For some time, the highways department within Borough of Poole Council was looking for a way of driving efficiencies across its inspection and maintenance programmes. Previously, its approach had been largely manual.
Inspectors and maintenance teams would have to visit the office in the morning to receive instructions for the day’s work and then return again in the evening to develop reports, print them out and leave them in the appropriate in-tray. It was an approach that was time-consuming, error-prone and not fully transparent.
The council started the process of looking for an alternative – and after an in-depth evaluation process, decided to implement the connected asset management software solution, Alloy.
“We were looking for an approach that would drive efficiencies across our whole highways inspection and maintenance processes but that would also enable us to expand the approach over time to tackle other areas of infrastructure asset management such as street lighting, and managing trees and green spaces,” said Simon Legg, Street Scene Operations Manager at Borough of Poole. “Yotta’s Alloy software fitted the bill perfectly in all these respects.
“We were especially impressed with the flexibility it offered us. As it is cloud-based and runs as-a-service, we don’t have to worry about infrastructure and IT service costs, or the time and resource needed to run and manage the system on-site. At the same time, however, we can link all our data into it in order to achieve greater insight across our asset types. Critically too, it allows our engineering and maintenance teams to work remotely and with greater levels of efficiency and productivity.”
Simon Legg, Street Scene Operations Manager at Borough of Poole.
Alloy is also flexible in terms of workflow and configuration, and this is based on industry best practice. “Rather than us having to build our approach round Alloy, we could use the solution to suit our chosen approach,” explained Legg. “Yotta listened closely to our requirements and was very understanding of our needs. Rather than telling us: ‘if you want to raise a job, this is how you do it’, they were extremely helpful in demonstrating how we could use the system to drive workflow efficiencies, and define and configure our assets to get the most value from our working processes.”
The newly-formed unitary local authority has already achieved a raft of benefits from using Alloy. The new approach has brought end-to-end transparency across the inspection and maintenance process. The highways departments in Poole and Christchurch now know exactly what progress has been achieved on specific jobs. Everything is ordered and fully documented, and with no paper used, there is little to no chance that documents will get lost. Who has worked on which document and what changes have been made is all recorded, and therefore the chances of errors creeping into the overall process are significantly reduced.
Moving forwards, there are a wide range of other benefits that the unitary local authority is looking to tap into. It already stores significant volumes of highways data, saved in Yotta’s Mayrise software solution, previously the main tool used by the Borough of Poole Council for highways inspection and maintenance. The Poole team plans to clean this data and then transfer and load it over time into Alloy. That in turn will allow the authority to start using Alloy for more strategic decision-making. The more data at Alloy’s disposal, the easier it will be to plan future programme of work, and to see where there are clusters of issues that need to be addressed or an evident need for funding and investment, for example.
Alloy also allows users to visualise their data much more clearly, empowering them to get the most from their assets and make better informed decisions. Over the long term, the authority plans to integrate Alloy with an internal customer relationship management (CRM) system. This will allow it to make the jobs it is raising and the highway defects it is identifying using Alloy fully visible on a public-facing website, further driving the transparency of the process.
Yotta Revolutionises Highways Maintenance for BCP Council
Watch now how Yotta’s connected asset management software drives efficiency and productivity for BCP Council by revolutionising its Highways Maintenance.