How technology is the forgotten hero in asset management

Local government field staff are busier than ever and are weighed down by paperwork, but technology is coming to the rescue.

The growth rates of Australia’s capital cities are some of the highest in the developed world. Historically, we’ve been one of the most urbanised countries and in 2020, urbanisation reached its peak at 86.2 percent . This has resulted in a huge increase in demand for infrastructure, civic services and job creation. While this presents many challenges there are also significant opportunities for local governments, with vast potential for emerging cities to act as powerful cultural and economic stimulants.

With the growing demand for assets, local government field staff are busier than ever and as work levels increase, so too does the paperwork. Often this results in lengthy and inefficient paper-based manual data capture and reporting, leading to staff being siloed and causing inter-departmental and customer communication issues.

Technology can save the day

Technology is the forgotten hero in asset management, coming to the rescue by making asset management simple, efficient and effective. It can help councils both on a strategic level, and by simplifying the day-to-day lives of staff.

By capturing the full picture of asset information in one integrated database, it gives local government organisations complete visibility over every asset and makes it easy to measure, improve performance, and enhance maintenance strategies.

Moving from paper-based manual processes to a single source of truth ensures councils’ valuable assets are accounted for, deployed, maintained, upgraded, and disposed of when needed and underpins growth with a solid digital core. By combining human know-how with technology, data, and analytics, local councils can make informed decisions, reduce risk, predict potential failures, and prioritise maintenance.

Council field staff’s day-to-day jobs can be made simpler by providing them with the technology they need to manage everything from regular inspections through to routine and reactive maintenance. Making sure staff can stay connected whether they’re in the office or out in the field is so important, especially for efficiency and productivity, and ensuring they can capture asset data from any device, anywhere, at any time is vital.

Speed up response times

Embracing technology is key to making fast, informed data-driven decisions about local governments’ assets, speeding up response times and improving customer service delivery.

When rate payers report incidences to councils, they want things fixed and they want it done quickly. Using asset management technology, work orders from customer requests and preventative maintenance schedules can be automatically generated and quickly assigned to a team based on the health of the assets, saving precious time and being able to better manage short and long-term risks.

Clarence Valley Council has seen great efficiency gains in utilising TechnologyOne’s Enterprise Asset Management product Field App to manage and respond to customer requests.

“Their [customers’] requests or their complaints coming into Council are triaged and sent out quickly to staff to respond to graffiti or potholes,” said Matt Davidson, Corporate Systems Coordinator, Clarence Valley Council.

Migrating outdoor staff from manual paper-based timesheets to electronic timesheets and combining all systems into a single source of truth has meant Clarence Valley Council has been able to complete projects well ahead of schedule. Their bridge crew were able to complete their whole annual project in 6 months instead of the forecasted 12 months, allowing them to take on more projects internally. Not only did this mean that the council didn’t have to contract out work, but rate payers also benefited too.

“For the local community they’ll see the benefit from these new assets being replaced quicker,” Davidson said.

Spending less time on processing manual paperwork means local council staff can spend more time maintaining and improving the infrastructure that supports the areas communities live in, laying the foundation for emerging cities to act as powerful cultural and economic stimulants.

TechnologyOne’s Field App addresses everything from short, medium, and long cycle work such as preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance, condition inspections, and construction and renewal activities. It also supports multi-crew, multi-day work activities and can be accessed by internal staff and contractors.

Stop manual field data capture feeling like watching daytime tv with re-runs of the same story over and over again with TechnologyOne’s OneCouncil solution and Enterprise Asset Management product. Visit here to find out how.

Publish date

10 Mar 2023