In the world of public infrastructure, asset management is an all-encompassing practice that seeks to understand an organization’s assets, costs, risks, strategy, and policy. Asset managers have always understood the value of extending an asset’s useful life, and maintaining expected services has been a critical point of focus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, disaster recovery needs, and infrastructure reinvestment initiatives. Asset management practices can help an organization tackle these opportunities and challenges through effective work management, a.k.a, knowing what work is getting done, where, when, why, and how often.
Effective asset management requires a massive amount of data and documentation: from asset information to work activities, from contract issuance to budget management, and from federal reimbursement requests to project tracking.
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OpX is a new software application that provides a GIS-centric experience for managing data and documentation for ongoing operational programs, large-scale infrastructure projects, and emergency response activities within Cityworks. Here are three ways OpX can help local government and utility organizations streamline project management and asset management.
Regulatory mandates, such as EPA consent decrees or PHMSA’s Gas Distribution Integrity Management Program, require documented progress and completion. For example, consider a consent decree enacted to minimize and eliminate sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). Wastewater organizations typically have mitigation efforts underway before the multi-year action plan is finalized, so compiling all those activities is key.
In Cityworks, projects have long been the thread that connects the service requests and work orders associated with any SSO event. OpX leverages this project functionality while also tallying the estimated and actual costs associated with equipment, material, and labor. If follow-up inspections are completed after the remediation of an SSO, those activities can also be associated with the project, and more importantly, the impacted assets are easily accessible on the project details page. Clearly identifying the assets affected by the SSO can aid in future evaluations for reinvestment projects.
Emergency Response & Recovery
With natural disasters occurring more frequently and on a larger scale, impacted communities are not just responding to events but also preparing for the recovery and mitigation phases. In the United States, FEMA requires documentation of all activities, associated costs, and impacted areas. For the first time, OpX presents the spatial context for projects, which means the assets related to the project are visible on the map and all the map tools are available. If any aspect of the emergency event is outsourced, users can easily access the contract from the project details page, bringing all related activities to one convenient location. Also, for the first time, projects created in one domain can now be shared across domains, eliminating data silos and the need to duplicate projects for each individual department. When an emergency arises, domains don’t matter, and the work still needs to be documented.
Track Operational or Rehab Activities
For daily operations, organizations must balance corrective and preventative work with capital replacement or rehab activities. Take, for example, sidewalk or pavement inspections. Today, Cityworks users can set up dashboards to track preventative maintenance activities. OpX expands on this capability by allowing users to configure preventative maintenance programs as projects. Then, whether that project defaults to the selected template or the crew members assign the project to their inspections, all those inspections will be nicely organized as a project and viewable in one location. If only a specific crew needs to access the project on the work activity page, the new OpX permission model provides this function. This same capability is helpful for rehab projects.
Communication is fundamental in any workplace. That’s why OpX supports rich text comments, which allow users to tag other users when requesting or sharing information. These comments are saved against the project for easy reference. Organizations can also configure an event layer with Cityworks enterprise URLs (eURLs) to share project data with residents and contractors.
Want to learn more? Watch this OpX presentation from Cityworks Innovate Conference 2021.
By Dinorah Sanchez, Cityworks Subject Matter Expert
Request a demo to find out how OpX can help your community organize its infrastructure data and streamline reporting on municipal and utility projects.