Situated between Geelong and Ballarat and just one hour’s drive west of Melbourne, Golden Plains is a vibrant rural municipality renowned for its food and wine, iconic music festivals, and goldfield heritage. With many attracted to the area’s rural lifestyle, affordable housing, and proximity to larger cities, it is considered one of the fastest-growing regional Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Victoria.
As the community grows and expectations increase, there is ongoing pressure for higher quality, always-available assets, from roads and buildings to park furniture and play equipment. For Golden Plains Shire Council, this means finding ways to offer a higher level of service for the same amount of money — doing more with less.
To achieve the best outcomes for the community, including future generations, Golden Plains aims to take a whole-of-life approach to managing its aging infrastructure while meeting agreed levels of service in the most cost-effective manner. There is no one-size-fits-all answer — it must use a mix of approaches, from preventive to predictive maintenance while minimising risk for all critical assets.
Looking ahead to the next 10 years, Golden Plains knew it needed to be prudent in its investment decisions. And yet, the greatest upfront challenge was not having a holistic view of the condition of its assets. With information spread across multiple systems — AssetAsyst, Moloney, myData, SynyergySoft, as well as GIS — the council lacked a standardised approach to managing asset data.
When capturing information on road defects, for example, data needed to be entered into two separate systems, resulting in extra work and increasing the risk of human error. Another issue was using a spreadsheet to manage road asset data. Important information could potentially be accidentally deleted by writing over cells, and there was no audit trail. On top of this, staff needed to learn how to use multiple systems to manage asset data.
Golden Plains urgently needed a single source of truth for its asset data — a central repository across its portfolio for better visibility of the state of all assets. On top of creating a single asset register, it also needed a single solution to help manage the asset lifecycle process — including maintenance, accounting, and predictive modelling — to help improve cost efficiency, maintain performance, and minimise risks.
Golden Plains decided to implement an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution and chose to partner with us to implement the Brightly Assetic™ platform, in line with their corporate directive to migrate software to cloud solutions.
The council had confidence in Brightly as it knew it was a world-class software provider that was well-used by LGAs in Victoria and throughout Australia. Brightly was also strong in GPS support; could be self-implemented, module by module, at the council’s own pace; and had a strong user community with resources and events offering knowledge-building and networking opportunities.
Golden Plains started by implementing the asset register on a class-by-class basis. By migrating to Brightly, Golden Plains can now manage all of its asset data in a structured way — preventing data errors and duplication while creating a systematic approach for all asset-related decision-making and accounting.
Brightly has also been a huge help in improving the council’s maintenance and road defect inspections. Golden Plains started with two asset classes in the maintenance module to understand the capacity of the maintenance system, as at the time they were not using any maintenance system. For the first time, Golden Plains has been able to view target completion dates for each defect. This clearly indicated that the maintenance teams had not been scheduling repairs in accordance to the road hierarchy, providing strong evidence that they should migrate managing maintenance requests into the Brightly platform.
More recently, Golden Plains implemented Brightly’s asset lifecycle prediction modelling and capital planning software, Brightly Predictor, as a managed service.
Golden Plains now has a solid history of planned and reactive maintenance activities across its building portfolio, helping the council understand which areas they needed to focus their attention on. Predictor also highlighted the importance of having fit-for-purpose data for modelling, providing insights on funding deficiencies, and improving staff buy-in around renewable requirements.
By consolidating data into one system and creating a standardised approach to data management, Golden Plains better understands the lifecycle of its assets, giving them confidence in making data-driven decisions.
What’s more, buildings maintenance data showed Golden Plains that they were spending considerable time and money on septic issues at its buildings, prompting the team to investigate further.
Looking ahead, the council is exploring how they will migrate roads and drainage maintenance into Assetic for planned and reactive maintenance, with work to date analysing existing business processes and highlighting the need for additional resources and streamlined workflows.
With new roads condition assessments scheduled to take place next financial year, the council is also keen to use the data in Predictor to help up-manage their renewal works planning.
With the help of Brightly we have consolidated our asset data sources into a single source and streamlined data management process. We are now working toward leveraging off the Brightly platform by gaining greater insights into asset performance so we can make better informed decisions on managing our asset portfolio on behalf of the Golden Plains Shire community.
Coordinator, Asset Management at Golden Plains Shire Council