Improving call and response
As Greensboro, N.C., officials sought to create a central call center for all government-related requests and inquiries, they needed to simplify access to information by integrating data into one system. Every department and organization maintained its own separate work order systems, and sharing and retrieving information from them was not easy. Additionally, the city needed a way to track its assets — such as street segments, traffic lights and sewer lines — by physical location.
Greensboro, N.C., officials wanted a system that would combine asset management, customer relationship management and geographic information systems (GIS). The city contracted with Alpharetta, Ga.-based Infor to provide its EAM Enterprise Edition asset performance management technology to serve as the foundation for the initiative.
With the city’s GIS software vendor, ESRI, and the Infor team, Greensboro designed, developed and implemented a system that tied together nearly every Greensboro operating department function: Transportation, Solid Waste Management, Stormwater Management, Water and Sewer, Parks and Recreation, Building and Facilities Management. “Our staff has everything they need right at their fingertips to immediately address the needs and concerns of Greensboro’s citizens,” says Stephen Sherman, Greensboro’s GIS manager.
Greensboro residents now can contact the call center with questions or to report a broken street lamp or any other concerns. Call center operators have a consolidated, browser-based view of all the data necessary to assist callers. When operations managers receive a work request through the call center or from a crew in the field, they can look up the asset by street address and assign a crew. “Through its GIS capability, [the system] provides a simple point-and-click way to identify the location of assets, as well as each asset’s complete maintenance history. This enables us to resolve issues much more quickly and cost effectively than ever before, while also capturing all of the associated costs,” Sherman says.
In June, Greensboro was designated a “Citizen-Engaged Community” by the Washington-based Public Technology Institute. Nine local governments received the designation for excellence in providing the public with integrated multi-channel access to government services and information.