High levels of engagement pre- and post-procurement help to accelerate the council’s journey to operational excellence, with connected asset management technology delivering time savings of 80% for road defect identification and repair

Fife Council is the third largest local authority in Scotland, employing a headcount of over 17,000 people and providing around 900 services to the people of Fife. With 1.6 billion vehicle miles travelled on roads in Fife last year, the safety and regular maintenance of Fife’s extensive road network is of primary importance - not least for the 374,000+ people living in the area. The council’s Roads and Transportation department is responsible for the safe and efficient maintenance of Fife’s roads, bridges, structures, footways and cycleways network, street lighting, car parks and associated assets. 

Customer Information

Fife Council Logo

Customer Name: Fife Council

Industry: Local authority

Causeway Solution:

Causeway Alloy


The Challenge:

Visualising extensive maintenance data in real-time

 

Fife Council was previously using an off-the-shelf legacy system to manage road safety inspections and pothole repairs. While there was a limited mobile element for inspectors, repair crews had little more than laptops, making it very difficult to maintain the history of an asset or track who did what and when. This led to a backlog of repairs and inconsistencies between what was ‘on record’ as having been done and anecdotal evidence from others across Fife.

 

The previous system also involved a high level of manual intervention and paper-heavy processes, with printed work orders often being misplaced or repair information failing to be logged. Such inefficiencies were proving frustrating for staff and residents alike: potholes and other road defects were highly visible, yet repair crews were held back from the timely completion of high-priority jobs due to a lack of process automation.

 

As local authorities across the UK continue to accelerate towards a cloud-first model, Fife Council knew that the time had come to upgrade. There was an opportunity to leave behind an ageing, costly system and leverage more flexible, configurable, and automated technology to drive efficiencies in roads and transportation asset management. But with their current supplier license close to expiring, the challenge was on Fife to identify, procure, and implement the right solution in time to clear the backlog of road repairs from the previous financial year.

The Solution

Cloud-first mobile asset management software

 

With the Mayrise suite of desktop and mobile software being used elsewhere in the council, Fife’s Roads and Transportation department already recognised Causeway (who acquired Yotta in 2022) as a leading provider of connected asset management solutions. In April 2020, they took the step of procuring a fresh integrated, cloud-first, mobile-enabled platform – Causeway Alloy – to transform service delivery and strengthen the flexibility and speed of asset management processes.

 

Despite having tight internal timescales, Fife Council avoided falling into the trap of approaching procurement as a means to an end. Instead, the council directly engaged with Causeway pre-order, developing an open and transparent dialogue about how Causeway Alloy could meet their minimum viable product (MVP) requirements. Use of the G-Cloud framework also helped to ensure early mutual engagement, imbuing the entire process with an understanding and clarity of purpose that many expensive open tender exercises fail to achieve.

 

Causeway and Fife Council collaboratively planned and executed the steps up to procurement – and thanks to a series of face-to-face demonstrations of Causeway Alloy’s functionalities, the council pushed ahead with the confidence they were buying the right product to meet their needs. This direct engagement from the get-go meant that Fife was already several steps ahead than most by the time they reached the implementation stage.

 

The process of importing data into Causeway Alloy was made as straightforward and efficient as possible with Causeway’s ongoing support, strengthened by close collaborative working between the Roads and Transportation teams and the council’s Business Technology Solutions service (BTS). In particular, the involvement of BTS elevated the success of the project further, due to the service’s dynamic, cloud-first integration with all delivery areas of the council.

 

Unlike the traditional ‘break-fix’ IT function, BTS treats the implementation of new technology as an opportunity to develop digitally skilled, capable teams across the organisation, underpinned by management and leadership approaches that inspire trust and confidence. Experienced in working collaboratively within multi-disciplined teams to plan, innovate, and execute digital transformation, BTS was perfectly placed to advocate for and support the rollout of Causeway Alloy’s transformative technology.

 

What particularly impressed teams was the speed of Causeway Alloy’s configuration and development: parts of the council had already implemented mobile solutions but had faced significant delays when turning their back-office solution into a mobile-working one. With Causeway Alloy, teams essentially designed everything just once – back-office capabilities were ‘optimised by default’ to be used across all platforms, saving time and helping to usher in an exciting new era of mobile working for road maintenance and repair crews.

 

The time saved also enabled the council to focus on the more human side of implementation and process change. Recognising the need to change is a crucial step in any transformation, so Causeway and Fife worked together to build a positive attitude towards new ways of working, engaging people from the very start and getting different teams involved in the set-up and rollout of the Causeway Alloy solution. Intensive training helped to get people used to working on a mobile device on-site, with teams quickly realising that the intuitive new system would do a lot of the steps for them and enable them to be more self-sufficient and less reliant on manual intervention.

 

"Causeway engaged with and responded to our needs at every stage, and this resulted in every box being ticked by Causeway Alloy’s integrated and connected

technology. "

 

Paul HockingAsset Management and Programme Development Coordinator

 

The Outcome:

 

A precise user interface allows users to interpret assets and related data quickly and efficiently.

 

Causeway Alloy was up and running within months – and Fife Council’s prudent and engaged approach to procurement has already paid dividends in a variety of ways.

 

Causeway Alloy’s functionality allows the council to streamline the end-to-end management of road maintenance and repair processes, from defect identification to the completion of repairs. With an intuitive, user-friendly interface linking the web part and the mobile side, teams can issue jobs on the go and track the history of specific assets – all the while building a single view of all people, assets, and systems. In a much-needed departure from clunky, paper-based processes, Fife Council can also now leverage automation to accelerate the deployment of repair crews to higher-priority jobs, helping to reduce backlogs.

 

Importantly, Causeway Alloy’s map-based and mobile technology is flexible enough to fit around preferred ways of working. It can easily manage the council’s existing geographic information system (GIS) data – particularly the linear asset data that is essential for managing inspection routes – enabling the council to use this information dynamically and interactively to inform current and future processes.

 

Fife Council has also enjoyed significant time savings since the implementation of Causeway Alloy. Having end-to-end processes all in one system and at teams’ fingertips has secured a remarkable 80% saving in time, as repair crews are no longer constrained by printed work requests, lengthy handovers, and manual input into systems. Improved efficiency and response times will ensure more reliable and safe journeys on Fife’s busy roads.

 

Since the implementation period from August 2020 to the end of November 2022, Fife Council has completed 24,178 carriageway patching jobs, a notable improvement on previous rates and a big step towards reducing long-standing backlogs. With extra council spending complementing the benefits of the new Causeway Alloy system, Fife Council is now strengthening its reputation as a responsive provider of quality public services. For example, potholes that have been flagged for repair are now displayed on a map, offering improved visibility for residents and helping to reduce the number of complaints and fault requests going through the system.

 

While these results are a testament to Causeway Alloy’s flexible and configurable software, the council’s smart approach to procurement set them up for success from the outset. As Paul Hocking, Asset Management and Programme Development Coordinator at Fife council, explains: "We went into the procurement process with a very specific idea of what we wanted to achieve with the new system. Causeway engaged with and responded to our needs at every stage, and this resulted in every box being ticked by Causeway Alloy’s integrated and connected technology. To be able to see our assets all in one system is truly transformational, as this allows us to better mobilise our inspectors and repair squads. It’s also a great tool to help manage performance across the service.”

 

The scalability of Causeway Alloy is already opening opportunities for Fife Council to expand on its functionality and transform other service areas in the future. Alongside gully cleaning, which recently went live, there are plans to implement Causeway Alloy on maintenance activities ranging from street furniture to lighting within the next year, with Causeway Alloy’s automated workflows creating ample opportunity to drive further efficiencies across the board.

 

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.

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