OpenGov OMS allows field crews to do just that with user-friendly iPad tablets. This setup enables a seamless transition from the legacy system by tying existing data to a location-based platform and bringing the power of ArcGIS and OpenGov to the field. These were strong selling points to get budget approval from decision makers, says Humora.
Part of the training process was making sure field crews felt comfortable with the software. “We brought all the crews in for training so they saw from day one what they were going to be dealing with,” says Humora. “During implementation we could see how quickly people were able to pick up the iPads. The interface is very intuitive. Most of the crew was comfortable using it within within 1-2 days.”
“The interface is very intuitive. Most of the crew was comfortable using it within 1-2 days.”
La Mesa is migrating nine asset categories to OpenGov OMS, starting with the building maintenance and wastewater/stormwater groups. The first step was training and implementation. “Our OpenGov implementation specialist was the key to the whole thing. He understood our vision, helped us implement it, and instilled confidence in our team.”
As Humora sees it, every public works department needs a technology-based municipal asset management system. “If you don’t have one you’re behind the curve,” he says. “We have a half-billion dollars’ worth of infrastructure in La Mesa and one of my main responsibilities is to protect that investment. I need to be able to know what condition it’s in and what needs to be repaired. OpenGov OMS is the best tool yet to be able to do that.”
“To give them the power to update the information in the field is a really helpful and useful way to update our information.”
With OpenGov and ArcGIS capabilities on the iPads, workers can query any asset to view location data, scheduled maintenance, and ownership. They can also update the database with the tap of a finger. “Your most knowledgeable people are your people in the field. They know what’s out there; they know who it belongs to; they have the intellectual history,” says Humora. “To give them the power to update the information in the field is a really helpful and useful way to update our information.”
Humora says workers appreciate being entrusted with the mobile technology. “They’ve really jumped on to that. They’re very supportive and excited that they get to use the iPads—and that the information is much easier for them to process and put in. I think they actually think it helps them do their job better.”
La Mesa has found that OpenGov OMS facilitates work planning and improves workflow. Administrative staff will enter tasks such as pipes that need to be cleaned or inspections that need to be conducted. Field professionals can add notes as they perform the work. If they finish early, they can move to the next task; and if they miss something, they can easily to go back and pick up where they left off.
The building maintenance team is the first group to start replacing paper time cards with electronic activity reporting. When they finish a task in the field, they enter their hours for that task, which frees up time previously spent filling out forms. Other departments are expected to follow suit.
SECURE DATA HOSTING.
As part of the transition to OpenGov OMS, La Mesa chose to move its database from its local server to OpenGov’s hosted server, which also handles software updates. Keeping up with updates locally was a challenge for the IT department, which serves all city departments. “We were often two or three versions behind,” says Humora. “Now data and mapping are seamlessly stored externally.”