be fooled by a low bid! Proprietary software comes with many hidden costs. POSM Software is an “untethered” program and is 100% compatible with the vast majority of hardware in the industry. Upgrades are always FREE, and our tech support (renewed annually) is on-call Mon-Fri with a live mobile uplink to remotely assist our pipeline inspectors on-site.

Not happy with your current inspection software? Or do you just want to find out if POSM is really as flexible and easy to use as Marvin Tatem says? Click here to schedule a download for a 60-Day FREE No-Obligation Trial and find out why the inspection crew at Virginia Beach love POSM Software.