Mobile Technology Streamlines Municipal Services

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Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 4:01 pm

Today's mobile technology has introduced a new realm of efficiency for municipalities, allowing workers to respond quickly, be more productive, and lower operating costs. When integrated with work and asset management systems, mobile technology also makes vital data, such as asset location, work order updates, and inspection histories available at all times, giving personnel the resources necessary to make better, well-informed decisions.

The flexibility and portability of today's mobile technology allows personnel to be more efficient and effective at the point of service, providing the tools to receive a work order, complete it, and close it out, all from the field. For municipalities, the common benefits of mobile technology include:

• Work fast and accurately by reducing errors and eliminating the need to enter information again back at the office;

• Enter data into a mobile device at the point of service to reduce the need for paper;

• Lower operating costs by using less paper and fuel;

• Lower labor costs by allowing crews to be more productive at the point of service.

For example, when the city of Golden, Colo. integrated mobile technology for use in its Public Works Department, the goal was efficiency. Golden wanted to allow crews to conduct inspections, close out work orders, and capture data more accurately and quickly while in the field. What the city found was even more than anticipated - an unexpected ally in its community-wide sustainability effort.

By capturing data on an electronic device, Golden now uses less paper. And by utilizing today's mobile mapping capabilities to coordinate tasks, dispatch personnel, and streamline trips to and from the field, Golden consumes less fuel. In these two simple acts, the city not only conserves and sustains natural resources, but it has also successfully lowered its operational costs. In fact, in 2009 alone, Golden lowered sign inspection costs by a staggering 82 percent over those prior to the implementation of mobile technology.

As mobile technology continues to evolve, stories like that of Golden will become more and more common. As such, local governments will be expected to adopt best practices, set positive examples, and provide leadership in the nationwide quest to achieve more sustainable communities.

By utilizing today's mobile technology in conjunction with work and asset management systems, and citizen applications, you have the opportunity to put your community ahead of the sustainability curve, demonstrating your organization's awareness and setting a positive example for the entire community - one that resonates far beyond the present.

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