The Challenge & Opportunity
The City of Salisbury is a local government area located on the northern fringes of Adelaide, South Australia.
It has a population of approximately 145,000 and encompasses an area of 158 km2. It manages over 230,000 infrastructure assets with a replacement cost of $1.5 billion.
The City of Salisbury have used technology as the cornerstone of their operations for decades and have achieved a high level of digital maturity. Part of their success was partnering with Brightly to deploy an enterprise asset management system that interfaced with their other major corporate systems including: Customer Request Management, Finance System and Geographic Information System (GIS).
A major step on their journey was to embark on the digital transformation of field service processes that were heavily paper-based. With 100 teams plus contractors working within the city to inspect and maintain a broad range of community infrastructure, it was essential they implemented a field solution that was flexible and easy to use. As a local public government, transparency is always a top consideration. Salisbury needed a solution that could track costs at a detailed level, enforce a range of safe working guidelines and improve operational efficiencies.
From Manual Processes to Digital Transformation
The Council has historically operated with paper-based processes for activities conducted by the field services teams. With a broad range of activities and a need to capture increasingly detailed data, their manual processes had become too cumbersome and inefficient. With a goal to respond to community requests with an outcome within 10 days, leadership knew it was time to make the move to digital. Recognising such a decision required comprehensive change management. Salisbury established a project team to plan and execute this major transformation which included the shift to using Brightly Confirm™ Connect to manage jobs, inspections, respond to community requests and maintenance across all infrastructure operations.
It also allows the Council to use dashboards to track the data for each asset, which includes everything from roads, playspaces, trees and reserve furniture. Every team member and manager can now see the status of all jobs, inspections and enquiries they are working on.
Additionally, using the Confirm Workzone solution, schedulers have a map-based view to drag-and-drop work to different teams. James Corletto, Team Leader Strategic Asset Management at the City of Salisbury says “that when an urgent request comes in, coordinators simply look at the map that shows the location of all teams in real-time and then allocate the job to the closest team.”
“Because of the near real-time tracking of status, jobs don’t fall through the cracks and our community see better outcomes,” says Corletto. “If we aren’t able to complete an enquiry within the 10-day window, we can use the integration between Confirm and our Customer Request Management system to send the citizen a message with the status of their request.”
While in the field, employees use tablets to efficiently complete a wide range of asset related tasks including a spatial view of assets and tasks which assists with asset identification. Each team completes a pre-start vehicle check and completes a job specific risk assessment prior to starting the work, eliminating the use of paper forms. Detailed labor and plant usage data is captured in Confirm Connect and transferred into the Council’s financial system to update all costs against the appropriate budget. Materials are then recorded against tasks to improve job cost reporting to cover labor, plant and materials. The new process reduces errors and allows stakeholders to have an up-to-date picture of the budget. Managers can now more easily review budgets at monthly meetings and quickly know if they are overspending or underspending in specific areas.
Confirm Connect also makes working with contractors seamless. Previously, contractors used spreadsheets and email to track inspections and work, which created more work for Council employees and made it difficult to get an accurate picture of progress. Now Salisbury has started on the journey of having contractors work directly in Confirm Connect. For example, the contractor that maintains drains for the Council inputs all their inspections which instantly updates a dashboard. Managers can see how many pits were cleaned and what inspections are still outstanding.
With a high number of infrastructure assets it is important that asset information can be updated efficiently. Being able to complete updates in the corporate GIS and have them synchronise with Confirm means the spatial team can continue to use GIS technology they are familiar with, and data is consistent across corporate systems.
Improving Efficiency with Click and Collect
The City of Salisbury is now in the process of rolling out its Click and Collect program for materials and consumables. Salisbury identified efficiency gains could be achieved by staff not needing to make multiple trips in a day to the store or purchasing items from hardware stores. With the Click and Collect program, crews can collect a single box in the morning that contains the items they need. This adoption of digital technology replaced a paper-based process.
When teams complete their daily pre-start checklist in Confirm Connect they can record if they are running low on materials and PPE items such as hardware, sunscreen and gloves. The data in Confirm is also used to prepare the other materials that the team will require for the work they’ve been allocated. In addition to saving time looking for items, the process has significantly reduced delays due to employees now having the right materials on- hand and ready to go.
Salisbury and Brightly
As the City of Salisbury has increased its level of digital maturity, the jurisdiction has a much clearer picture of all costs in relation to service. With a single enterprise asset management system, a single view of every asset is possible — location, condition and maintenance history. As this valuable set of information no longer sits in spreadsheets or across unlinked systems, the various stakeholders now have a complete view and can make better informed decisions at both an operational and strategic level.