Highways Department deploys Brightly Predictor™ to deliver smarter assets and sustainable communities
The Highways department of Hertfordshire County Council has expanded the functionality of its existing asset management capabilities with the addition of Brightly Predictor™, a full asset lifecycle prediction modelling and capital planning software solution.
The introduction of Predictor will enable the department to increase efficiencies, prioritise the allocation of resources and deliver cost savings by implementing ‘what-if’ scenarios, running comparison modelling and utilising its predictive tools to provide valuable insights into future actions and financial investment against strategic outcomes.
Predictor is a flexible strategic asset management solution that can be tailored to specific client needs, enabling users to accurately predict their full asset portfolio status at various stages into the future. Specialist modelling software, flexible cost/benefit simulations and reporting tools generate robust live data reports incorporating GIS (Geographical Information System) visualisations. These reports present clear, precise supporting evidence and compelling predictions of future scenarios to demonstrate the consequences of today’s financial decisions on tomorrow’s infrastructure and facilities.
Keeping Hertfordshire County Council’s 1.2 million residents and its business community moving safely across its 1,643,000 sq km footprint is the responsibility of its Highways Department, which manages over 3,200 miles of both carriageways and footways, 181,000 drains, 115,000 streetlights and 1,627 bridges and structures. With such a large and wide-ranging portfolio of assets to manage and maintain, smart and accurate prioritisation of resources and allocation of budgets is vital to optimise both the short-term upkeep and longer-term planning of the department’s assets.
As the third largest budget-holder at the Council, the Highways department constantly faces the challenge of making intelligent decisions to maximise the use of its assets and financial resources, to deliver more sustainable communities and value for its council taxpayers, now and into the future.
The department already had an established and longstanding partnership with Brightly and its consultants, having successfully deployed Brightly Confirm™ asset management solution to automate and streamline the collation, storage and management of data from its various assets. However, when it came to budget forecasting and future planning for its footways and streetlights, the team wanted the ability to utilise this existing data to formulate a compelling case for investment and financial commitment for their longer term asset management objectives.
Christopher Faires, Digital and Technology Manager, Highways at Hertfordshire County Council explains: “It was important to be able to make intelligent decisions on future projects, and provide information visually to empower stakeholders to commit to the right levels of funding to support our plans. We have a mature volume of asset data. Yet, we needed a flexible modelling and prediction solution to allow us to fully understand asset impact under various investment scenarios over varying periods of time. This enables us to present the most comprehensive and compelling case to secure optimum levels of financial support.”
Faires continues: “When discussing our requirements with the Brightly team, they understood exactly what we wanted to achieve and introduced us to Predictor. It was clear that Predictor’s flexible suite of predictive, modelling, scenario comparison and forecasting tools were exactly what we were looking for. What’s more, it worked seamlessly with Confirm, allowing the existing asset data stored within the Confirm solution to be easily interlinked and imported into Predictor’s simulation and forecasting tools.”
With the help of Brightly’s team of consultants, a pilot scheme focussing on its footways and streetlights assets in part of the County was put in place. It quickly demonstrated the simplicity and speed in which Predictor could cost-effectively generate accurate, live on-demand reports and powerful visualisations, such as Esri ArcGIS StoryMaps – the missing link the department was looking for.
Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, Hertfordshire County Council says “Hertfordshire County Council has been leading the field of Highways asset management for years and we are constantly looking for ways that deliver value for money for residents. We are committed to ensuring safe and sustainable growth by delivering and maintaining infrastructure that meets the needs of our growing County. Predictor will allow the Council to build on our established data-driven approach to service delivery.”
Josh Konynenburg, Account Director at Brightly, adds, “It’s always hugely satisfying to work with clients to develop and tailor solutions that meet their exact needs. We are delighted that Predictor will provide the Highways Team at Hertfordshire County Council the tools it needs to maximise the performance, maintenance and lifecycle of its assets, assist them to intelligently plan for the future, and provide the resources they need to secure funding to continue delivering sustainable communities going forward.”
Following the success of the pilot programme, the department is now working with Brightly to implement the full access and functionality of Predictor, with an anticipated ‘go-live’ date later in the year.
When discussing our requirements with the Brightly team, they understood exactly what we wanted to achieve and introduced us to Predictor. It was clear that Predictor’s flexible suite of predictive, modelling, scenario comparison and forecasting tools were exactly what we were looking for.
Digital and Technology Manager, Highways at Hertfordshire County Council