Yotta’s Horizons for Highways Asset Management – Authority using software to develop treatment sets and generate 2016/7 carriageway works programme

Cheshire East Highways is set to transform its approach to road maintenance and highways asset management following its decision to commission highways and infrastructure technology company, Yotta, to provide it with a range of software and support services.

The council has implemented Yotta’s Horizons highways asset management solution and is using it to select future treatment schemes. Horizons benefits the highways team by enabling it to model the effect and cost of different treatment sets and use the results to inform asset management works programmes going forward.

“Yotta has carried out many high-quality visual and machine-based surveys for us over the years. Their work has been consistently excellent and we have built a close partnership over time,” says Luke Phillips, Asset Team Leader, Network Intelligence and Enhancement, Cheshire East Highways.

“When Yotta introduced Horizons, we were impressed by its flexibility; ease of use and enhanced visualisation capabilities, but what clinched the deal for us was that it consistently helps project stakeholders develop the data sets needed to support fast, accurate decision-making on key asset management issues.”

Matthew Miller, Senior Professional Services Consultant at Yotta, said: “Cheshire East Highways are a forward-looking service with the foresight to seek out the fastest, most accurate, evidence-based approach to planning road maintenance and future works programmes. With the help of Horizons, they can make optimum use of their existing asset data and bring it together with other newly developed sources of data to enable well-informed maintenance decisions.  At the same time, they can ensure they foster broad engagement in the process by using visualisations to bring data to life and make complex calculations much clearer to all project stakeholders.”

Cheshire East Highways are now in the process of loading survey data and additional data sets, including details of pothole repairs, customer complaints and claims into Horizons. This will enable it to extend its use of the system, providing a more accurate and comprehensive picture of asset maintenance and management across its estate, while facilitating much broader scenario planning going forward.

“We see the potential of storing all this data in Horizons,” continues Phillips. “Over time, we plan to add new information likely to impact our asset management strategy from flood risk spots, to the location and condition of street lighting. The approach is to capture all relevant asset-related information into the system and use all of that to shape our approach to selected programmes of work in the future.”

The feedback so far from the Cheshire East Highways team using Horizons has been positive. “Horizons is easy to access and intuitive to use, which helps keep training time to a minimum,” adds Phillips.  “In putting together works programmes, it is also a huge benefit to us to have all the information we need to make decisions available in one place. It makes the whole process much faster and more efficient. This saves time for our team to focus on adding value in other areas of asset management.”

As Cheshire East Highways develops its usage of Horizons over time, it plans to work closely with Yotta to maximise the benefits it can attain from the solution. The council intends to bring in new data sets to get a better view of its network as a whole, but also to strengthen connectivity between Horizons and other software it has in place.

“Yotta has been great about giving us strategic advice and support. They listen carefully and are quick to address our needs but they also provide us with insight, advice and support.” Phillips adds. “And, like us, they are keen to push the capabilities of the software to its limits and beyond.”

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