In this post, we look at the need for 311 software solutions to consider both citizens and assets in the context of municipal job management and discuss how AccessE11 can help with tying the two together.
Within the municipal software domain, asset management and 311 software solutions are generally disparate systems that serve different business needs. But in reality, it is very common for citizen reported issues to relate to physical assets that are owned and managed by the municipality. The result – for many service requests, customer service and operations staff are required to manage separate yet overlapping views of job-related data and furthermore, to rely on out-of-band processes to try to keep everything in sync. Investment in custom development might be an option to get around this problem, but this often leads to complexity and costs that are problematic – particularly for smaller municipalities.
AccessE11’s approach leverages the most common geodatabase used for asset mapping – ESRI ArcGIS – to store location information and details about your municipality’s infrastructure. In recent years, GIS systems have become more affordable and feasible to implement, and today they are widely used by local governments for this purpose. AccessE11 provides an out-of-the-box capability for setting up connections and securely authenticating to ArcGIS. For maximum flexibility, this supports multiple concurrent connections, and the ability to handle enterprise (running on site at the municipality) and/or hosted (running in the cloud) deployment architectures. This will allow you to get started now, and adjust if your data management needs change over time.
From our experience, Asset Management platforms store a dizzying quantity of data, but the information required to log a service request against the correct asset is only a small subset of this. AccessE11 provides simple configuration settings to define how asset-related GIS layers are rendered for customer service staff. This includes the ability to define user-friendly display names, colors for the pins used to distinguish individual assets on AccessE11’s embedded maps, the asset attributes that are displayed, and what attributes to store for each asset-related service request. With this approach, the service agent taking the call can quickly determine the right asset with simple information, but field staff are able to access as much detail as necessary to resolve the issue.
Geo-locating a Case based on Asset location
For asset-related cases, customer service staff have the ability to set the case location to the stored asset coordinates. They simply hover over a pin to view identifying information, confirm it is the correct asset, and click to associate it to the case. This seamlessly geo-locates the case to the coordinates of the asset, and stores the related asset information as part of the case details.
Any need to swivel-chair between multiple systems to consolidate all necessary information is eliminated. And both customer service and field staff are provided with the information they need in real time to complete their work. The result – fewer missteps, improved response times and better citizen service.