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Location Intelligence, Spatial Data Analysis | Pitney Bowes

Dorset County Council

Dorset County Council fast-tracks highway maintenance by deploying a mobile asset management solution.

Client profile

  • Governs six districts along the southern coast of England
  • 2,653 square kilometers; home to approximately 772,000 people

Business goals

  • Improve productivity of staff in infrastructure management division
  • Facilitate faster response to inquiries from the public

Benefits

  • Field staff productivity increased greatly
  • Three administrative staff members redeployed to more value-added work
  • Response to resident inquiries in hours, not days or weeks

Technologies used

Confirm® Enterprise Asset Management System

The smart, cost-effective way to manage your public infrastructure assets.

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Overview

Situated along the southern coast of England, Dorset is a picturesque county with a storied history. Three-quarters of the county’s coastline is included in the Jurassic Coast Natural World Heritage Site because of its geologic and paleontological significance, and more than half the county has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the British government.

Seventy-five percent of the Dorset County coastline has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. It should come as little surprise that tourism is the county’s predominant industry.

Business challenge

One key responsibility of the Dorset County Council is ensuring that roadways are well-maintained for tourists, residents, businesses and everyone else. Thus, staff need visibility into maintenance and conditions of the roadways, as well as “street furniture” such as drains, signs, gullies and verges.

Previously, the county used an asset management system that did not work on mobile devices. “Resident concerns would be entered into the system, then a paper record would be created,” says Paul Moon, the council’s infrastructure and technology manager. “Highway engineers, inspectors and operational works crews would have to drive to the depot to collect the paper.” After recording their work in the field, they would drive the paper back to the depot, where administrative staff would enter the information into the system.

Moon sought ways to change these inefficient processes. “We needed a system that would fully support mobile working,” Moon says. “We also needed better mapping and better reporting, and we wanted to make sure it was asset-management-centric.” Among all their options, the Pitney Bowes Confirm® Enterprise Asset Management solution best met these criteria.

“With the previous paper-based process, it took six to eight weeks for works records to be entered into the system. The same data records are available within Confirm approximately 45 seconds after the works are completed on the ground.” Paul Moon,
Infrastructure and Technology Manager,
Dorset County Council

   

Solution

Dorset County Council deployed the Confirm® software, along with the ConfirmWorkzone® and ConfirmConnect® modules.

Now residents can report concerns online, identifying on a map exactly where each problem lies. Inspectors will immediately receive an alert, and ConfirmConnect enables them to access all relevant data in the field. If the asset requires work, maintenance staff will see it in the work schedules on their mobile devices, and mapping functionality makes clear where problematic assets are located.

After completing an inspection or repair, field staff can remotely upload their record of the work. Meanwhile, dashboards provide instantaneous access to performance data, helping managers and staff spot productivity issues. “The reporting in Confirm has revolutionized the way we work by giving everyone accurate, up-to-date information at the press of a button,” Moon says.

“Members of the public can log enquiries 24x7. Within an hour, [an investigator] may be able to investigate the problem, update the record and assign the work to a crew.” Paul Moon,
Infrastructure and Technology Manager,
Dorset County Council

   

Benefits

Efficiency gains have far exceeded expectations. “ConfirmWorkzone® has enabled us to improve the productivity of our workforce enormously,” Moon says. “The reduction in paperwork from ConfirmConnect® mobile connectivity has enabled us to redeploy three administrative staff members, and productivity has substantially increased for our field staff because we’ve eliminated the time traveling to and from depots.”

At the same time, the council is providing better service to residents. “Members of the public can not only log enquiries 24x7, but they get resolution much more quickly,” Moon says. “Within seconds, the investigator knows about the enquiry. Within an hour, that person may be able to investigate the problem, update the record and assign the work to a crew.

“With the previous paper-based process, it took six to eight weeks, on average, for works records to be entered into the system,” Moon adds. “Using ConfirmConnect, the same data records are available within Confirm® approximately 45 seconds after the works are completed on the ground. This has resulted in more accurate information and faster response times for our customers, the highways users.”

“What I like about the Confirm solution is that Pitney Bowes is always wanting to move forward. That’s immensely important for us as customers.” Paul Moon,
Infrastructure and Technology Manager,
Dorset County Council

    

Building on these benefits, Dorset County recently completed the transition from an on-premises deployment of Confirm software to a software-as-a-service model. “As a highway service, we need to keep the highways safe and in good condition,” Moon says. “We moved our asset management system off-site so that we wouldn’t have to worry about things like resilience, support or updates.”

All in all, Moon says, Pitney Bowes has proven to be an excellent partner to Dorset County Council. “What I like about the Confirm solution is that Pitney Bowes is always wanting to move forward, and they allow us to be part of that travel,” he says. “We work with them to have our ideas incorporated into the product going forward. That’s immensely important for us as customers.”

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