The beautiful coastline, a professional tennis tournament, and a vibrant downtown corridor are obvious attractions in Delray Beach, Florida. But the city, with support from Black & Veatch, is adding a feature that is invisible to most and beneficial for all.
Delray Beach, the “Village by the Sea,” sits approximately 52 miles north of Miami on Florida’s Gold Coast. With a growing population estimated at 68,749 in 2017, Delray Beach is a vibrant coastal community. Each year, the Delray Beach Open tennis tournament draws more than 50,000 visitors who enjoy not only professional tennis but also the miles of city beaches and active downtown corridor.
To keep up with growth and to continue to provide residents and visitors with the level of service needed to sustain its infrastructure, the city recently replaced a legacy computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). The outdated system, which relied on paper work orders, was unable to track work at the asset level. And there was a catch: the city needed to retire the legacy CMMS in time to avoid another year of licensing and maintenance fees.
City staff worked closely with Black & Veatch consultants to replace the outdated system with Cityworks. Black & Veatch was able to meet the aggressive implementation schedule, saving the city more than $40,000 in fees for the legacy system.
Delray Beach invested significantly in its GIS program by developing its own mapped utility datasets. City GIS staff used the Cityworks implementation as an opportunity to complete a migration and data update to Esri’s ArcGIS for Water Utilities, formerly part of the Local Government Information Model (LGIM). The improved asset data registry within the ArcGIS model provided a more robust and consolidated platform for city staff to manage and access physical assets.
“We utilized parts of the LGIM for our utility data and made modifications as needed to maintain institutional information that didn’t have an exact home within the schema. It’s been working well for us so far,” said Robert Mickla, utilities GIS administrator at Delray Beach. “Cityworks gave us a secure and easy way to bring mapped assets to our field personnel. The workflows implemented as part of the configuration will allow GIS staff to maintain that data more effectively.”
Delray Beach has successfully completed two rounds of Cityworks implementation: water distribution, sewer collection, utilities maintenance, parks maintenance, and right-of-way maintenance infrastructure in the first round; building maintenance, streets, traffic, and stormwater infrastructure in the second.
The initial implementation, completed in just three and a half months, required the migration or creation of more than 100,000 assets. Much of this came from the migration of asset and work history data from the legacy CMMS into the GIS and Cityworks databases. The team migrated over 23 years of legacy CMMS data, including more than 58,000 work orders, 11,000 service requests, and more than 93,000 inspections. Some of the inspections dated as far back as 1996.
The team employed a detailed data-mapping exercise to streamline outdated and overtly generic work orders (categorized in the legacy system as miscellaneous items) while endeavoring to minimize orphan records that might be created by consolidating work order and service request templates within Cityworks. These templates were standardized and updated to improve operational reporting and increase data integrity about the type of work completed.
The Delray Beach Public Works Department updated high-level business processes as part of the second-phase deployment. The department also incorporated vertical—or object class—assets so facilities management staff could more effectively manage HVAC, plumbing, and other mechanical systems.
Responding to Mobile Needs
Replacing paper work orders with digital field access was a huge priority for the city. Ultimately, the city chose Cityworks Respond as the day-to-day solution because of its robust tools and user-friendly interface.
Nearly 80 staff use Cityworks Respond installed on iPad Pro tablets with cellular connections. Respond’s always-connected capability is imperative for crews traveling all over Delray Beach. It also helps supervisors improve transparency and document maintenance activities by extending their communication capabilities beyond verbal telephone and radio interactions. Additionally, Respond’s ability to color-code work activities helps field crews clearly understand maintenance workflows.
According to Joseph Frantz, deputy director of public works, the ability for field users and supervisors to more effectively communicate and prioritize work has “exponentially increased productivity and efficiency.”
And Then There Were Iguanas
Since go-live, Cityworks has been used to help abate and monitor a unique invasive species problem: iguanas. A previous inspection of elevated tanks indicated that vent screening was missing from a particular storage tank. Unfortunately, this inspection was completed using a hard copy and, despite best intentions, a family of iguanas moved into the tank before the screen could be replaced.
Trevor Feagin, the Cityworks administrator at Delray Beach, created new custom cyclical work order templates and custom inspection forms to remind staff to inspect the vent screens more frequently until Cityworks can be fully deployed for the plant, preventing a recurrence of wayward iguanas.
Delray Beach leaders and utility staff value the Cityworks and ArcGIS project as one of the more successful IT implementations in recent history. The stability of the Cityworks platform, reliability of the ArcGIS database, and experience of the Delray Beach and Black & Veatch implementation team provide a foundation for continued success across the entire organization.
Traci Berlingieri is a senior systems architect and Mark Seastead is a regional asset management leader with the water business of Black & Veatch, an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting, and construction company.