For utilities managing multiple programs like drinking and wastewater, cross connection control, and industrial pretreatment, bringing operational and compliance data from across the organization into one environment can be a big undertaking.
Over the years, numerous engineering, IT consulting, and software companies have developed tools to help utilities manage this process. But while they might be a step up from paper and spreadsheet-based data management, not all operational and compliance management software is created equal.
Today we’re going to explore some of these differences by comparing two platforms:
An all-in-one cloud-based operating system for water & wastewater utilities. Klir pulls compliance, sampling, reporting and more into an easy to use dashboard, cutting down on administration and record-keeping work while providing a level of organization-wide visibility unmatched by other systems.
An operations and compliance management suite from NJBSoft built for managing water, wastewater, industrial pretreatment, backflow, stormwater, air quality and asset management programs.
Klir: A Quick Intro
Until recently, the information that operators and managers at water utilities needed to do their jobs was fragmented, dispersed across numerous systems, incomplete, or otherwise difficult to access.
Launched in 2018, Klir is the first system to bring these disparate functions together into one complete, all-in-one operating system (OS) for water & wastewater utilities.
Instead of relying on a mishmash of different systems and software, Klir brings the entire team onto one platform and pulls in data from lab reports, LIMS, SCADA & GIS to create a single source of truth for sampling activities utility-wide.
This allows operators to:
Work With Trends
See trends across the entire water system—from sampling, to permitting, inspections & more—and make decisions with clarity and confidence.
Automate manual tasks and data analysis that were once tracked in Excel or Outlook, from scheduling sampling runs, to interpreting sampling results, and generating regulatory reports, eliminating 1+ days of admin work each week.
Have peace of mind knowing that Klir’s automatic alerts for MCLs and non-compliance will trigger in case anything ever goes wrong, and feel confident that every sample has been completed on time.
SAMS: A Quick Intro
Launched in 2009, NJBSoft’s Sampling and Monitoring System (SAMS) began as an integrated operations and compliance solution for the Civil, Environmental and Municipal Engineering sector.
Today, the company offers seven separate ‘SAMS’ covering different aspects of water utility data management, including:
- Compliance and permit management for drinking and wastewater utilities (SAMS Water and SAMS Wastewater)
- Suites for managing industrial pretreatment (SAMS IPP), cross connection control (SAMS Cross Connection) and stormwater (SAMS Stormwater) programs
- A tool for managing Clean Air Act and other air quality compliance (SAMS Air Quality)
- A new asset management module (SAMS Asset Management)
Klir vs. SAMS: Which One Is Right for You?
While SAMS and Klir might have a lot of overlap, there are three major differences that set the two platforms apart: degree of customizability vs. configurability, how each platform handles data visualization, and collaboration tools. Here’s what each of them means for your utility:
1. Customizability vs. Configurability
Generally speaking, users get the most out of NJBSoft’s SAMS by customizing and changing the tool to fit their specific situation.
Organizations that have substaintantial IT and computer engineering resources have the ability to make code-level changes to SAMS, which can result in a tool that is closely tailored to a specific utility or department’s data management needs and situation.
Klir’s “click not code” approach to configurability, on the other hand, means that any user can automate processes and manage tasks without the steep learning curve.
While customizable software might offer users a more tailored approach, it’s also more expensive, both from a financial and human resources perspective.
When budgets get tight, the last thing your department needs is to sink thousands of dollars into hiring engineers to customize software you’ve already paid for. Meanwhile, configurable software is cheaper to adapt to your specific needs, and cheaper to maintain.
2. Data Visualization
We can make a similar comparison between the two platforms when it comes to another important function: pulling and synthesizing large amounts of operational and compliance data into easy-to-understand dashboards and reports.
While both platforms offer data visualization, the SAMS platform requires complex, time-consuming queries to pull operational data into dashboards.
Klir’s single-click reporting and dashboard capabilities, on the other hand, are focused on saving time and being as user-friendly as possible. There’s no need for an experienced ‘power user’ to immediately start getting value out of Klir. Powerful out-of-the-box dashboards make data more digestible for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned Klir user or using the platform for the first time.
Pulling data into reports is a similarly painless process. With a single click, operators can generate compliance reports that are instantly ready for submission to state and local regulators.
Overall, Klir’s fully configurable platform offers a simple yet comprehensive solution for all users to set up their dashboards, notifications, and forms, making it easy to visualize important information such as inspection outcomes, compliance status, and sampling results at a glance.
SAMS internal collaboration and communications tools are limited, forcing teams to handle most project management work outside of the app. If you’re looking for a tool that prioritizes project management functionality and other automation-enabled collaboration tasks, you should consider Klir instead.
Klir provides a single collaborative platform that paves the way for more proactive, collaborative programs, offering an internal chat and reply functionality, user tagging, and commenting, turning the platform into a single channel for collaboration and project management across the organization.
While SAMS’ operations and compliance management tools might meet the needs of power users with substantial IT and engineering resources, Klir’s out-of-the-box, user-friendly approach makes it the clear favorite for the average program manager.
- Klir’s focus on configurability cuts down on the substantial time and effort users must invest in customizable platforms like SAMS.
- Klir’s intuitive, user-friendly interface and query-free dashboard interface makes it the more powerful tool out-of-the-box. Users with little to no experience using the platform can immediately start creating data visualizations and generating reports for regulators.
- Klir’s focus on project management and in-app communication also makes it the clear choice for utilities and programs looking for a single tool to encompass all aspects of program management.
- Klir is committed to providing your utility with continued personalized support throughout your entire journey, including a dedicated Klir Customer Success Manager and a comprehensive change management plan to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Operations And Compliance Management For Everyone
Interested in learning how to get configurable dashboards without a computer science degree? Learn more about how Klir can cut down on administration and recordkeeping work, create new opportunities for collaboration, and provide a level of system-wide visibility unmatched by other water data management systems.