Introduction

Since 2019, Plymouth City Council (PCC) has used Causeway's Connected Asset Management software, Causeway Alloy, for their Street Services Information Management System (SSIMS). This implementation has enhanced the quality of service it delivers across playgrounds, litter bins, grounds, and arboreal management.

PCC is the unitary authority for Plymouth in Devon, it employs over 2,500 people and provides services and information for the city’s 262,700 residents, plus many businesses and visitors.

Customer Information

Plymouth Council Logo

Customer Name: Plymouth City Council

Industry: Unitary Authority

Causeway Solution: Causeway Alloy

The Challenge:

Inefficient paper-based systems

 

The council wanted to improve the quality of services it delivers across grounds, trees, street cleansing and playgrounds. They sought to:

 

  • Boost response rates for citizen-reported issues by managing expectations, improving services, and ensuring cost-effectiveness.
  • Prioritise public safety by maintaining accurate records of inspections, maintenance, and repairs, ensuring timely actions to reduce risks.
  • Track documented evidence of inspection, maintenance, and repairs for liability defence. Enhance accuracy and reduce time taken to act on Inspector reports by eliminating manual tasks for the Inspection teams such as hand-writing notes for work plans and travelling to the office to collect and return plans. Automate resident report processing to reduce delays between residents reporting issues and operatives out in the field being alerted. This proactive approach allows operatives to spend more time focusing on scheduled work.
  • Improve documentation workflows and storage for historical service delivery issues, including specifics on tasks completed by operatives on particular days.

 

PCC’s existing paper-based processes were making tasks challenging and therefore, the council decided to transform its approach and adopt a fully automated approach to become more efficient, accurate and proactive.

 

The Solution

Fully automated efficient processes

 

Since PCC already used Causeway’s Mayrise and Horizons software, the council worked with its IT provider, Delt Shared Services to onboard our Operational Asset Management Solution, Causeway Alloy, for an integrated and efficient approach to service delivery.

 

The implementation was fast and efficient. Causeway's project team worked closely with each service area to tailor the approach to meet their needs and those of the end users. Frontline operatives were supported in learning the system and provided an opportunity to share their feedback on the solution for future development.

 

Now Plymouth residents can get issues such as damage to trees, or broken equipment in playgrounds, resolved faster. Citizens can report problems online, in person, or by calling the council. The information is then sent to PCC via Causeway Alloy for prompt action.

 

Work jobs are automatically created, prioritised, and sent to field repair/maintenance teams to complete with detailed location maps and work deadlines. Inspectors use the Causeway Alloy Mobile app, which is fully integrated with the main platform, to capture and record inspection information in real-time.

 

Upon syncing their devices, inspectors promptly receive alerts, facilitating swift responses to emerging issues. They can add photos and time stamps, then send reports to the admin team, all without visiting the office. Alerts and responses on completed work are automatically shared with service users, enhancing communication and transparency.

 

Once the work has been completed, the operative will complete the 'job' in Causeway Alloy. A notification is then automatically sent to citizens to update them.

 

"The data being captured by our operatives using the Causeway Alloy system helps us put data-driven decisions at the forefront of our operational planning"

Liam BrennanInformation Management Systems Officer

 

 

The Outcome:

 

Users can interpret assets and related data efficiently

 

Plymouth City Council was awarded the prestigious 'Best Service Team: Parks, Grounds, and Horticultural Service' award at the 2023 APSE Service Awards for their use of Causeway Alloy. PCC achieved this award by delivering significant benefits across multiple service areas, including: 

 

Grounds: 


PCC has seen a 56% reduction of in-bound calls and enquiries since publishing the map of their grass cutting regimes online. We spoke to PCC's Team Leader for Street Services, who said “Pulling data from Alloy into Arc GIS we present our grass cutting regimes to the public to massively reduce the number of in-bound calls and enquiries”. This reduction is radically improving productivity by removing administrative burden and enabling already stretched staff to focus on other key tasks.

 

Street cleansing: 

 

The most recent phase of the project focusing on litter bins and street cleaning is now complete. A total of 1,100 street litter bins have been accurately mapped and configured with essential attributes such as capacity, waste type, category, and strategic location. This process has provided the council with a comprehensive visual overview of its litter bin assets.

 

The analysis of bin fill levels has resulted in a 20% decrease in litter bin visits (equating to over 1,000 saved visits per week). With each visit estimated at 6 minutes, this translates to a remarkable 100 hours saved weekly. These efficiency gains have freed up valuable operational time, allowing resources to be reallocated to more urgent tasks.

 

Trees:

 

PCC and Delt imported approximately 260,000 trees into Causeway Alloy, creating almost 2,000 individual polygons, to represent managed clusters of trees. Displaying the information in this way enables the council to easily assess its natural infrastructure across the city and track progress efficiently. In addition to regular tasks and tree inspections, PCC utilises Causeway Alloy for specialised functions like managing their Ash Die Back Surveys and identifying suitable areas for early tree planting.

 

Playgrounds: 

 

 “At PCC we have to complete 122 Playground visual inspections per week. Previously using inefficient paper-based processes, this used to take an entire week to complete. Since the adoption of Alloy mobile this is now done in less than 50% of the time.” Liam Brennan - Information Management System Officer.

 

PCC has also achieved cost reductions by implementing Causeway Alloy. Streamlined access and sharing of data has helped the council break down silos, reduce duplication of effort, and enhance operational efficiency.

 

Consequently, the authority now maintains a unified, continually updated dataset for users, serving as a single source of truth. This comprehensive resource includes asset details, past work, inspections, maintenance records, and planned initiatives, eliminating the need for disparate data sources and consolidating information in one accessible platform.

 

As Liam Brennan, Information Management Systems Officer, PCC states:

“Stakeholders across the Council have been impressed by Causeway Alloy’s ability to present assets visually in a precise and searchable manner, allowing us to view them in relation to other surrounding assets. The data being captured by our operatives using the Causeway Alloy system helps us put data-driven decisions at the forefront of our operational planning, such as tweaking scheduled visits to our litter bins based on historic fill levels or distributing new play equipment based on defects reported by staff and residents. The visual nature of the platform and ease of which data can be accessed also promotes joined up working from staff across the service and helps promote positive choices around service delivery and provisions for the future.”

 

Now that Causeway Technologies has acquired digital road management platform one.network, PCC is also benefitting from an even more holistic approach to road and asset management. 

 

Are you interested in hearing how you can achieve the same results for your organisation? See how Causeway Alloy could make an instant difference to your asset management by booking a 30-minute demonstration here.

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