A: Before Cityworks, the City had no reliable method of tracking the cost, labor, or materials used for any given job. The work orders – which ranged from alley, street, sidewalk, and curb repair to main breaks and sewer stoppages – were tracked electronically but the actual work was not. The Public Works & Utilities crews used their own method of tracking (e.g., pen, paper, notepad). This information would then be transferred to administrative staff via email or handwritten notes to include in an end-of-month report. On occasion information would get lost in translation.
This method of tracking, or lack thereof, also posed a problem when residents would call to check on the status of their work order. Staff would have to gather the contact information from the resident, try to get in touch with the crews to see what work was done, and attempt to get back in touch with the resident. Depending on availability of the crews, it could take an entire day to answer a question, which did not always make the resident happy. The City needed a one-stop shop for providing good customer service by giving as much information as possible to residents as quickly as possible. Efficiency and productivity were also in question and needed to be addressed.
Q: How is Cityworks utilized at the City?
A: When the City saw what Cityworks could do, there was no doubt that it was the system for us. Our Public Works Department was the first to start using Cityworks and uses it for tracking alley, street, sidewalk, and curb repair. Following the Public Works Department, the Utilities Department started using Cityworks for tracking every water and sewer line, manhole, drain, and pump in the city. We also utilize Cityworks for monthly reporting.
Q: How has Cityworks benefited the departments in which it is utilized?
A: Since we started using Cityworks a year ago, the Public Works and Utilities Departments have become much more efficient. When staff takes calls from residents, most of the information they need is right in front of them. The residents appreciate that and have complimented us on our response times.
For Public Works, tracking repairs has never been easier. Staff can look up any work order and determine what work was done, when it was completed, and the cost and labor involved as well as the equipment and material used. This was exactly what we needed. As for the Utilities Department, they are now able to effectively track each and every one of their assets. There is no longer an issue with communication between the crews, administrative staff, and the residents. Monthly reporting is also easier and less time-consuming since using Cityworks. All the information we need is at our fingertips.
Q: What future plans does The Colony have for Cityworks?
A: The next step for us is to utilize more functions in Cityworks such as the inspections and task features. Our Parks & Recreation Department is also planning to start using Cityworks as well. These adaptations will be happening within the next year.
Q: What is your overall take on Cityworks and what it has done for your organization?
A: Our staff has longed for a good method to keep track of materials and work assignments. Cityworks has provided a platform that our front-line employees can use while also being an effective management tool. The tracking of cost and production is much more efficient because of our Cityworks’ use.
With Beth Velasco, Public Works/Utilities at The Colony, Texas