Mobile usage is pervasive today. Demand for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mobile mapping technologies continue to grow as governments seek solutions to better manage operations and maintenance needs. However, the biggest roadblock that local governments face is a lack of innovative processes and workflows that allow them to fully leverage this technology. Ultimately, tools cannot create the efficiencies promised if the processes and procedures are not carefully crafted and followed.

Key information on what, where and when a job needs to be done can mean the difference between a government that operates optimally and on budget versus one that struggles to meet community needs. Evolving processes to manage these technology-driven changes are critical for all team members — from field crew, supervisors, and department personnel, to third-party contractors.

With mobile apps, supervisors can remotely send assignments to the field, and the fieldworker can easily mark them complete on the tablet or device. Further, a supervisor can optimize new assignments based on remaining workload and geographic proximity. Without a process change, the field crew may waste time and resources and reduce the efficiency of the technology.

So what should you do to get the most from your new mobile GIS solution? Evaluate your current communications plan. How does it change once the technology is implemented, including receiving and responding to citizen inquiries?

Next, review current documentation and procedures. Do you need to incorporate more specific instructions to fully use the technology’s capabilities, e.g., capturing photos, reviewing digital as-builts, or linking work orders to assets?

Finally, it is imperative to set up team training sessions so each user can employ the benefits of the cloud-based technology in a variety of capacities. With the right procedures in place, you can realize the full benefit of the available systems and be able to more efficiently deliver services.

About the Author

Chuck Wright is senior product manager for FacilityDude Mobile311, a GIS and mobile mapping solution.

In the video, learn how the company’s GIS solution brings location into the equation and provides asset management capabilities.

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