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Why we needed an operations management system

Arlington, Texas

After years of using  spreadsheets to inventory assets and manage work, the Arlington, Texas Parks and Recreation Department realized it was time for an update. With a large system of assets to maintain and a growing list of work to do, the team needed a way to become more effective, efficient, and productive.

Read on to learn how Arlington transformed into a high-performance government with a technology-driven and mobile-friendly operations management system.

Challenge

With 92 parks and 5,000 surface acres to maintain, Arlington needed a better way to manage its daily operations; the manual methods weren’t cutting it anymore. “In the field, team members would create their own lists for work management. If the lists became lost, the work may not get done,” explains Scott DeGrant, asset system administrator for the City of Arlington.

“We were dealing with a disconnected process,” he adds. “Individuals were creating their own lists and work plans, but that information wasn’t connected or shared. So it was very difficult to make decisions across the system.”

Solution

In February 2014, the department’s asset management team implemented Cartegraph—creating a centralized tracking system for more than 7,000 assets. “With Cartegraph, we can communicate with our teams in real time. Anyone within our work group can see progress of our projects, make requests, and share information,” says DeGrant.

That real-time flow of information is enhanced with Cartegraph for iPad. “We have more than 50 iPads in the field transmitting information to us throughout the day,” says DeGrant. Field crews can clearly see tasks on their to-do list, mark them as complete, or find additional tasks nearby.

As a result, the entire team is more productive. “If a supervisor sees something that needs to be done or a citizen request comes in, we can easily follow up on that,” DeGrant explains. “The biggest change is that we aren’t losing tasks that we’ve identified, so work is completed in a timely manner.”

Results

With Cartegraph, the Arlington Parks team has not only eliminated inefficiencies in their workflow they’ve also been able to meet strategic goals they didn’t have time or capacity to address in the past.

Quantifying benefits. “It took us 12 years to find this comprehensive of a solution,” says Scott Fairman, interim assistant director. “Cartegraph gives us the data we need to leverage our resources. We have the ability to quantify everything we do—operations group support, for example. Nobody understood how much time or money was spent on that. We now have the power to understand the impact of these programs and resources.”

Time saved. By analyzing the amount of time spent on routine tasks, supervisors are able to make strategic choices to become more efficient. “If we spend 6 hours a week doing a particular task, we can choose to spread it across two days instead of four. We save travel time, windshield time, time spent getting in and out of the truck,” explains DeGrant. “It may seem small, but that time adds up.”

Mobile work management. With Cartegraph for iPad, the Arlington Parks Department has eliminated paper work orders. Field crews now get assignments issued to them by the supervisor digitally—saving paper and time.

Centralized information. With cross-device access, team members can access tasks and workflow histories from anywhere. Workers in the field have access the same information as people in the office.

Analytics-powered workflows. With Cartegraph, Arlington is able to capture data, analyze it, and prepare for the future. After just one year of utilizing Cartegraph, DeGrant and Fairman hired Larry Miglets as an analyst to actively monitor and identify opportunities for efficiency gains. He will be a critical part of Arlington’s data-driven decision-making moving forward, and will use Cartegraph to help the City deliver the best possible outcome, no matter the situation.

Looking to transform your organization into a high-performance government, like Arlington? Then it's time to see Cartegraph in action.

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