Our most recent, and final, custom implementation to close out our public works department was with the facilities division. The great thing about this rollout is that we have built a scalable framework that will last long term. We can take what we have built and continue to develop and branch off from what we have.
We wanted to develop a framework we could use in the future to streamline our facilities workflows using Cityworks. Here are five lessons we learned along the way.
1. Start at the beginning of the process.
We gathered a cross-functional team that included crew leads, technicians, and the operations supervisor. GIS staff facilitated the conversation. One valuable lesson we learned over the years is that everyone has input, and the more we allow all staff to feel like their input is valued, the more likely we are to see them use this software in their daily work. We get everyone’s opinions first, and then we start to build.
One of the unique ideas that came out of this feedback was breaking out all of our facilities into manageable sections called sub-facilities. This allows for our city staff to report a problem in a specific area of a building and also tells the technician where to go specifically in the building.
2. Appoint a liaison in each facility to directly report issues to facilities staff.
These liaisons play a key role in relaying service needs directly to our techs. What we wanted was a single point of contact for each facility. This allowed us to reduce duplicate requests, screen requests to ensure that they were facility related, streamline information provided to our techs, and initiate the work order creation process in Cityworks.
3. Create a webform and put it on your organization’s intranet.
We worked with Quartic Solutions to make a webform that allows liaisons to enter requests and pinpoint where the issue is located. We added parent IDs to GIS layers, which has allowed us to tie our sub-facilities to a specific facility and then all of those facilities to a specific facility site. Once this webform is submitted, the liaison receives a confirmation email with their request number and another email once the request has been completed. We also created an operations dashboard for the liaisons that displays the status of all submitted requests.
4. Monitor all the reactionary work that staff members need to do.
The next piece was preventative maintenance. We were able to use work cycles to start scheduling our preventative maintenance work orders. We attached these work orders to sub-facilities or facility assets as a whole and set them to trigger on the appropriate frequency. We then created and saved custom searches in staff inboxes so that they can see these coming up, assign the work to the techs, and prioritize effectively.
► You’ll also like: Modernizing Operational Maintenance at Treatment Plants
5. Report, report, report.
We created a number of Crystal Reports looking at different information that is tracked in Cityworks. The nice thing is that we took this into consideration from the beginning. Therefore, any information that our supervisor thought he might want to see was incorporated into the service requests and work orders, giving us the ability to generate multiple reports based on their needs.
We have also created real-time dashboards that show where and why work is happening. We plan on continuing this effort and diving deeper into analytics. We also plan on being able to provide cost per facility, cost per system, or even cost per sub-facility data that will help us make better business decisions in the future.
By Andy Badal, asset management technician, City of Cupertino, California