Cityworks Delivers More Bang for the Buck in Philadelphia

A large city with a population of 1.5 million, the City of Philadelphia is charged with tracking daily maintenance and costs as well as coordinating multiple departments and maintaining compliance with regulatory standards. Using Cityworks, the leading GIS-centric management solution, Philadelphia is able to efficiently and effectively carry out these activities and keep the entire organization on the same page while producing meaningful data in the process.

Within Philadelphia, Cityworks is used in the Streets Department, Water Department, and Parks & Recreation Department. These groups often need to compare maintenance activities to identify points of overlap and mutual involvement.

“Cityworks is particularly helpful when the department is dealing with a large project that requires regular reporting,” said Marion Storey, Philadelphia Streets Department information services director. “For example, the city is currently replacing all 18,000 alley lights. This is a multi-year project requiring leadership from the Street Lighting Division and coordination with the Sanitation Division and contractors to handle cleaning the alleys, tree trimming, and replacing of each and every alley light. The work order count is over 5,700 for this project alone.”

From large projects such as replacing alley lights to small one-off repairs and replacements, Cityworks is there to track service requests and work orders and help the divisions and departments coordinate the information every step of the way.

Because of the number of groups and the large geographic area covered, the Streets Department uses a combination of configurations in Cityworks and Esri to route the requests to the correct field location. This helps to ensure requests are dispatched quickly and addressed by the correct staff. And within the Streets Department, there is variation in those workflows because different divisions utilize different components of Cityworks. Often the work involved with the workflows includes multiple tasks and coordination with other departments—particularly with the Water Department. The Streets Department is responsible for the permanent repair for work performed by both the Water Department and private plumbers (who obtain street opening permits from the Water Department). Given the magnitude of work done by the city, this involves daily updates between the two departments, which Cityworks handles. In addition to its other work activities, the Streets Department receives updates on work performed by the Water Department and must then oversee repairs to any affected streets.

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR) is eager to begin leveraging the benefits that Cityworks has to offer for urban forestry—not only in its everyday operational and contract management functions but its management of storm events. “In contrast to our current urban forestry asset management techniques, PPR expects to provide citizens greater service and realize a significant return on investment within a few years of Cityworks full implementation,” said John R. Piller, special project manager of planning, preservation, and property management at Philadelphia. “PPR’s lead vendor, Power Engineers, has brought experience and best practices into the requirements phase and we look forward to continuing with them into the next phases which will make Cityworks a hands-on reality for our urban forestry staff.”

“The success of a solution goes well beyond simply meeting the need or resolving the problem,” says Brian Haslam, president and CEO of Cityworks. “Case in point: the city of Philadelphia. Like many of our customers, Cityworks was initially deployed in one division. It didn’t take long, though, for others to observe the changes. Increased efficiencies with more effective performance delivered recognized cost savings. As a result, Cityworks was further deployed to other departments and divisions, empowering and connecting staff and streamlining asset management. From the largest cities to the smallest agencies, this is what makes Cityworks the smart solution—the success in what it does after it meets the need.”

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