Before using Cityworks, Delaware worked from a paper-based system supported by Microsoft Access and Excel. With databases of information going back a number of years, the City’s number one requirement was to ensure that the software program they chose integrated seamlessly with ArcGIS. Delaware discovered Cityworks and realized it provided exactly what they wanted for GIS integration and much more. Cityworks was implemented to manage business processes across several departments and to provide a single place where all their information could reside and be shared.
Cityworks Server PLL
As one of the first sites to deploy Cityworks Server PLL, the City of Delaware is pleased with the many improvements to their work processes. The Planning & Community Development Department uses Cityworks PLL to manage all building permits, inspections, code enforcement cases, development applications, and approvals, as well as engineering construction processes. Taking advantage of the flexible and customizable nature of Cityworks, 88 unique templates were configured by the City. Each template contains data that supports the specific permit or case type, such as tasks, inspections, fees, conditions, and pertinent custom data fields.
Comparing the former permitting system to Cityworks, Dave Efland, Director of Planning & Community Development, states, “It is literally like moving from the dark ages to the enlightenment trying to describe the difference between pre-Cityworks and post-Cityworks. Before Cityworks, our daily pay-in report sent to finance each day took an hour or more to generate and reconcile and was somewhat disorganized. Now this report takes literally only a few minutes and is correct every time. Monthly reports that took the better part of a day to complete using many data sources now take just minutes from a single source. Finding case history and other relevant actions on a property that required hours of searching paper files and was nearly impossible is now not only possible, but quick and easy to perform from the desktop.”
City staff has embraced the program. The Department has seen overall efficiency gains, and information is easily accessible to every staff member. Staff can view all the steps of a given permit type in one centralized location. The Cityworks workflow engine neatly organizes the tasks required for a given permit, case, or project. Bypassing what would have been piles of difficult-to-organize-and-manage paperwork, the program provides a central location for this data, all in an easy-to-use, web-based interface. Furthermore, the Department has enhanced communication as the capabilities of Cityworks Server PLL facilitate a much more team-oriented approach to work and problem solving while also increasing accountability.
In addition, Cityworks Server PLL provides an automated system to calculate permitting fees. For example, after house plans are submitted to the City, they are queued for extensive review. Plan reviewers now input the information they gather during the review into the system which automatically calculates permit fees, making this process more organized and efficient.
Code enforcement processes have greatly improved due to Cityworks Server PLL. Utilizing Cityworks searches, event layers, and reports, the status of permits, cases, and applications is available to both staff and citizens in a visual way. The ability to view and select a code enforcement case in Cityworks puts the information at the staff’s fingertips, as well as being able to easily look at the GIS and see where code enforcement issues lie within the City. Efland says, “In relation to code enforcement, with Cityworks PLL, we can see hot spots and cool spots within the system. Based on that information, we can readjust our resources, which are very limited, to attack the problem areas that we want to attack.”
Cityworks Server AMS
The Delaware Public Utilities Department has also seen substantial improvements to work processes and timesaving measures utilizing Cityworks Server AMS for asset and work management. Brad Stanton, Director of Public Utilities, explains, “Some of the greatest benefits we have seen from Cityworks have been the streamlining of our work and the increased efficiency of our staff. The more efficient our staff is the more work we are able to accomplish. Whether it’s a preventive or maintenance issue, a repair, or an installation, the work is just more efficient, and we’re able to document it better. For example, before Cityworks, if we had a water main break, we were out in the field trying to figure out what valve to turn off to isolate the main break. Using Cityworks, we now know exactly where we need to go to isolate a water main repair effort.”
The water treatment plant uses Cityworks for preventive maintenance. Managers assign specific tasks to staff members and include what equipment items are needed to perform the task along with any other pertinent details, all tracked within Cityworks. Cityworks is also utilized for water tower inspections. Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires a weekly inspection to ensure vandalism has not been done to the towers or their surrounding areas. Public Utilities use work orders to track this information and document that the required inspections have been performed.
In addition, Cityworks has been very beneficial to the City Finance Director as the departments are now able to provide actual dollar numbers on assets and work performed tracked in Cityworks. When setting annual budgets, they are able to see real numbers instead of just estimates, which is very beneficial to budget planning.
Utilizing Cityworks Server PLL and AMS has provided Delaware with a unified system to use throughout the organization for many purposes, producing everything the City wanted in a GIS application and more. Dave Efland summarizes, “Cityworks provides Delaware with a system where we can input data and analyze it in a meaningful way to help improve processes. The program has provided efficiency gains in many areas, and there is no doubt in my mind that it will continue to do so down the road and that we will find more and more ways to utilize the program.”
For more on Delaware’s Cityworks user story, view the Delaware Cityworks Video Spotlight at: http://www.cityworks.com/media/spotlight.aspx.
The City of Delaware, located about 30 miles north of downtown Columbus, Ohio’s state capital, is the seat of Delaware County. As an independent community, Delaware retains its small-town qualities while benefiting from northward growth from the Columbus region. Delaware County has been the state’s fastest growing county for more than a decade and is among the top-20 fastest growing, wealthiest, and most educated areas in the nation.
By Lindsay Ferguson, PR & Marketing, Cityworks