The Benefits of GIS Mapping for Municipal Utilities
Public works departments routinely manage roadway inventories, parks, streets, signals, lights, fleet, solid waste disposal, and the maintenance of aging infrastructure in different facilities. When managing a high volume of work, being responsive to crises requires a geographic information system that efficiently gathers, stores, shares, manages, analyzes, and delivers data on-demand for a streamlined workflow. A GIS integrates the different systems used by municipalities to manage workflow and offers a geoenabled view of widely dispersed enterprises.
Public works departments benefit by geoenabling in the following ways:
- Facilitates Operational Planning
An enterprise-wide geographic information system facilitates instant access to data and allows easy sharing of information across departments making it easy to meet the growing community needs. It georeferences every piece of information, allowing users to organize their assets and inventory without any limitations. An important feature of GIS is its ability to compare infrastructure investment against the service life of assets. It converts old datasets into geoenabled information which can be accessed by multiple users at any anytime from any device.
- Offers Real-Time Access to Information
With real-time access to mission-critical information, it becomes easy to analyze the big picture and understand the relationship between disparate chunks of information to make informed decisions. With a GIS, it is easy to stay updated on multiple projects and track their progress from time to time. Whether you need to search a specific hydrant or identify the water lines that need immediate replacements, a GIS allows you to easy access any data in an instant. It saves you time and ensures that you take the right decisions at every level.
- Improves Transparency and Decision Making
Transparency is crucial to running an efficient, productive and accountable enterprise and it entails much more than just sharing information to all the stakeholders. It is important that everyone involved in a specific project understands the information and is able to analyze it before arriving at any conclusions. Public works departments manage big infrastructure projects that are executed by a team of internal and external decision makers who work in close collaboration. GIS eliminates the time and effort spent on translating project knowledge by ensuring that every internal and external team member uses the same tool to interpret the same information in real-time. This strengthens the understanding of everyone who is working on the project from field technicians to facility managers.
- Reduces Costs
With GIS, the field staff can gather information remotely and also exchange data throughout the enterprise. With a centralized database that accurately tracks asset condition across locations, field crew can service work requests on the go. From generating digital work orders and locating assets that need repairs to tracking inventory and closing work orders, GIS can help you save a lot of your time and effort by eliminating the need to generate prints, record inputs , prepare manual reports, review daily PM schedules, plot routes using paper maps, and pick up daily assignments. The implementation of GIS automates routine tasks to help you save thousands of dollars spent on repairs, replacements and preventive maintenance.
- Enhances Responsiveness
When integrated with facility maintenance software, GIS gives you a geographic advantage that boosts work efficiency, helps you stay productive and enables you to quickly respond to emergencies. Its data accuracy and accessibility shorten disaster response times and enhance customer service. Without a GIS, technicians waste a lot of time identifying issues, searching for information stored in files and folders and running between the field and the office. GIS enables your crew to proactively handle all the problems and import data on the spot from an ESRI GIS database. Users can also create reports and keep them organized according to classes and subclasses. If your enterprise has separate databases, it is also possible to create multiple domains.
- Improves Resource and Asset Management
Designed to overcome the flaws and shortcomings of old school processes and procedures, a GIS organizes geographic data so that field technicians can easily view any information related to inspections, maintenance, repairs and replacements. When every section within the enterprise can easily share and access data, productivity is enhanced. The location-based tracking feature of a GIS, offers an end-to-end view of all the assets spread across a facility. Even if the assets are distributed across the entire city, such as water distribution pipes, it enables users to trace and share location data accurately which enhances the efficiency of the maintenance crew and reduces the troubleshooting time. With instant access to information on-the-go, it becomes easy to update data and identify issues on the spot. With proactive inspections and timely maintenance of assets, public works departments can improve decision making, maximize returns on investment, reduce repair and replacement costs, save time, and increase accuracy.
NEXGEN Asset Management facilitates efficient and effective management of assets and infrastructure while ensuring complete adherence to regulatory requirements. Designed by professional engineers, it addresses all your asset management goals including risk management, resource allocation, condition assessment, preventive maintenance and lifecycle planning. Contact us to leverage the benefits of deploying public works software and improve community satisfaction while saving both time and resources.