All Roads Lead to IoT

 In Industry News, State & Local Government

How IoT can help Public Works Departments enhance and improve road maintenance.

American cities and municipalities are aware of, if not bracing for, an imminent surge in urban population growth and the effects this will have on current transportation infrastructures. Your public works offices are one of many departments given limited budgets and endless expectations for improving the quality of life within their sphere of influence. These circumstances require working smarter, not harder.

The best place to start is efficiently maintaining the equipment used to maintain your network of roads connecting people and places. A unified Internet of Things (IoT) platform that combines advanced telematics, enterprise asset management, and field service mobility can enhance and streamline all your maintenance processes to help you maintain a beautiful, clean, safe, and secure city for your businesses and residents.

Thousands of miles of U.S. road must be resurfaced, repaired, or replaced each year. We know that road maintenance is a major day-to-day responsibility for your public works departments. Every corresponding work order requires carefully planned coordination of routes, schedules, laborers, equipment, closures (e.g. bridges, roads, lanes, sidewalks), and communication with local communities. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cost-effective way to automate each of these tasks with maximum operational efficiency. With the IoT, you can have complete visibility into locations, utilization, and accountability inside and outside of the maintenance yard.


Keeping Equipment Operative

It’s no longer a question of if, but how, you should use preventive maintenance (PM) schedules to keep equipment operative so that the maintenance of roads can continue. Maintenance programs running on an IoT platform have many advantages—record centralization, process automation, predictive modeling. Instead of starting your morning with inspections or reviewing the issues of the day, maintenance workers can jump right in and immediately tackle work orders automated and issued based on maintenance intervals, manufacturer-recommended schedules, and streaming real-time data gathered from assets connected to IoT devices and sensors.


Optimizing Work Orders

The jobs assigned to public works can require specialized knowledge and skillsets in construction, building, or civil engineering. Because there is special, sometimes custom, equipment needed for each job type, it’s important to get the right workers with the right equipment and the right information to the right location. Why rely on the memory of your workers when you can put every mission critical detail associated with a work order in the palm of their hand?


Enhancing Schedules, Routes, and Navigation

To determine the number of roads you can service in a day or week or month you need up-to-date information for a dynamic list of variables that can include:

  • What is the exact location where repairs are needed?
    • Bridges and roads can stretch for miles. What are the precise coordinates where maintenance is needed?
    • Also, how do you determine if the issue has gotten worse since your last inspection? And if so, will additional time and resources be needed to complete the service? You’d hate to have to roll a truck out there for nothing.
  • What specific skill sets or equipment is required?
    • Are workers with the right skillset available? If not, what are the costs of delays if contractors are unavailable?
    • Do you have the right equipment available? If the same equipment is needed for road maintenance at two separate locations, how do you prioritize and schedule workflows?
  • How long will it take to complete the road maintenance?
    • How do you know when laborers or contractors arrive and depart from a job location? How soon are you notified of delays, or that road maintenance is complete? Also, how do you know that everything is being taken care of on-time and efficiently?

It is to your advantage to use advanced telematics that is integrated with enterprise asset management and field service mobile applications. For one, you can navigate your maintenance workers and contractors to job locations with speed and efficiency. Second, you can easily integrate GIS, traffic, weather, or city events data to determine or predict the optimal time to perform road maintenance in a specific area. Third, your mobile application can be securely extended to the public to allow you to share road maintenance updates with local communities. Fourth, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll gain real-time visibility into asset locations, utilization, and accountability both inside and outside of the maintenance yard.


Final Thoughts

From paved roads to public parks to streetscapes to waste collection the public works department is threaded into the fabric of our daily lives. Faced with limited annual budgets you want to make the most impact when planning your budget. Two-way communication with the public can be helpful in determining where to spend your time and energy. You want citizens involved with the process so that they’re proactive in reporting issues that arise. And as mentioned above, the IoT can help you centralize and contextualize communications. For public works directors that have been thinking about better ways of maintaining their city’s infrastructure, they’ll also discover a tool that will help maintain the equipment they manage and relationships with the public.


To learn more about how you can shift from reactive to proactive smart maintenance with IoT, watch this on-demand webinar.

To get started today, contact us to schedule a free consultation.