Directing and Managing Operational Tasks in Greenville, South Carolina

The City of Greenville, South Carolina, faces an array of challenges managing the ins and outs of the city every day. The sheer number of tasks to be done, like managing public utilities, construction inspections, parking facilities, and customer call centers—not to mention the city’s constantly fluctuating stock of construction materials and equipment—is enough to daunt anyone.

Fortunately, Cityworks is being used by nearly every operational department in the city to help manage their assets. The scalability and flexibility of Cityworks, along with the organizing power of Cityworks Storeroom, allow city employees to work together, coordinating their time and effort to accomplish their daily tasks.

Stormwater Division
Greenville, South Carolina’s Stormwater Division uses Cityworks to manage their day-to-day workload. The ability to see work orders and service requests on the Cityworks map quickly provides a visual snapshot of projects clustered throughout the city.

Wayne Owens, superintendent of the Stormwater Division, says, “As a manager, I use Cityworks to measure the productivity of my crews by tracking the number of serviced storm assets, along with the length of pipe or ditch cleaned.”

The ability to quickly calculate the labor, material, and equipment used on a job is useful for establishing baselines for future project plans and budgeting. One of the division’s objectives is to respond to citizen requests within 24 hours. Because division supervisors have instant access to Cityworks in the field, they are able to constantly monitor incoming requests in real time and respond accordingly. “As a result, I often receive compliments from citizens who can’t believe we are out in the field looking into their requests so quickly.” Owens says.

“Cityworks is such a vital part of our day to day operation,” Owens states, “and we are excited about the upgrade to Cityworks Server AMS later this year. Our future plans include moving our Supply Service Operation away from the antiquated system we currently have in place into Cityworks Storeroom.”

Utility Program Coordination
Cityworks is very important in tracking Greenville’s Weather the Storm program, an on-going effort to subsidize the conversion from overhead power lines to underground lines in residential areas. Cityworks helps keep the project organized with past and present applicants. Since coordinators can log notes for each caller, they have no problem staying informed of their situations.

“I like being able to reference projects from past years,” says Brittany Keller, Weather the Storm coordinator. “Often callers will have applied in the past, and I can see why they chose not to proceed or any issues they faced in the process.”

Construction Inspection
The Engineering Division’s Construction Inspection (CI) team has utilized Cityworks for all major permit functions since 2008. It saves inspector and clerical time by automating the task of generating and printing letters and inspection reports. The fact that everyone in CI can access all the information stored in the system makes researching questions or responding to complaints more efficient and timely for customers.

John Brogdon, construction inspection manager, uses Cityworks to ensure his team’s work processes are both efficient and effective. He said, “What I like most is the flexibility of the system. We create custom procedures based on how we do business. And if our processes need to change in the future, it can easily modify and adapt to meet our needs.”

Since it is configured and managed in-house, Greenville’s system support staff helps CI get the most out of the software capabilities without having to expend additional funds. At any time, they can create or modify their processes in the system to automate specific tasks, which helps get the job done quickly and easily.

“In this day and age of doing more with less, Construction Inspection could not operate without Cityworks. It is essential to our function, and it allows us to be very productive and cover more territory without having to add more inspectors,” Brogdon explains.

Parking Bureau
Greenville’s Parking Bureau oversees the operation of all city garages and parking lots, including ten structures, two lots, and on-street spaces, totaling more than 7,000 parking spaces. The bureau initially began using Cityworks to log its customer calls when the city first opened its call center in 2010. Since then, the bureau has begun to use Cityworks more to track facility damages, tailgating, needed repairs, and validation sales.

“What I like most about Cityworks is that it is easy to learn and use,” says Penny Jones, Parking Bureau manager. “It allows us to have well-defined process workflows, and allows us to track all kinds of activity.”

Cityworks also helps the bureau identify customers who never have enough money to exit the facility. Tracking in Cityworks allows the bureau to put a stop to habitual abusers.

Greenville Cares
Greenville Cares, the city’s office for taking and routing citizens’ service requests, uses Cityworks all day, every day, sending citizen requests to every department in the city.

“When citizens call checking on the status of their requests, we can give immediate updates, rather than checking with the department and calling them back,” says Kristie Anderson, Greenville Cares coordinator. “This saves time and improves citizen satisfaction.”

Prior to Cityworks, Greenville Cares spent too much time researching old requests that often had been neglected and forgotten. With Cityworks, the staff can enter service requests using custom problem codes that lead them through a series of questions to make sure they obtain the information needed the first time. Based on the answers, the system routes the request to the appropriate city staff. The entire history of the call is tracked from beginning to end.

Inventory Management
Like many other departments in Greenville, the Solid Waste Department uses Cityworks to input and track public requests, and from there develop a plan of action to respond to those requests in the most efficient manner. The Solid Waste Department was the first to implement Cityworks Storeroom to inventory, track, and manage a “just in time” approach to restocking materials and supplies. Cityworks Storeroom is an add-on software package for material inventory, which is included in enterprise licenses. It directly interfaces with work management to track the issue of materials to accounts, employees, or work orders.

Scalability in Action
Scalability is what makes Cityworks such a powerful software solution for Greenville. For example, last year Greenville configured Cityworks to support their Ice and Snow Emergency Operations, creating a time-stamped log of sand and salt distribution or plowing.  As a result they are better protected from civil liabilities which can arise from accidents.

Conclusion
The staff of Greenville’s Public Works Department, no matter which division, have their work cut out for them. Under other circumstances, the sheer volume of work to be done might be staggering. But city staff members at Greenville have Cityworks to help manage their work and materials and track projects in progress, enabling them to work together efficiently to accomplish work processes.  

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