Using a work and asset management system as a utility reengineering platform to implement balanced scorecards, skill based pay and improve asset management

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In 2000, the City of Corpus Christi, Texas was on the verge privatizing the water and wastewater utilities. Some City leaders were convinced that the private contractors could operate the utilities more efficiently and ultimately save the city millions.

After considerable debate, the City Council decided to “re-engineer” its business processes rather than privatize. During 2002, the City of Corpus Christi water utilities piloted a computerized Work and Asset Management System (WAMS) as a tool to better manage work and assets. At that time, the City had no work and asset management system and lacked the ability to define core business activities and systematically measure actual service levels delivered. Inefficient asset and work management processes were at the heart of the problem. The work and asset management system has evolved into a multi-faced management tool for all public works and utilities. It is now being used to manage work and assets, to implement a Skill Based Pay Program and support a City-wide Balanced Scorecard initiative.

The system is configured to provide maximum flexibility for each City Department to meet its own unique business needs and business processed within a generally consistent City-wide framework. The enterprise-wide work and asset management system (WAMS) is used to help manage Wastewater Treatment, Wastewater Collection, Water Treatment, Water Distribution, Street Services, Solid Waste Services, Facility Maintenance, Parks and Recreation and Gas Distribution. The WAMS is also used to record and track customer calls for service received through the City’s One-Call center. This system is interfaced with the City’s Geographical Information System, therefore enabling spatial analysis of all work performed and work needed.

The objectives of this paper are to demonstrate how an enterprise-wide work and asset management system can establish the framework to support a comprehensive re-engineering effort, with a focus on performance measures and balanced scorecards, workforce development using a skill based pay system, and improved asset management.

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