A Tale of Two CMMSs: Lessons Learned from Enterprise Implementation at the City of Sacramento (Software Selection is only the Beginning)
Authors: Yee, Mike; Malone, Mike; Scott, Allan; Thompson, Kent
Source: Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation, The Utility Management Conference 2008 , pp. 88-109(22)
Publisher: Water Environment Federation
Abstract:The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities has implemented two new computerized maintenance management systems to support their Plant Services and Field Services operations. These systems have been integrated with other key enterprise applications including the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, the Customer Information System (CIS), and the Geographic Information System (GIS). This paper describes the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) solutions, the challenges encountered during implementation, the lessons learned during the process, and the benefits that the new systems and improved business processes have provided.
The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities (DOU) manages over 2,500 miles of water, wastewater, and drainage infrastructure throughout the City's operational area. The DOU provides more than 45 billion gallons of potable water to its customers from both surface and groundwater sources. Over nine billion gallons of sewage waste per year are also routed to the regional treatment plant by the DOU through approximately 1000 miles of sewer pipeline and 39 sewage pump stations. A portion of this system is a Combined Sewer System, one of two in California, that routes both sewer and drainage in a single pipeline and through two primary treatment plants that are activated during storm events. Urban runoff is also managed through a drainage network consisting of 45,000 storm drain inlets, hundreds of miles of drainage pipeline, 65 miles of canals and ditches, over 105 pump stations and numerous detention basins. In order to better operate and manage this large network of assets, the DOU has implemented two CMMS solutions to streamline and integrate all Operations and Maintenance (O&M) activities in the Plant and Field Services Divisions, increase levels of customer service, provide up-to-date data on maintenance histories and standard operating procedures, decrease time to locate service points and problem areas, allow for efficient resource planning, increase the frequency of planned maintenance, and provide a framework for the DOU's asset management program.
Two CMMS Solutions
Because of the diversity in organization, business operation, and mission between Plant and Field Services, the DOU decided to select individual CMMS solutions to meet each Division's needs. Plant Services, which is responsible for maintaining all facilities related to water production and wastewater and drainage pumping, selected Maintenance Connection's maintenance management software because of its simple-to-use user interface, its ability to manage complex asset hierarchies, its robust reporting capabilities, and its ability to be deployed and accessed over the intranet. Maintenance Connection has been integrated with the City's Intellution SCADA system so that run-time data collected from various assets can automatically trigger work orders in the CMMS if certain limits are reached. This system has been deployed on a DOU intranet server and is available to field crews via desktops computers or portable laptops running cellular modems that connect to the City intranet. The system supports over 130 field workers and about 20 managers.
The Field Services Division is responsible for O&M of the water distribution system and the wastewater and drainage collection systems. They selected Azteca's CityWorks CMMS as their solution because of its tight integration with their GIS asset database which had been previously developed using Environmental Systems Research Institute's (ESRI) ArcMap software. Additionally, Cityworks has been integrated with the City's PeopleSoft Customer Information System so that service requests are automatically created in the CMMS when complaint calls are received by customer service representatives. The solution leverages Windows Terminal Server in conjunction with desktop and intranet software which allows users to access the system from anywhere on DOU's wide area network as well as remotely by mobile work crews (via a cellular modem). The application supports over 175 field workers and 30 managers.
What are the Challenges to Successful Implementation?
During implementation, the DOU faced many challenges that needed to be resolved in order for the solutions to be usable by Utility field workers. These challenges included:
Mobile workforce issues: Are laptops better than personal digital assistants (PDAs)? Should they be “ruggedized?” How reliable is the cellular modem technology for wireless connectivity?
Integration with the City's Customer Service Call Center: How to coordinate different City departments that have different business goals? How to coordinate with the City's Information Technology staff?
Work handoffs: How to ensure that work gets routed correctly so that it doesn't “fall through the cracks?” How to verify that work was properly done and recorded when multiple trades are involved?
Technology learning curve for field staff: Is it better for field staff to complete paper forms or to have direct access to the system? How to get field staff motivated to use a computer? How to train field staff that have never used a computer before? How to configure the system to make it easy for data entry?
Conversion from existing CMMS systems: What value does the historical data provide? Who will benefit from access to the historical data? What data should (and should not) be migrated in order to maximize the cost effectiveness of the conversion? Do the field staff need direct access to the GIS?
Linear assets in GIS: What GIS features benefit the field crews? What are the cost impacts for providing GIS functionality in the field? What additional processes are needed (e.g. map updates) for the GIS features to be useful?
Through the implementation process the DOU was able to overcome these critical challenges and provide a robust solution for both Plant and Field Services. Through this process several important lessons were learned. These lessons were integrated into the management, technical, and business processes established during implementation. They address topics such as how to garner critical management support, how to establish accountability for system use at all organizational levels, the importance of business process analysis in system implementation, how to identify and address critical business functions to minimize risk, and how to implement a sustainable training program to ensure ongoing system success.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2008
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