Cityworks Server Deployment in Novi Michigan: From Concept to Reality

With more than 200 miles of roads, 306 miles of water mains, and 245 miles of sanitary sewer, the City of Novi, Michigan, Department of Public Services is working to meet the needs of a rapidly growing community. In the past ten years, the city’s population has grown by 16.4%. With this growth came increased demand on city infrastructure, along with the investment associated with the expansion of roads, water, sanitary sewer, and storm water infrastructure servicing 55,000 residents and 3,000 businesses. Yet with Cityworks, city staff is maintaining its infrastructure with the same staffing levels as before by leveraging efficiency gains from the newly deployed asset management solution.

In May 2012, the City of Novi Department of Public Services went live with Cityworks Server AMS as the city’s first asset management system. Initially deployed to manage water, sewer, traffic signs, and road infrastructure, the department will be adding storm sewer and non-motorized asset infrastructures to their Cityworks implementation during the fall of 2012. The city also plans to incorporate the city’s street tree inventory during its 2013 fiscal year. Leveraging both a cloud-based ArcGIS Server (AGS) instance and on-premise AGS map services for Cityworks Server, the city was able to increase accountability and generate performance measures for its field operations and water and sewer divisions.

“Cityworks will help us accurately account for the cost of providing services our community members expect,” said Rob Hayes, City Engineer and Director of Public Services at Novi. “The system will also enable us to extend the life of our roads, water, and sewer infrastructure by accurately representing operations expenditures while applying preventative maintenance practices.”

The City of Novi selected Cityworks after a five-year evaluation of the best asset management practices adopted by communities across the nation. The city’s asset management team views the seamless combination of Cityworks with Esri’s ArcGIS as a significant business benefit for the city. Within one month of the system go-live date (May 2012), city staff used Cityworks to fulfill more than 600 service requests and work orders. Presently, Cityworks Server is utilized by 23 staff members in six operational divisions, spanning three departments in two different locations over the city’s fiber network. Today, operations are nearly paperless by using service request and work order attachments. This has vastly improved communication between customer service representatives and field staff who must constantly coordinate their activities.

Novi quickly realized the significant value of leveraging their GIS data as its asset inventory. City staff manage around 10,000 requests for service annually, and will appreciate the return on investment as Cityworks helps them manage a growing number of operational areas, including streets, water/sewer services, trees, traffic signs, storm drains, and other core city services.

Rob Petty, Chief Information Officer for the City of Novi, said “the value of leveraging our GIS across multiple service areas allows us to quickly and efficiently understand, respond to, and satisfy calls for over 110 types of citizen requests, thereby advancing the city council’s goals to improve service delivery to our citizens while maintaining fiscal responsibility.”

Cityworks Server AMS improves the efficiency of Novi’s service delivery. For example, the city often receives multiple service requests for the same issue. Prior to Cityworks, this could result in multiple work orders being created and different crews being dispatched to remedy the same issue. Today, the city has improved its customer relationships and responsiveness as staff can retrieve any service requests for any location in real-time.

The city also intends to improve its budgeting process by using Cityworks to establish a comprehensive history of asset maintenance. By accessing comprehensive maintenance histories, the city can easily weigh rehabilitation and replacement costs to determine the most cost-effective options. The city looks forward to generating performance metrics to establish service-level baselines in all categories of service delivery. The city will use these baseline metrics to compare its performance against the best-practices of its peers to constantly improve operations.

The future is bright for Novi as it looks to leverage additional benefits as the city’s GIS-centric solution evolves to encompass other operations areas.

by Christopher Blough, PMP, IT Project Manager / City GIS Manager, City of Novi,  Michigan 

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