Every urban forestry department faces unique challenges when it comes to their tree inventory. These challenges can range from ineffective field workflows to working in a limited cellular connection environment to keeping track of equipment, labor, and material (ELM) on each project.
Your organization needs a customizable solution to support your internal budget and workforce allotment. With Cityworks, your organization can streamline workflows and maximize efficiency in the field and in the office. Here are six tips for using Cityworks for urban forestry.
Start with the GIS
The first step to managing your forestry assets in Cityworks is to import all of your assets into your GIS platform. Using the Cityworks map functionality, you can see the location and various attributes of each asset, pulling directly from your GIS. You can also create work activities by selecting the asset on the map.
Each work activity may require a unique set of tasks. It is important that each task is documented and completed as the crew member completes the task in the order that the task occurs. For example, these tasks are associated with a tree removal work order. As you can see, there is a sequence to these tasks. First, the tree is removed, then the site is inspected by a forestry specialist, and so on.
After each task is completed, it will kick off the following task by changing the status from “PENDING” to “CURRENT” and changing the status for the recently completed task from “CURRENT” to “COMPLETE.”
With Cityworks, you are able to track ELM and associate each cost to an asset or task whether you are in the field or back at the office. Continuing with this same work order example, your users are able to track exactly how much time they have spent and each piece of equipment and material on tree removal. From there, you can run reports and make decisions on crew efficiencies moving forward.
Track Projects to Stay on Target
The capability to track seasonal projects is a great way for your organization to track the quantities of trees that have been planted or inspected, as well as how much your organization has spent in costs on each tree.
In addition to tracking seasonal programs, organizations can track various attributes associated with each tree, such as tree condition, tree species, tree diameter, tree age, tree status, and more.
Utilize Historical Data
With Cityworks, urban forestry organizations can look at the work history associated with each asset. This can be an extremely powerful tool since a crew member, manager, or supervisor is able to see, for example, how many inspections have been performed on a particular tree. Using this historical data, your organization can make decisions about how to treat your tree inventory moving forward (e.g., removing a tree and planting a new one based on historical work activities).
Cityworks mobile apps and Respond are two powerful tools that support streamlined workflows in the field. Using the Cityworks mobile app, field crews can interact with the map, view and edit work orders, service requests and inspections, add costs, and view work assigned to them, among other key functionalities. Cityworks Respond provides the same functionality and will also allow you to display informative dashboards. Both apps increase field crew’s efficiency; however, the biggest difference is that Cityworks mobile apps can work in a disconnected environment, whereas Respond needs a constant internet connection.
No matter what challenges your urban forestry department faces, Cityworks can be customized to fit your organization’s needs and allow you to make more informed decisions moving forward.
By Michael Romano, Cityworks Customer Success Manager