How a Strong Digital Foundation Supported This Community’s Connections

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Just 25 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, the Village of Orland Park is a municipality on the rise. Its population of 58,000 is expected to grow to 75,000 by 2030. Attention to infrastructure is critical for keeping operations in line with the increasing needs that accompany such growth. Over the last few years, Orland Park has been focused on building a high-performing organization by making improvements to customer service and internal processes. A digital infrastructure allows us to connect citizens to government, provide insights on the performance of and communication between village departments and residents, and effectively plan for population density.

In order to create efficiencies and expand capacity, our Village follows Lean Six Sigma methodology to improve processes. We found many opportunities for efficiencies in our existing processes, including moving away from paper-driven processes to a more digital, streamlined approach.

Asset Management

An important area of opportunity came in our organization’s work order and asset management system. Orland Park implemented a new enterprise asset management software that intuitively tracked assets from procurement to retirement plus all maintenance in between. The software allows our field staff to create, execute, track, manage, and report on asset-related work orders via two modules:

  1. Asset Maintenance uses custom configurations to track and maintain assets, increasing their reliability and enhancing predictive maintenance. Because it is mobile-enabled, field workers can easily view and manage work orders from anywhere.
  2. Asset Performance uses reporting and analytics to help management plan for future expenses, forecast budgets, and decide how best to use resources.

The new process allows supervisors to assign work orders with the click of a button. Both supervisors and support staff can view work orders and see progress, comments, and changes to severity quickly and easily – capabilities that didn’t exist with the previous manual process. Being able to go to a paperless environment allowed our staff to get information, to make decisions in the field and resolve issues as they come up, without having to communicate back and forth, or come back on-site for new direction.

Keeping technicians in the field longer increases productivity, while more informed supervisors are better able to predict and plan for the future. In the five months after the new system’s implementation, our 80 users generated more than 2,500 work orders, including in public works and parks & grounds.

Insight

Orland Park has gained a clearer picture of infrastructure workloads and activities. We think that by mid-2019 we should be able to compare data from 2018 to see how things are trending and where reallocation of resources is needed. We wanted to make better decisions, and the only way to do that is to have a robust enough platform to be able to take in all the information from our assets and work orders and be able to give us trends and additional pieces of information that we otherwise would’ve looked over.

Integrations

Our system’s integration with Esri® GIS maps has proven extremely beneficial for the parks and grounds staff, who geotagged every park asset from equipment to fields and courts. We increased our tagged assets from approximately 15,000 to just under 100,000 in 90 days. These assets are now actionable and have reporting, preventative maintenance schedules, and costs associated with each of them – all at our fingertips.

Because the asset management system natively integrated with our organization’s other enterprise solutions, Orland Park benefitted from increased productivity, enhanced reporting and analytics, and streamlined decision-making organization wide. The biggest benefit to have the systems integrate with each other is to really give the tools to our staff to do their jobs as effectively as possible.

Next up is a 311 integration that will provide our residents with a portal into operations so they can ask questions, request service, or escalate complaints. Orland Park is also extending resident self-service to permitting. Later this year, residents will be able to check the status of their permit request, apply for a business license, or review village wide inspections online. 

Digital Infrastructure

What makes this all possible is a strong digital foundation. “Just as a community needs a physical infrastructure to support roads, utilities, and building development, it needs a digital infrastructure to support the essential services that make government operate,” Bruce Graham, chief strategy officer of Tyler Technologies, said.

Successful cities prioritize a solid technology base and integrated core back-office systems. Creating a modern tech infrastructure provides the foundation that enables the functionality and scalability necessary for sustained growth and effective execution of core services – including providing sound physical infrastructure.

Learn more about Orland Park’s innovation in asset management and future plans in this 2019 Tyler Public Sector Excellence Award winner profile. 

About the Author: 

Ahmad Zayyad, Business Process Manager, Village of Orland Park, IL
Ahmad joined the Village of Orland Park as a Management Analyst in 2014 and supported the Village Manager’s Office through 2018. Most recently, Ahmad assumed the new leadership role of Business Process Manager to lead innovative village-wide initiatives working collaboratively across the entire organization. Ahmad holds a master’s degree in public administration with a focus in local government management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While working in his role as a Management Analyst, Ahmad continued his education and achieved his Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from Northern Illinois University and is currently pursuing Black Belt Certification.