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Technology assessment and EAM vendor evaluation

October 26, 2015 Case Study 3 min read
The city of Arvada, Colorado implements an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solution to structure operational processes and connect core business systems.

 Image of people standing

The client

Located in the Denver Metro area, the city of Arvada’s Utilities and Public Works Departments are responsible for infrastructure maintenance for a population of over 110,000 covering nearly 40 square miles. The city is committed to sustain its growth by managing its infrastructure resources to maintain the community’s service levels as cost-effectively as possible.

The challenge

In 2013, the city recognized that its diverse infrastructure maintenance functions created many disconnected processes and systems in its 15 core service areas. Each maintained its own asset maintenance records including preventive maintenance schedules, material, parts, equipment, O&M manuals, and asset service histories. The city’s performance measurement initiative, called FOCUS Arvada, included public infrastructure measures placing greater responsibility on each service area to produce results-oriented and customer-focused progress measured by objective data. The city looked to an outside advisor to identify ways it could structure its work management processes and to effectively report on its asset maintenance initiatives. 

The city selected our experts to assess the city’s current work management processes, staff, and technologies. Its team also enabled the city to evaluate and source complementary technologies advancing key recommendations in each business area. Among these were Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems along with key integration opportunities to structure operational processes and connect core business systems.

The solution

Our team members became part of Arvada’s utilities, public works, parks, finance, and information technology teams during the following steps of the process:
  1. Assessment: We conducted a needs assessment involving active stakeholder education and interviews to facilitate understanding of the existing gaps and key priorities of the present patchwork of systems and processes in place. The assessment included the evaluation of eleven areas, including budgeting, work order management, mobile staff access and a variety of interfaces (GIS, ERP, utility billing).
  2. Maintenance program evaluation: To properly evaluate the city’s business reporting needs, over 127 different program activities in fifteen business areas ranging from engineering to the city manager’s office, and streets maintenance to water quality and treatment were evaluated.
  3. Technology inventory: An assortment of 21 systems tracked asset data in addition to numerous user databases, spreadsheets, paper records, and potential blind spots related to the retention of important facts residing only in staff memory. 
  4. Vendor and solution evaluation: We worked with the city to develop an RFP that was released in the late summer of 2014. Upon receipt of six vendor proposal responses representing five different EAM solutions, our team facilitated a full review of each with active city staff engagement. Other evaluation support included on-site vendor demonstrations and client reference verification. Our knowledge of the market and products allowed the city to analyze the proposals and various products from an objective, comparative perspective.

The benefit

The project culminated with the selection of a solution that included a single prime vendor overseeing the implementation of software product designed for the business needs of the city. The city was able to achieve the following project objectives:
  • A competitive solicitation of a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) enterprise system for asset and work order management that eliminates redundant “shadow systems” involving duplicate data entry, storage, and intensive paper processes.
  • An EAMS solution that is user-friendly and empowers departments to improve city business processes and accurately portray their work activities for fact-based management decisions.
  • The ability to establish efficient workflows and structured processes facilitating the exchange of information throughout the city’s operations.
  • The identification of integration points with the city’s legacy systems including utility billing, customer service request management, finance/ERP, utility locates, GIS, and fleet management systems to make it easier to access information with minimal dual entry.
  • A recognized increase in capacity to access, contribute, and manage information for decision support to meet the city’s performance reporting objectives. The identification of solution that seamlessly integrates with city’s geographic information systems (GIS) to connect location and asset details with real-time maintenance status to ensure responsive service delivery and decision support information.

Plante Moran helped us assess our EAM business needs and source an EAM solution through a well-structured competitive procurement. Their results exceeded our expectations while delivering results on time and staying within budget.
— Mr. Peter Adler, Public Works Leadership Fellow (APWA), city of Arvada Utilities Project Manager

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