The City of O’Fallon, Illinois, has experienced improved reliability and communication along with an enhanced GIS database using Cityworks®, the leading GIS-centric asset management solution. After seeing many benefits using the Cityworks platform, O’Fallon plans to expand Cityworks access to all city departments in the future.
Since O’Fallon’s Public Works Department implemented Cityworks in 2005, Cityworks has expanded into several other departments, including the Parks and Recreation Department, facility maintenance activities, information technology, GIS and software project tracking. In the last three years, the city has documented more than 11,000 work activities each year in Cityworks.
Cityworks has improved internal communication at O’Fallon by quickly distributing information about assets, service requests, and maintenance needs. Before implementing Cityworks, only a few key employees knew about scheduled and historical maintenance activities at the city. There was not a reliable system in place for dispatching service requests or reporting progress. Planning, management, and budget decisions were complicated by these gaps in communication and information.
“Cityworks is able to provide information to support policy and staffing discussions, as well as answer questions related to service requests,” said Dan Gentry, IT manager at the City of O’Fallon. “Supervisors can now benchmark activities and discuss productivity measures with their staff. Sometimes we can even demonstrate that the ‘squeaky wheel’ isn’t necessarily the most urgent need.”
Beyond helping the city understand, track, and schedule maintenance and expenditures, Cityworks has played a key role in the construction of O’Fallon’s GIS database. Cityworks initially provided a schema to use as a guide for the geodatabase, and then provided an incentive to build a more complete account of the infrastructure.
“Once we had the capability to track our assets, we could focus on building our GIS database,” explained Gentry. “When Cityworks was implemented, we had a handful of feature classes hosted in a personal geodatabase. This has grown to a substantial SDE database, housing approximately 250 vector feature classes, encompassing 1.15 million map features and several dozen image services. This growth in GIS data is directly linked to Cityworks.”
Once their geodatabase matured to have value beyond internal uses, the city focused on making information available to the public. O’Fallon was recognized for their efforts in providing public access to their GIS data, maps, and analysis, and received the Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award in 2012. The city is now planning to provide more ways for the public to report service requests through the Cityworks Service Request API. Cityworks, GIS, SCADA, and other related systems will continue to have heavy public works usage, but are now being considered enterprise systems. The city has plans to implement the Service Request API to expand access to Cityworks to all departments. Additionally, the city continues to add solutions from several Cityworks partners. This increases performance for tasks such as automating utility locates work orders to integrating results from inspections and closed circuit video inspections.
“The key advantage of Cityworks is the unique GIS-centric nature of the platform,” said Brian Haslam, president and CEO of Cityworks–Azteca Systems. “As local government agencies experience improvements with Cityworks such as increased reliability and communication, like we see at O’Fallon, they also utilize and improve upon their geodatabase. As heavy of an investment GIS is, Cityworks maximizes that investment by integrally connecting public asset management and GIS, creating a complete and powerful solution.”