The town of Bécancour (“Town”), located in the Centre-du-Québec region of Quebec, has a population of 13,000. As part of its responsibilities, the Town manages assets spread over a vast territory of 447 km2 which is divided into six sectors. Like many Quebec municipalities, Bécancour also needs to optimize the services it offers while demonstrating fiscal responsibility.

THE CHALLENGE

The Public Works Department was in possession of a large number of drawings and reports as well as a significant volume of manually-entered notes but lacked the technology to store and analyze this data to obtain the required business intelligence. A single person was given the responsibility to manage all the information to help plan the execution of maintenance work for assets such as fire poles, road signs, sumps, etc.

As such, there was a dire need to eliminate multiple data entry points to produce a new, simple, efficient and user-friendly process for a clientele that included team leaders and field staff who were all accustomed to manual processes and paperwork over many years.

HOW WE HELPED

As the Town was already using the FME technology and the JMap application, our Consortech team helped them automate the process of entering field information (using forms on tablets) and transferring it to a spatial database. We then structured this database to send real time email alerts as well as weekly reports to the various team leaders of Public Works. This new system has not only enabled them to quickly prepare the necessary work orders but also made it extremely easy to produce year-end service activity reports.

Being fully aware that the clients staff had long been accustomed to manual and paper-based processes, Consortech provided them strong support by conducting short coaching sessions where the clients lead user set out his vision for the desired process and the expert trainer guided him in optimizing FME Workspaces.

THE VALUE WE PROVIDED

  • The new process eliminated three data entry points while gathering field information. Thanks to FME’s graphical user interface, it took less than two hours to create the workflow!
  • In case of emergencies, this new system sends an email instantly and automatically to the team leaders, thus helping avoid omissions in the transfer of important information.
  • Team leaders and managers receive a weekly report on pending work and progress achieved.
  • The new process also supports the creation of work orders, making it easier to order the required materials.
  • Lastly, at the end of each year, the system generates a report on all the activities carried out during that period.

In addition to the time gained by eliminating work duplication by administrative staff, the new process saves approximately three hours per week for each of the two team leaders who now receive only relevant information that helps them make timely decisions. The Town has also been able to improve the efficiency of its maintenance work that benefits the entire community.

 

Considering my responsibilities and my workload, I would not have been able to automate this process without the help of FME and Consortech. And this is just the beginning, I still have many other ideas for automation!

Pascal Boisvert

Civil Engineering Technologist, Public Works Department, Town of Bécancour

You think about automating your processes of entering and managing field information?