Article: Agencies Can Save Dollars By Using Technology And Best Business Practices

Independent of any specific software system, public agency improvements can be implemented using a systematic process of incorporating technology with best business practices. This article describes the successes of two Florida Counties evaluation to determine areas for improvement within their Public Works Departments, then taking action with the resulting transformations being documented.

Software Systems Improve Wastewater Collection

Through a combination of technology and business processes, West Valley Sanitation District (WVSD), Santa Clara County, Calif., sought to improve its wastewater collection system operations. The effort ranged from streamlining work practices to using advanced technology such as a complete computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) with geographical information system (GIS) connectivity and closed circuit television (CCTV) data linked to a new maintenance system to develop routine schedules, track work, and improve operations.

Management System Helps Streamline Sewer Maintenance

The West Valley Sanitation District in Santa Clara County, CA, has improved collection system operations through the use of new technologies and improved business processes. The effort included evaluating work flow, determining operational improvements, developing a performance-based budget, and implementing multiple best business practices/strategies.

Preventive Maintenance programs keep your bridges open for years to come

Bridges are intricate structures with structural, mechanical, electrical and civil components. The structures, whether fixed or movable facilities, require regular preventive maintenance to remain in optimal operational condition. This discusion outlines how two counties—one in California and one in Florida—have implemented an organized approach to successfully accomplish their regular preventive bridge maintenance.

Orange Whip

In 1982, Orange County's Public Works Department developed an automated Pavement Management System (PMS). This outlines the 20 years of system utilization. The systems objectives were: (1) develop an objective, systematic methodology for determining roadway conditions and defining rehabilitation strategies for all streets and highways within unincorporated Orange County, Calif., and (2) establish a process where a preventative mode of maintenance work is planned and performed for the entire Orange County roadway system. The county had to plan and optimize expenditures better because of population growth, accompanying traffic and an increase in volume and magnitude of heavy vehicles.

CMMS Selection Success

A properly implemented computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a powerful management tool. Maintenance and engineering managers can use it to justify resources and activities, as well as to document work history. But managers also might need to implement a CMMS to comply with federal, state or local mandates, follow the results of internal or external audits, justify resources, or establish an automated management system.

Traffic Signal Preventative Maintenance Program Earns a Green Light from Reno and Hernando County

An innovative traffic signals preventative maintenance (PM) program implemented for Reno, NV and Hernando County, FL has resulted in increased productivity and efficiency. Public works professionals are familiar with pavement maintenance programs - making a continuous proactive maintenance investment, for instance, will be less expensive in the long run than having to reconstruct the roadway due to lack of maintenance causing the quality of the pavement to deteriorate.

Selecting the right maintenance management system can improve your operations

A properly implemented Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) can serve as a powerful management tool. Resources and activities can be justified and work history is documented. Public agencies may need to implement a CMMS for a number of reasons—mandates by federal, state and local agencies, results of internal or external audits, justifying resources, and establishing an automated system.

Big Success in a Small City: Implementing a New Maintenance Management Approach

The City of Emeryville, California recently implemented a new management approach in maintenance operations designed to enhance teamwork, morale, communication, and performance. The implemented maintenance management system was an innovative approach to improving not only operations, but also improving City officials' understanding of maintenance.

Six-Figure Savings with MMS Implementation and Citizen Involvement too!

Six-figure savings in the first six months of road and stormwater maintenance system implementation may sound too good to be true, but Charlotte County, Florida, got just that and more. An innovative Maintenance Management System (MMS) initiated for Charlotte County generated savings of more than $750,000 in the first six months of operation plus $500,000 in the following year. These savings were attributable to improved planning, work identification, scheduling, new crew configurations, and following maintenance activity guidelines.

Developing A Complete In-House Maintenance Management System

A Maintenance Management System (MMS) can help public agencies better manage their maintenance operations. One Florida County was not only able to able to accomplish this, but they did it with software they developed in-house. How could this be? Their success was a product of teamwork between the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the IT staff from Hernando County working together with a consultant to provide guidance and assistance.

Employee "buy-in", Education, Union Coordination Help Launch Successful Maintenance Management Program For Silicon Valley City

Coauthored with Maintenance Manager of City of Fremont, CA. Outlines how a maintenance management system was implemented to improve operations and resulted in six-figure annual savings.

Asset Management and G.A.S.B. Statement 34: The Basics Of Managing Your Infrastructure

Asset management has been generating a lot of public works industry ‘buzz’ this year, spurred on by Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 34. Perhaps one of the most influential policy trends facing public works managers today, asset management deserves a reality check.

Alternative Workweeks: Productivity vs. Employee Benefits

Public agency managers face increasingly limited public funds with demands for increased accountability and greater pressures for transparency of choices for employee work schedules. As a result, alternative work schedules (AWS) have become increasingly popular over the past several decades. AWS, in the area of public works, is a heated topic with the issue of productivity being a core question.

How a Maintenance Station Location Model Effectively Maintains Infrastructure Assets

One of the fundamental questions that we have in Public Works is where to locate maintenance yards to best serve the public and maintain infrastructure assets (i.e. roads, stormwater, sewer water, etc.) The location(s) can affect the service, cost, response time and ability to maintain assets. One way to evaluate maintenance yard locations is through the use of a Maintenance Station Location Model (MSLM).

Span of Control Impacts Public Works Efficiency

Span of control is defined as the number of people a manager can supervise effectively, and can be broadly categorized as either narrow or wide. The span of control and layers of management in an organization help determine the way public works operations assign tasks to employees. Improvement in work flow can often be impacted by these factors.

Overhead is Over our Head

In the public works field, our focus is often on just accomplishing work. Cost, of course, is a major issue, along with labor, equipment, material and contracts. However, the largest cost being incurred is often the one most misunderstood - overhead.

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Asset Management vs. Maintenance Management

In the public works industry, the practices of asset management and maintenance management are used interchangeably and synonymously. Although these practices have some common elements and are both valuable tools for a public works manager, they are both unique.