Connected asset management technology drives efficiencies in street lighting and highway electrical asset maintenance, empowering a mobile workforce and helping to keep residents safe.
There is nothing like a crisis to galvanise teams and accelerate change. When Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) Council transitioned to Causeway’s Alloy connected asset management technology in early 2020, the country was in the grips of the first Covid lockdown. Amazingly, the council was able to master and harness this new way of working in a matter of weeks, with Causeway Alloy’s flexible, paperless system transforming asset management and shaping the smart and connected highways of the future.
B&NES Council is the unitary authority for the district of Bath and North East Somerset. With a population of over 190,000, and many thousands of cars on the road, including an estimated 9,000 light and heavy goods vehicles entering and/or leaving Bath every day, the safety and efficiency of the district’s street lighting and highway electrical assets is of paramount importance. The council’s street lighting and highway maintenance team oversees the work of Volker Highways, an integrated service provider, to ensure that all assets are efficiently maintained and repaired for the security and safety of all B&NES residents.
Customer Name: Bath & North East Somerset Council
Industry: Unitary authority
Gamechanger for mobile workforce
Lighting assets managed
Integrated council & contractor use same system
Visualising extensive maintenance data in real time
B&NES Council had previously been using Causeway Mayrise to manage the provision and maintenance of street lighting and highway electrical assets. While the Causeway Mayrise solution had proven reliable, the council grew increasingly keen to take its capability up several levels. The existing software was Windowsbased and template-oriented, which often left engineers tied to old paper-based processes, such as printing and scanning orders and printed invoices. This would inevitably result in lost time and money, as staff needed to manually input and submit the different stages of each job.
With circa 22,000 lighting assets to maintain across B&NES, the council saw the need to move with the times. More agile app-based solutions were being deployed elsewhere, and the council wanted to move beyond a ‘quick fix’ mentality to strengthen the flexibility and speed of their asset management processes. They increasingly saw the benefit in starting afresh, especially as a new street lighting contract with Volker Highways was imminent. A more streamlined asset management platform would facilitate closer collaborative working between B&NES Council and the contractor, reducing the risk of crossed wires and human error.
Cloud-first mobile asset management software
To deliver these efficiencies and make necessary cost savings, B&NES Council entered a three-year agreement to deploy its flagship connected asset management software solution, Causeway Alloy.
The first training session on Causeway Alloy was delivered in February 2020 – a time when the Covid-19 pandemic was becoming a recurring news story. The acceleration of events in the weeks that followed – and the rapid advancement of mobile technologies and new ways of working – strengthened the council’s resolve to leverage Causeway Alloy’s paperless, cloud-based technology. After all, the traditional filing cabinet was never going to meet the needs of a newly flexible, geographically dispersed workforce.
The process of importing data from Causeway Mayrise to Causeway Alloy was fast, intuitive, and efficient. Additional data was added post-implementation to allow for new features, such as cameras for the newly introduced Bath Clean Air Zone. While the switch to a modern app-based system involved an initial adjustment stage, the council were supported by Causeway (at the time, Yotta) in understanding and capitalising on this new way of working.
Within weeks of beginning their contract with B&NES Council, Volker Highways had been fully trained on Causeway Alloy and was able to seamlessly integrate it into their own operations. At a time when all training and communication had to be remote, the speed at which all parties adjusted to the transition testifies to the user-friendliness and flexibility of Causeway Alloy’s connected software.
A precise user interface allows users to interpret assets and related data quickly and efficiently.
B&NES Council has achieved significant benefits since migrating to Causeway Alloy. The sheer number of assets being managed by the solution is eyecatching in itself. At the time of writing, Causeway Alloy was responsible for managing 22,271 lighting assets comprising streetlights, bollards; belisha beacons; illuminated signs; and feeder pillars. In total, 8,874 jobs had been raised in Causeway Alloy and 5,527 defects logged.
Moreover, by shifting the entire street lighting and highway electrical asset management process to a mobile app-based system, the council has gained full visibility and control over their operations, from issuing a job all the way through to invoicing.
This has enabled engineers in the field to receive job orders within minutes, saving precious time in the event of emergencies. Staff can send and receive messages in real time through one integrated platform, with detailed statistics appearing against each job to reduce the need for printing. Causeway Alloy’s paperless system has helped the council to use its time more effectively, as they no longer have to manually create invoices or go through the tiresome process of closing a job down.
As both the council and their contractor use the same asset management system, processes are more integrated and streamlined, meaning that all queries can be resolved quickly. Instead of taking a reactive approach to street lighting and highway electrical asset management, Causeway Alloy enables teams to proactively inspect and fix assets with greater levels of efficiency.
Crucially, Causeway Alloy has also helped B&NES Council to support more sustainable ways of working. Its intuitive UI allows for photos to be uploaded instantaneously, reducing the need for senior engineers to travel to site to provide in-person assistance. Going paperless has also helped to reduce the team’s carbon footprint and lessen its impact on forests.
Flexibility is a key strength of Causeway Alloy’s technology: it ensures that assets can continually be added over time, in line with the changing needs of the council and its residents. As such, the next step for B&NES Council is to plot CCTV cameras on the Causeway Alloy system. This new service area will not only enhance administrative visibility but will also improve the safety and security of B&NES residents.
Are you interested in hearing how you can achieve the same results for your business? See how Causeway Alloy could make an instant difference to your business by booking a 30-minute demonstration here.