Known for providing superior service to its tech-savvy community, the City of Burlingame was looking to increase process efficiency. Pairing Cartegraph’s operations management software with SeeClickFix’s citizen engagement solution, the city is streamlining workflows and sharing real-time maintenance activities with its citizens.
Just south of San Francisco and north of Silicon Valley, the City of Burlingame, CA, was looking for an efficient way to streamline internal workflows, eliminate redundancies, and better communicate infrastructure maintenance to its 30,700 citizens.
“One thing that quickly became apparent was that we were underserving a significant, tech-savvy segment of our population,” says Nil Blackburn, assistant to the city manager. “In Burlingame, we pride ourselves on customer service and community engagement.”
“We wanted to communicate better with the public about the work we were doing. And, by doing that, we also wanted to set and manage their expectations,” recalls Kevin Dawdy, management analyst.
“This has been a perfect opportunity to keep things transparent, let citizens know things don’t happen in 24 hours, and to communicate those steps.”
Having used Cartegraph’s operations management software since 2014, Burlingame had already made great strides in becoming more effective and efficient. For example, the Operations Division—including water, storm, streets, and facilities—reduced downtime and eliminated paper by leveraging Cartegraph for iPad in the field. Today, crews receive assignments on their mobile devices, and enter hours and equipment on the go—never missing a beat. The Parks and Sewer Divisions also use Cartegraph, which improves cross-department communication.
But Burlingame was looking to take its operations to the next level. By combining the power of Cartegraph and SeeClickFix, the city created AccessBurlingame. Using this community-driven communication tool, Burlingame hoped to provide taxpayers with the seamless, consumer-quality experience they were craving—all while keeping the community’s infrastructure in tip-top shape.
Burlingame residents now head to AccessBurlingame on their smartphone or computer to find info on community services and events or instantly notify the City of nonemergency issues—such as downed trees, street light outages, or potholes. When those maintenance requests come in, they are passed directly into Cartegraph, where crews can see and respond to requests in real-time—automatically updating the citizen every step of the way.
“It’s really quite amazing. It’s really pretty seamless, and we’re impressed with the way that it works,” says Karen Hager, management analyst.
By combining the power of Cartegraph and SeeClickFix, the City of Burlingame has successfully bridged the communication gap with its citizens. Operations are smoother than ever, and citizens are thrilled to be in the know and more involved in their community.
- Improved efficiency: “Before, we were creating duplicate work for staff. Somebody would need to look in SeeClickFix to see what the issue was and then go into Cartegraph to create the task,” says Dawdy. “Then, they wanted to update that issue so the public would know about it, and they would go back into SeeClickFix to update the status.” Today, the integration eliminates the back and forth and the need to enter duplicate information in multiple systems. In addition to the time savings, staff can work in the solution they’re most comfortable in and let the systems do the talking behind the scenes.
- Increased understanding: When a citizen attaches photos to their SeeClickFix request, they are included on the Cartegraph maintenance task. Burlingame crews can quickly review the images to get a better understanding of the issue—and the types of materials and equipment they may need—all before arriving on scene.
- Improved data quality: With two cohesive systems, the city now knows how long it takes to conquer the task at hand. Through timestamps, teams know exactly when a request is submitted, received, and completed. When talking about how Cartegraph has impacted the city, Dawdy says “We ended up doing the same things we’d always been taking care of, now we just had documentation that we were doing it. It really helps us measure and maintain that level of customer service that we want to provide here in Burlingame.”
- Clearer expectations: Through the Cartegraph–SeeClickFix integration, Burlingame has been able to better educate its citizens on the infrastructure maintenance process—and properly manage their expectations. “This has been a perfect opportunity to keep things transparent but also let citizens know things don’t happen in 24 hours—and to communicate those steps,” says Blackburn. “We pride ourselves on our responsiveness and we try to close requests within 3 business days.”
- Well-deserved recognition: Burlingame received Cartegraph's Flag Forward Award in 2019 for the smart way they integrate technology to improve customer service. The award recognizes customers who are forward-thinking and innovative. By embracing an open-systems philosophy and leveraging data across various platforms, Burlingame is setting the bar for a new era of high-performance government.
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