The City of Auburn, Alabama, dubbed by American poet Oliver Goldsmith as “The Loveliest Village on the Plains,” is home to 54,000 residents and Auburn University. Founded in 1839, Auburn offers thriving and diverse communities throughout the city. With its continued growth, the city offers a valuable settlement for residents and business owners.
To keep up with this expanding community, the City’s GIS department felt the need to upgrade its management solutions to a more comprehensive, digital system. Traditionally, city departments (water, sewer, and public works) maintained home-grown Excel and email workflows, Access archives, and paper log books to fill any gaps. The obvious challenges of their existing solutions made asset and utility management very cumbersome—requiring manual ticket counting and compiling of incident reports, having little to no capacity to search or report on activities once the work was complete, and the lacking any extensibility throughout all departments.
After realizing their need for new methods, the City, with the help of Timmons Group, implemented their Cityworks solution in 2013. They chose Cityworks for several reasons: it offers a simple and seamless integration with GIS, its customizable configuration could be extended to benefit all facets of the city’s organization, and its clear database structure and robust APIs made it a true enterprise solution that will integrate fully with other city business systems.
Since implementing Cityworks, the City has seen massive improvements in reporting and communication—having well-defined workflows and documentation has allowed the City to maintain high levels of service. Now within the city’s organization, work activities can be documented, tracked, and passed throughout departments, and solutions can be validated and appropriately resolved all within one environment. Authoritative data is readily available for analysis and reporting, allowing city staff to understand their business and make responsive and informed decisions.
After only two years of using this solution, the City of Auburn received the Cityworks Exemplary User Award at the recent Cityworks User Conference in May 2015. The annual Exemplary User Award is bestowed to a handful of organizations that use the software “well beyond the typical use, leveraging the Cityworks platform for their constituents and their communities.” The City of Auburn truly illustrates an organization that has leveraged Cityworks to achieve new heights. Seeing increased productivity in workflows and staff (due to system efficiency and a decrease in manual reporting and logging), the City has been able to communicate, track, report, and perform daily tasks in a more efficient manner.
Christopher Graff, City of Auburn; and Ron Butcher, Timmons Group