A Comparative Review of Municipal Work Order Systems

A Comparative Review of Municipal Work Order Systems
Work management software enables utilities to track production by work order, driver, site and market, and schedule recurring services.

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The nonprofit Water Finance Research Foundation (WFRF) has completed a review of major computerized maintenance management and infrastructure asset management systems used by municipal governments and water and wastewater utilities. The idea is to help municipal water management professionals like yourself make better choices for your specific application. 

The foundation evaluated the software systems on the basis of cost, vendor service and support, work management, asset inventory and inventory control, Esri GIS integration and mapping, among others. Software systems from 14 different suppliers were evaluated (in alphabetic order): Accela, Agile Assets, Azteca System’s Cityworks, Cartegraph, Cityview, EnerGov, IBM’s Maximo, Infor/Hansen, Lucity/GBA, Maintenance Connection, Novotx’s Elements, Oracle, Pubworks and Vueworks. WFRF ranked the systems from 1-5, with 5 being the highest. 

In our last online issue, we looked at the Asset Management capabilities of the systems, concentrating on the top five vendors. Today, we will discuss the Work Management feature of the software systems, again concentrating on the highest rated products. 

Two companies (Cityworks and Accela) received perfect scores of 15 — five points each for work orders-work flow, inventory, and licensing and permitting. Five others (Infor/Hansen, Maximo, Lucity/GPA, Cartegraph, and Oracle) received the next highest score of 13 for the same features. 

In Cityworks, the user can group assets by location, type, age, or other parameters for maintenance planning, including preventive maintenance, work orders, and both scheduled and reactive work. Work orders can be set up to repeat following a given cycle, or only on a given date. Scheduled work is searchable, and can be listed and illustrated in the GIS map view. www.cityworks.com 

Accela Work Crew allows agency staff and authorized contractors to access and update work orders from their smartphones or tablets. Integrated with Accela Automation, Accela Work Crew views locations of scheduled and completed work on a map, checks off work order-workflow tasks as they are completed, adds supporting information such as task completion, actual time spent on each task, and actual material/parts/supplies used. www.accela.com 

Infor Public Sector Asset Management tools use innovative technologies to improve work processes. Examples include tracking and reporting costs against assets and activities; planning, scheduling, and executing maintenance programs’ creating detailed asset inventories and agency-specific asset inspections; recording and tracking requests for service; leveraging GIS technology to create a more accurate inventories; and providing compliance support for current and future asset related regulations. www.infor.com 

Maximo (IBM) Asst Management solutions manage all types of assets — production, infrastructure, facilities, transportation and communications — on a common platform. The platform allows optimization of asset performance and maximization of ROI through sharing and enforcement of best practices, inventory, resources and personnel. Users can manage both planned and unplanned work activities, from initial request through completion and recording of actuals. www.ibm.com/software 

In Lucity Work, users can develop a workflow and approval process for each phase of a work order, with automatic notifications for the next step in the process. Software schedules and tracks work tasks, personnel, equipment and material usage; defines estimated budget and asset maintenance tasks; tracks actual costs versus budget for up-to-date expenditure analysis; manages and easily modifies scheduled tasks. www.lucity.com 

Cartegraph is a cloud-based Operations Management System designed to communicate with other enterprise systems and to be easy to use. Created with best practices in mind, it intakes requests from any open 311 system, and associates those requests with individual assets and locations, immediately creating the work that needs to be done. www.cartegraph.com 

Oracle’s Utilities Work and Asset Management provides full support for all asset types, including fixed, fleet, distribution and linear. It plans and schedules work orders with appropriate material and labor resources. Other features include integrated workflows across asset, work, and supply chain management; detailed lifecycle information, tracking, and control; and preventive and predictive work using multiple maintenance approaches. www.oracle.com 

In the next article, we’ll look at rankings for Esri and GPS mapping.


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