Azteca Systems Marketing and Communications Specialist Lindsay Ferguson recently chatted with Mickey Park, GISP/MCDBA GIS Systems Administrator, City of Chattanooga.
Cityworks: Why did the city of Chattanooga look to implement Cityworks?
Mickey Park: Public works is a large organization within the City of Chattanooga that provides a wide range of services ranging from brush pickup to maintaining roads, stormwater, and sewer infrastructure. We were seeking a more effective way to track labor and equipment costs and decrease manual hours gathering data. Through much research, we found Cityworks to meet those needs.
CW: How has Cityworks improved operations for Chattanooga’s Public Works?
MP: Cityworks has enabled each division within the Department of Public Works to quickly gather automated reports detailing work for specific geographical areas. With Cityworks, the departments collect information for and respond to service requests from Chattanooga residents with the ease of directing issues to the appropriate entity. The question-and-answer tool allows customer service representatives and office assistants to select the appropriate issue, determine its level of importance, and deliver the request to the corresponding department for an efficient, timely resolution. For example, if a citywide services crew determines a repair is needed for a particular service request, the information is annotated in Cityworks and then turned over for a stormwater inspector’s review using the transfer tool. A work order is then created to correct the problem. The tracking numbers and reporting process allow access to information for management review, auditing purposes, and for the accountability of funding and labor spent on each request.
CW: Beyond the more common maintenance activities, how has Cityworks helped in managing other events?
MP: Cityworks has been a tremendous resource during major weather events. When there is flooding, tornados, hailstorms, or any other form of harsh weather that damages city property, Public Works personnel have been able to quickly compile this data using several different search methods within Cityworks. For instance, if a request is made to assess damages in a certain time period for a council district or another governmental agency, Cityworks provides a way to sort by areas and date range. Having this data at our fingertips has been extremely valuable and useful.
CW: How does the unique interaction of your GIS and Cityworks benefit the organization?
MP: We were able to create several in-house preventative maintenance initiatives using Cityworks’ GIS capabilities, as it allows us to pinpoint and track problem areas that need ongoing attention. We can also schedule projects in specific areas of the city to eliminate numerous trips to the same location, therefore increasing productivity.
GIS maps were developed as layers that illustrate the city’s infrastructure. Features are labeled with their own separate identifying labels. Each conveyance—ditch, pipe, etc.—has its own facility number which can be attached to work orders, enabling us to identify any work done for that specific facility. Reports can then be pulled to verify what area and what item of the city’s infrastructure has been repaired or maintained. Photos of structures have even been added to the system under a facility’s information, and these pictures show the condition of the structure.
CW: Looking forward, what are the plans for Cityworks in the future?
MP: We plan to extend our use of the system by moving to Cityworks Server in the next year. Chattanooga Parks and Recreation department has similar needs for an automated asset management system, and looking forward we plan to extend Cityworks into that department.