Looking to increase efficiency and accuracy, Telford decided to use their OpenGov’s work and asset management software to track salt use as a first-in, first-out resource during snow removal. The director creates a single snow event for all drivers to add their hours, equipment usage, and materials into before their tasks are completed. The amount of material used and associated costs for each event then roll up into an all-encompassing seasonal work order to help with future budgeting and proactive inventory ordering.
“Having the ability to do this without file folders and paper or looking through filing cabinets is a gamechanger.”
When crew members enter the “bulk road salt” resource into a task, they simply record how much salt they used in their own truck during that event or task. From there, OpenGov’s software automatically subtracts that amounts from the total bulk road salt resource. Now, the department has a real-time inventory, without relying on paper or spreadsheets.
“We started keeping track of amounts of snowfall and ice, and will be able to compare ‘bad’ years to ‘good’ years to see if we really use anymore salt from year to year,” adds Telford. “Having the ability to do this without file folders and paper or looking through filing cabinets is a gamechanger.”
Greater accuracy for ordering salt leads to better cost control. Since streamlining their salt inventory workflows with OpenGov, the department has been saving the city thousands of dollars annually.
“Having all the information literally at your fingertips with the click of a button is an excellent resource,” says Telford.
With improved inventory control, the department is minimizing off-site storage needs by approximately $1,200 per year. On top of those savings, real-time resource entry allows Telford to eliminate spreadsheet entry and focus his time and talents on higher-priority projects. The enhancement saves him 45 minutes per snow event, ultimately giving him back several hours in a single snow season.
Telford offers some words of wisdom for other public works teams looking to make the move to mobile or improve their snowplowing or deicing processes.
“I think one of the things for people to consider is that there will be some extra effort on the front end to get a new system established. Once you achieve that, it’s smooth sailing so to speak,” he says.
“The end result really is streamlining our workflows, and increasing our accuracy and trust in the salt inventory process,” Telford says. “The other day, I was able to look at the bulk road salt on hand and order for the upcoming season with confidence and much less effort. As time progresses, I’ll be able to look at past years and see what our averages are, taking even more guesswork out of the equation.”