Highways are a major economic and social asset in Oldham, making a direct impact on the borough’s economy and the ease with which residents and business users in the area, and wider region, are able to move around. Our client’s lack of management information was making priorities for repairs hard to determine and KPI performance difficult to understand. This led to inefficiencies deploying staff to deal with defects and challenging to defend or manage claims made by the Public and increased the lack of confidence in the existing ICT system.
We undertook a full, end-to-end review of the issues within Oldham Council’s Highways department, working with key stakeholders over the lifecycle of the programme. The review concluded that a new, modern Highways ICT system was necessary, in order to provide the tools to enable Oldham Council achieve its desired outcomes.
We engaged a third-party supplier for provision of the software, providing the client with a single source for recording, managing and storing all assets. We provided all essential services, from installation, User Acceptance Testing support, training, stabilisation support and data migration and contributed to the communications strategy to ensure all stakeholders were fully appraised at every stage of the programme.
A new reporting feature, in a later phase, will ensure the client is able to fully understand and appraise its assets borough-wide in a simple and effective way, so that repair and maintenance issues are prioritised based on the impact to (and safety of) the Public and other KPI measures.
Further plans to transition operatives to mobile devices, in order to view and update jobs remotely, will be carried-out during phase two of the programme. This will further improve efficiency by removing the need to contact site offices to report progress, issues or completion.
With estimated savings of £209,000 per annum, several key benefits have already been realised since going live with the solution in early March 2017.
Resident experience has improved due to new self-service reporting facilities, receipt of automated emails and comprehensive updates which help manage resident expectations by keeping them informed at each stage. This was a key requirement because of the positive impact it has on Oldham Council’s strategic Residents First programme.
Oldham Council reported that their service users are impressed with the modern mapping functionality and dashboards.
Reporting against KPIs has also improved and more effective decision-making has resulted in staff being deployed more efficiently; a result derived from better access to reliable and more accurate management information.
This auditable management information has also supported Oldham Council’s ability to defend claims made against them by the Public in relation to falls, trips and pot-holes, which in turn reduces risk of exposure to unbudgeted expenditure.
Investment decisions have improved due to better, more effective strategic asset management, which means forward planning and forecasting are easier and more reliable.
As a result, it is now easier to ensure the correct surface is selected for a specific job and determine whether it is more cost effective to patch pot holes or resurface a stretch of highway. Works are better able to be prioritised based on criteria such as how they affect the Public’s safety, usage volumes and the number of complaints. The resulting improvements to prioritisation, longevity and value for money, have in turn, improved Public perception.