Miami Beach, Florida: Five Years Using Cityworks

The City of Miami Beach, with 92,145 residents and 7 million visitors annually, requires a lot of work to maintain its beauty and appeal. The contributions of the Department of Public Works are particularly important.

The Miami Beach Public Works Department is one of only 68 agencies nationally accredited by the American Public Works Association. This is the result of working as a team to accomplish the mission of providing “effective and efficient public works services that ensure the safety, health, and well-being of all who live, work, and play in our vibrant, tropical, historic community.”

Public Works exists to maintain the City’s infrastructure and manage and deliver services. The Department integrates:

Engineering, Environmental Resources Management, GIS, Streets and Street Lighting , Transportation Management, Property Management, Sanitation, Utilities, Water, Sewer, Stormwater

Part of the Department’s responsibility is the City’s infrastructure that includes:

4 water storage tanks (12-million-gallon capacity), 140 miles of roads and streets, 33 miles of alleys, 242 miles of sidewalk, 180 miles of water lines, 152 miles of sewer lines, 59 miles of stormwater lines, 33 pump stations, 5100 street lights, 3.26 miles of City-owned seawalls, 1400 landscape uplights, 2.6 miles of recreational corridors, 322 buildings, facilities, and structures, 12 miles of inland canals, 4 million square feet of buildings and facilities.

In order to better manage its infrastructure, the City implemented Cityworks in July 2006 as an integrated Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) working within the GIS. As part of this project, the entire infrastructure was converted from paper atlas sheets and neighborhood surveys to the GIS. This conversion took over two years and, in the meantime, the City tracked their asset maintenance using Cityworks Standalone and their inventory with Cityworks Storeroom. Initially, Cityworks was used only for our Operations Division. Over the years, however, we have extended the use of Cityworks in other divisions of the Public Works Department such as Sanitation, Engineering, and Property Management.

After four successful years using the Standalone version, the City decided to upgrade to Cityworks Server AMS. Its deployment took four months and included these tasks:

Installation of the server, GIS map service preparation, Administrators training, Users training, Viewer installation of Firefox

The test and production installation of Server AMS, as well as the administrator and power user training, was done by Azteca specialists who visited our city twice. The GIS team, which maintains and administers Cityworks, conducted small group training for other users. This small-group approach gave every user the chance to ask questions applicable to their responsibilities. This approach took time but gave the GIS team the opportunity to meet all the users and show them the various user requirements.

Initially, the Information System Department would not approve Firefox as an acceptable browser; however, with the addition of ProCon Firefox to limit the use to Cityworks, we were able to implement the use of this browser. This browser now appears on the user’s desktop as Cityworks Server.

There are many challenges when a new system is implemented, but the personal support we received from the Azteca Systems support team made it a very smooth transition. The system works very well in spite of the inevitable problems that happen with any system implementation of this size and scope. We expect most of these problems will be resolved when we upgrade to the latest version of Server AMS.

Some of the benefits of using Server AMS compared to Standalone are:

1. Eliminates the need to install Cityworks Desktop on users’ computers.

2. Web application has an embedded GIS.  It was difficult to teach users to use ArcMap with only the Cityworks toolbar.

3. Inbox tab allows users to see service requests and work orders without doing a search each time they open the application.

4. The option to save customized searches simplifies reports.

5. The search page allows users to select more than one status.

After the deployment of Server AMS, the City of Miami Beach expanded its use to integrate other systems used in the City. One of the most important achievements has been the interface between the City’s Citizen Portal WebQA and Cityworks. Citizens can create a service request online, which automatically creates a Cityworks service request. This interface uses the Cityworks API and an in-house developed service to communicate progress and end status back to the WebQA service request. As a result, duplicate requests have been eliminated, and the Public Works Department is providing better service.

The Property Management Division of Public Works uses a facility management system.  It is our intention to replace this system with Cityworks. Our convention center, which is managed by a separate entity, was using the same facility management system as the Public Works Property Management Division. The GIS team has converted the convention center facility management system to Cityworks. This implementation was very difficult and complicated because of the different workflows used; however, users are very pleased with the results and with the cost savings.

The City of Miami Beach is using the Cityworks Storeroom add-on to manage the materials inventory including requisitions, suppliers, issues, and receipt of materials. However, this system can only be used by desktop systems and many materials cannot easily be moved to the desktop locations. The total inventory is valued at an average of $2,600,000, with a total of $1,100,000 in materials assigned to work orders per year. Transactions are recorded in the Materials Transactions form (Form MX) and these forms are later entered into Cityworks Storeroom. Through the use of a Mobile Warehouse System, which is fully integrated with Cityworks Storeroom, simple searches can locate materials available in the warehouse. In addition, through the use of barcoding technology, the MX forms can be eliminated. This new workflow will eliminate transaction errors and omissions and will speed up all warehouse processes.

The City of Miami Beach will soon upgrade ArcGIS from version 9.3.1 to version 10. This upgrade will be done as soon as Cityworks Server 2011 is available. With this upgrade, we expect to solve some of our current problems.

Cityworks has provided the City of Miami Beach an excellent automated work reception and ordering system. The system has been instrumental in helping Public Works achieve the intended outcomes of the City’s Strategic Plan such as improving cleanliness of the City, enhancing mobility, ensuring beach preservation, maintaining facilities and infrastructure, improving storm drainage, ensuring value and timely delivery of capital projects, and enhancing environmental sustainability.

By Adriana Castro- GIS Programmer/Analyst, Bert Dorrestyn- GIS Manager, City of Miami Beach, FL

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