Scalability Across Utilities: Gainesville Regional Utilities

 

Gainesville Regional Utilities, known as GRU, is a multi-service utility owned by the City of Gainesville, Florida. The fifth largest municipal electric utility in Florida, GRU serves approximately 93,000 retail and wholesale customers in Gainesville and surrounding areas, offering electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunications services.

GRU uses Cityworks Server AMS in their Water/Wastewater, Fiber, Gas, and Electric departments, and is currently in the process of going live with Server PLL (Permitting, Licensing, and Land) in their Electric Engineering department for project tracking. Originally implemented in Water/Wastewater, GRU’s Cityworks usage has evolved over the years and grown throughout its multiple departments. Cityworks now provides a wide variety of work functions, including inspection and maintenance, reactive work items, follow-up work items, and capital improvement. GRU’s largest use of Server AMS is for streetlight maintenance, with over 19,000 tickets generated in approximately four years.

“Cityworks’ highly customizable format allows us to introduce the system to other departments and show how the system can be used to organize and polish business processes,” said GRU technical systems analyst, Richard Gunton. “Cityworks has allowed us to better visualize our work data, set realistic Key Performance Indicators, and polish our outdated business processes to better accommodate for the digital age. With maintenance cycles extending anywhere from three to five years up to a couple of decades, Cityworks gives us the tools to set in place an environment that is conducive to getting accurate data from the field. With accurate data, we can better adjust the maintenance cycles to match real world events, emergencies, and future needs of our electric transmission and distribution system.”

Looking forward, GRU hopes to extend their implementation to public works and general government. Once their PLL implementation for capital project tracking is complete, the plan is to branch PLL out to other departments across the utility. After moving to an even greater distribution of the software across the organization, public works, and general government, GRU is expecting to realize a site license, which will allow them to develop solutions in-house to better minimize the time and effort spent getting accurate data from the field, thus streamlining processes.

“Through the Cityworks community, regional user conferences, and the yearly Cityworks User Conference, we’ve been able to communicate with others in our industry and various other industries to understand how they are using the software,” said Gunton. “Such opportunities provide us with fresh ideas on how we can better use the software ourselves. With the Ideas page on MyCityworks.com, the white papers, shared reports, and forums, Azteca has provided a great conduit to share and interface with others in the industry.”

Cityworks has the scalability and flexibility to fit the needs of a large water utility, such as Central Arkansas Water, to mid-size multi-service utility providers, such as Gainesville Regional Utility. In addition to these utility clients, Cityworks has many other users both on the large and smaller end of the spectrum that tailor the software to their needs for many different uses, from water/wastewater to gas, electric, fiber, and so on. In the case of both CAW and GRU, the organizations have taken advantage of Cityworks’ flexible nature to meet the specific needs of their utility, based on their focus, service size, and customer needs.

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