Navigating bumps in the road
Over the last few years, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has faced a shrinking budget and staff, competing department priorities, and aging infrastructure. To help manage its infrastructure maintenance operations, SDOT needed a way to better monitor, track and resolve the thousands of maintenance requests it receives each month.
Previously, all incoming maintenance requests — from filling potholes to replacing street signs — were entered into one of nine databases that did not communicate with one another or SDOT's asset management system. Additionally, processes for entering and resolving issues varied depending on the nature of the requests, creating organizational silos within the department. Without a unified process for entering and tracking work orders, city staff struggled to update residents on the status of their requests, and directors struggled to pull data to identify areas of weakness and reform practices to improve service.
In 2009, SDOT contracted with Alpharetta, Ga.-based Infor to implement the web-based Infor Hansen 8 work management system, which cooperates with the department's existing asset management practices, allowing the department to build a history of each asset and view an overall picture of the current state of the city's infrastructure. Within the system, SDOT agents can enter work orders, assign service workers to cases, view estimated work order costs and pull custom reports for each asset. The web-based system allows service workers in the field to pull their daily task lists; track the history of work orders; view previously completed maintenance on any asset; create new work orders; and resolve work orders remotely. SDOT now has greater control in entering, tracking and resolving incidents, and can specify and track which crews are performing repairs and when.
The total $4.1 million project cost includes development, requirements definition, information system development, user licensing and training, user acceptance and testing phases. Infor was contracted to complete the information system development phase of the project for $1 million.
Since spring 2010, SDOT has responded to more than 66,000 work orders in the system, averaging 4,500 incidents per month.
"The ability to track every work order in an integrated system has helped us increase accountability and transparency," says Charles Bookman, director of traffic management at SDOT. "During the winter storms in 2010, we were able to report back to inquiring citizens for the first time, exactly when a plow serviced their neighborhood. This enabled a two-way conversation with constituents and a more organized approach to winter weather operations."
Project: Work management system
Agency: Department of Transportation
Vendor: Alpharetta-based Infor
Date completed: March 2010
Cost: $4.1 million