North Ayrshire Council Streetscene - Digital Enablement

North Ayrshire Council’s Streetscene Service is responsible for maintaining 2,410 hectares of public open space across the local authority. This space includes parks, pitches, schools, cemeteries, beaches and woodland. Staff work hard to ensure these areas remain neat and tidy in order keep North Ayrshire beautiful. They are also responsible for conducting about 800 burials across 44 cemeteries and churchyards.

With ever increasing financial challenges and a need to increase productivity and efficiency across the service, the teams have been issued with mobile devices to digitally enable them and improve their processes. These devices have been installed with the Esri ArcGIS field apps, Survey123, Collector and Workforce, which enable data to be captured in the field and work requests to be sent out directly to them.

What was the historical situation?

Prior to this project, which has been carried out in collaboration with Streetscene, Transformation and the GIS and Analytics team in IT, the service had very outdated working practices which had been unchanged for years. Any kind of onsite data capture, such as inspections, was paper based and a laborious task - to get ad hoc work requests the operatives had to go back to base every morning to pick up a job sheet and then go back out on site.

For scheduled work like litter bin collections and grounds maintenance, the service had a good idea of what work should be done in terms of reaching targets, but no true idea of what was getting done on the ground. The processes were also very reliant upon staff experience and local knowledge, rather than reliable data on what to do and when.

What has been rolled out?

The council has rolled out 52 mobile devices to 6 different teams in the Streetscene service. The teams are Arbor, Enforcement, Bereavement, Grounds Maintenance, Strategy and Rapid Response.

As well as the devices with the Esri ArcGIS fields apps on them, it has also rolled out various processes for inspections and work assignment using those apps. The automation element of the process is handled either by FME, an automation and integration tool, or Python, a powerful programming language. These digital processes replace the old time consuming and inefficient manual paper-based ones.

Tree inspections

The initial inspection is done using Collector and any required re-inspections or identified works are raised to Workforce using FME based on details within the inspection.

Memorial inspections

The asset is created using Collector and an inspection record attached. Re-inspections are then raised to Workforce using a Python script based on date of the last inspection.

Bench inspections

The asset is created using Collector and an inspection record attached. The re-inspections are raised to Workforce using FME based on date of the last inspection.

Play park inspections

These are conducted using Survey123. A daily report of identified issues is created using Python.

Life belt inspections

These are raised to Workforce on a weekly basis using FME and are conducted using Survey123. A weekly report of identified issues is created using Python.

Streetscene additional work requests

These are so that operatives in the field can raise work for other teams. They fill out a Survey123 form and FME then pushes assignments to the relevant team via Workforce based on the results.

Bereavement services work allocation

These assignments are mainly raised in the office, but also come from memorial re-inspections raised by a Python script and additional work requests raised in the field from a Survey123 and assigned by FME.

Streetscene inspections and repairs

These can be raised manually in the office, but mainly come from re-inspections for trees, benches and life belts raised automatically by FME.

Arbor work requests

These are raised in the office to Workforce. Can also come from additional work requests completed in the field from a Survey123 and raised by FME.

Environmental crime work requests

These can be raised in the office directly on Workforce. They can also be raised in the field using Survey123 and assigned to appropriate team in Workforce using FME.

Grounds maintenance assignments

These are raised to Workforce using a Python script that runs every morning. It calculates which jobs need to be raised based on how many times a piece of ground needs to be maintained during the season and how many times it has already been done. Can also come from additional work requests raised in the field from a Survey123 and assigned by FME.

What is the situation now?

The Streetscene service now has a much better understanding of the work that is being completed on the ground and has an accurate account of all the inspections and assignments that it is carrying out. These inspections and assignments are being raised on a regular basis and sent directly to the operatives in the field and as such are not being missed. The results are then available instantaneously and reports for action are created where required.

Work can be raised by staff in the office and sent directly to the operatives instantaneously rather than them having waste time and fuel coming into the office to pick up a job sheet. Operatives are also able to raise jobs directly to other teams, making the service much more proactive and efficient as a result. This means jobs are being completed sometimes several days earlier than they would have under the old procedures. The use of paper for inspections and job sheets has almost been completely eliminated with the obvious environmental benefits and costs savings that this brings from reduced usage of resources.

What’s next?

  • Scheduled litter bin collections using FME and Workforce. With assignments raised on a priority basis (perhaps daily, weekly or monthly) which could be determined by the operatives themselves.
  • Scheduled residents grass cutting scheme using FME and Workforce with assignments raised on a regular cycle.
  • Dynamically route optimise the fleet of street sweepers using a Python script. These would again be raised on a priority-based cycle, such as daily, weekly or monthly. The results of the optimised route would be pushed out to the drivers via Navigator.
  • Raise assignments that come in via Salesforce CRM from members of the public directly to the Streetscene supervisors ready to be assigned to operatives in the field via Workforce. The assignments would be assigned to the correct supervisor using FME, removing the need for double keying into the CRM and Workforce dispatcher screen.

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