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When Nashville Metro Water Services (MWS) – which includes water, sanitary sewer, and storm water systems – decided to revisit its existing GIS and CMMS, decision makers knew they were ready to move to the next level: migrate the GIS to a geodatabase so more people could simultaneously use the system, and update the CMMS to enable asset management, analysis, and more.

Nashville MWS has been a longtime user of ESRI's GIS software and Hansen's CMMS software. For years the two systems have operated independently; for example, GIS data was recreated in the CMMS as needed, and CMMS data was recreated in the GIS as needed. But as MWS' applications and users have increased – now at least 200 employees access the systems periodically, and 50 people access the systems daily – MWS knew an integrated GIS/CMMS would produce significant efficiencies.

MWS began with a functional needs assessment, performed by Woolpert LLP, to define and gain consensus on MWS' GIS and CMMS goals. The assessment included an in-depth study of how a GIS/CMMS affects data, standards, applications, business processes, information technology, and staffing and organizational needs. Employees at all levels were interviewed about existing and future workflow processes as well as GIS goals.

It was determined that many goals relate to data, businesses processes, and applications. Woolpert and MWS analyzed the goals from a workflow perspective and presented four key issues that had to be addressed:

Issue 1: Hansen/GIS integration;

Issue 2: Infrastructure data maintenance;

Issue 3: Integration with other systems and functions (such as hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, document management, customer information systems, supervisory control and data acquisition, project management systems, and budget management systems); and

Issue 4: System architecture.

Along the way, MWS evaluated a variety of CMMS software options to determine whether staying with Hansen was the best option. MWS chose to stay with Hansen but upgrade to a more sophisticated suite of Hansen products that would expand uses and increase efficiencies. MWS also determined that a custom software application could be written to integrate the new geodatabase and the CMMS.

This paper discusses MWS' functional needs assessment; the technical aspects of the GIS migration to a geodatabase; the CMMS expansion and integration with the GIS to allow crossdirectional data access; and uses and benefits of the integrated GIS/CMMS.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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