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Enterprise Asset Management

CitiTech Systems has specialized in delivering and supporting comprehensive asset and maintenance management solutions for city public works and utility departments, county road and bridge departments and state departments of transportation for over 24 years.

It has perfected a state-of-the-art results-oriented, outcome-based performance management system that simplifies work management, asset management and resource management... and produces measurable bottom line results!

Bring all the elements of your maintenance organization under one roof! CMS is an enterprise level software solution that leverages the power of your GIS investment, and provides state of the art computerized maintenance management software. Click below to find out more!

Government organizations can operate on a performance based business model. The management practices of successful business enterprises can empower any organization to:

  • Streamline operations
  • Boost efficiency
  • Produce meaningful cost savings.

CitiTech News

17th Apr 2016CitiTech Newsletter June 2016
17th April 2016
CitiTech Newsletter June 2016
 General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Note from the Editor

Hello!  We here at CitiTech Systems are still working diligently on the next awesome evolution of our software, "CitiCore", but we’ve also decided to tackle …

Read More

General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

CitiTech News

CitiTech has dramatically improved performance ….

Read More

Inspections with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

What's New?

New enhancements to our current version of CMS!...

Read More

GIS with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Coming In The Future...

Version 9! We are further along in our quest to produce easy to use, knock-your-socks-off software with ...

Read More

General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money. increases performance and saves money.

Guru's Corner

Frequently Asked Questions

Read More

Fema Flames

Features & Functionality

Templates!

The good news:  You can make your CMS screens look and behave the way you want them to!

The better news:  You can…

Read More

Fema Flames

Cool Stuff!

Sound asset maintenance will allow your organization to ...

Read More

Note from the Editor

Hello!  We here at CitiTech Systems are still working diligently on the next awesome evolution of our software, "CitiCore", but we’ve also decided to tackle some user requests for enhancements to our current version, CMS 8.5.  See the "What's New?" topic to check out some of the improvements that are making our software better.

To our amazing Beta Testers:  don't worry, I haven't forgotten you.  I have a list of you, and will contact you once we release our "Beta" version of CitiCore, Version 9.  Promise.

Enjoy the newsletter, and keep the suggestions and feedback coming.  We’ll listen.

By Tari Muth

CitiTech News

CitiTech has dramatically improved performance relating to how CMS queries data to deliver information based on user requests. Because CMS is highly-normalized and relational, data queries sent to the database engine had to account for multi-level “relationships” with specific arguments or parameters set by the user or from within CMS’s business logic. For example, a query to show all the work orders or work reports relating to pothole repair on a certain road within a certain management unit during a specified period of time could result in a very lengthy SQL query statement and heavy network traffic. Occasionally, the query (which could literally be pages long) would exceed the database engine’s ability to parse and execute the query, resulting in a “time out”, “no data” or other error message. These queries also caused significant post-processing on the client machine to fine-tune the results and only deliver the desired results.

CMS’s data manager has been improved to optimize the statements sent to the server to improve performance and resolve this issue. As a result, users can send search requests using Advanced Find or the Data Browser that mine data held by child records several layers/generations deeper than the main record. In the past, the query would return all the parent records and their child records that had to be post-processed. This change resulted in shorter SQL statements and data mining occurring on the data engine (server), rather than the client machine. There are still some limitations on the amount of data that can be held in a memory dataset (cache) resulting from these queries, but this limitation will be eased when CMS moves to later versions of the .NET Framework. Moving from its current .NET platform to the latest version would cause users to make changes to their computers using CMS and CitiTech decided not to inconvenience users until Version 9 is released. In any case, even with this restriction, performance and user queries are improved with this new approach to how data is delivered to the user.

By Bimende Malik

Coming In The Future...  Version 9!

Version9We are further along in our quest to produce easy to use, knock-your-socks-off software with fast reporting.

Our new version will be called "CitiCore" software, and will have all the features you love – only better.  Some modules have expanded accessibility, some have expanded functionality, some have improved performance, and some will be new to CitiCore!  Watch for our announcement of release.

By Tari Muth

Version 9....   A.k.a. "CitiCore Software"
What's New?  New enhancements to our current version of CMS!

Workflow

Our users frequently suggest great ideas for improvements, and sometimes even new functionality – and we listen.  Our latest post contains so many enhancements that I can’t list them all – but, here are a few:  we have added a new tab to the Startup Screen, called “Workflow”.  For reports, new fields exist in Work Order reports (like the Work Order List report and the Work Order History reports), and several new reports exist (like a new Work Order History report with details, a new Signs Plus alert report, a new Blank Crew Time Card report, and new reports that show both Alternate rates and Actual rates, allowing for comparison).  Additionally, we’ve “rebuilt” the Reports menu to ensure all our users have all our reports – so, you may see new reports – or whole new sections of reports!   “Cost By Activity” and “Cost Trend” buttons will now prompt you for a date range (instead of giving you “the last year” automatically).  Key combinations include a new one for Windows 7 users to help them move from Tab to Tab, and new key combinations inside the Report Viewer.  A new “Save” button exists in Preferences.  For Work Orders, users can now see the “Work Order Completion Date” on the screen, and the Work Order number is shown on the “Request” tab.  Additionally, new fields exist in QBE controls (on the “Advanced” find tab of Work Orders) – AND, re-sizing the controls/sections is easier!  We also “remember” the new Work Order, while users have a choice between it and a possible match to an existing one.  Other general improvements include remembering which tab you were on last, in the “Find” functionality, a new “Select All” checkbox for Activities using Templates, and alphabetical order for Roles in Templates for ease of use with “Groups”.  Our users can now archive LRS information.  We have also expanded some fields in Triggers.  In some cases, we’ve expanded choices in the “Quick Search” dropdown.  We made improvements to the “Inspections” screen, to “CitiSmart” (work order dispatcher) functionality, and also made aesthetic changes to the handheld screen.

If you’re not seeing these changes, I encourage you to update CMS, or request that your I.T. department do so, as appropriate.

Thanks for your input, and keep those suggestions coming!

By Tari Muth

Guru's Corner - Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  “I need to change so many records!  Is there a way to affect multiple records at once?”

A:  “Yes, for many items, you can change groups of them, or all of them.

For example, “Bulk Pay Rates Update” and “Bulk Equipment Rates Update” will change some (or all) Employee Pay rates or Equipment Rates.   “Update Vacation / Sick Time” will add whatever should be accrued to the “Accrued” columns of ALL employees.  “Inventory Post” will update average cost for one (or all) inventory items.

Verify Data” will check and correct orphan inventory records, inventory usage records, incorrect work report records, and more.

Did you know?  An interface to your data exists that allows you to directly affect records!  It’s called “Batch Update”.  You must be in a Role that permits access to it, and some knowledge of SQL is required, so we recommend you call us; we’ll help you write the SQL that will meet your needs – but it will save you LOTS of time.  It works best for many records that should be affected using one SQL statement, not for individual records that each need to change – unless you want them all to change to contain the same value.

Here’s an example (but only an example – don’t try this at home):  You recently discovered that several of your employees don’t have a pay rate (it’s 0).  You could access each employee record and enter a pay rate.  OR, you could issue SQL in Batch Update to update ALL employees whose pay rate is 0, at one time, like this:  “UPDATE Persmast SET Pay_rate = 10.50 WHERE Pay_rate=0”.  This SQL statement will update ALL of the employees pay rate to $10.50 whose current pay rate is $0.00.  Notice that they ALL got the same new pay rate.  And as you can see, the WHERE part is important!  Without it, ALL employee records would be changed to have a pay rate of $10.50!  So, we urge you to call and request assistance writing your SQL statements.

Obviously, “Batch Update” can’t be used for EVERY change - it depends on the nature of the change – but is very handy for making changes to multiple records at once."

By Tari Muth

Features & Functionality

Templates!

The good news:  You can make your CMS screens look and behave the way you want them to!

The better news:  You can create multiple templates for each screen; and, each can have its own group of users.

The best news:  You already own this functionality!  There is no separate charge for it, and it applies to most modules.

As one example of taking advantage of Templates, you could create different Work Order screens.  One could be for the mechanics to use for equipment PMs – and you could DEFAULT the department to “FLEET” (and optionally DISABLE that field), get rid of the “Citizen” section on the Request tab, and limit it to only FLEET activities (such as Brake Repair, Preventative Maintenance, Equipment Inspection, and Change Oil) and only to the “Mechanics” group. Another Work Order could be for the Road Department - and you could DEFAULT the department to “ROAD” and you could limit to only ROAD activities (such as Grade, Pave, Patch Pothole, Resurface, and Striping) and to only “Road Maintenance Workers”.  A third Work Order template could be for the Park Department Work Orders, and so on.

Templates let you specify REQUIRED FIELDS (fields that are required to be filled out before you can save the record).

You can also allow or deny access to the DEFAULT (original) screen for these groups, and also print reports for “only items in Template X”.

Learn more about Templates by reading the HELP file "user-defined forms".

By Tari Muth

Cool Stuff!

Sound asset maintenance will allow your organization to reduce maintenance costs, minimize unscheduled downtime, improve service reliability, and extend the lifecycle of your assets.

An example of a sound Asset Maintenance Management Strategy:

Know exactly what assets you have and/or maintain.  You can do a physical inventory and hand-enter them, or (for users with GIS systems or other electronic media) import them.

Know precisely where those assets are located.  If you are driving around creating a list of assets, use a laptop with a dongle to get exact GPS coordinates – or note LRS information such as Route Type, County, Route, and mile markers.

Know what condition your assets are in at any given time.  Use the Inspections module to quantify condition.

Understand the design criteria of your assets, and how they are to be properly operated and under what conditions.

Develop an asset care/maintenance program that assures that each asset performs reliably (“reliability”) when it is needed (“availability”).  Being “proactive” instead of “reactive” generally costs less – up to half or a third of the cost (in terms of labor, parts & materials, and loss of service).  Regular inspections, effective preventative maintenance, and other predictive technologies find problems before they occur, but takes some structure and continuous monitoring.

Acknowledge and perform all of the above activities to optimize the costs of operating your assets and to extend their useful life at least to, if not beyond, what the initial design and installation specified.  In order to optimize operation costs, two points are suggested.  First, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for the asset care processes.  This allows you to monitor and determine things like jobs in backlog, jobs scheduled, emergency jobs completed, percentage of emergency jobs, scheduled jobs completed, and schedule compliance.  Second, collect the right kinds of data, at the right time, in a consistent format that allows management staff to make data-informed decisions versus best guesses.  In order to know where and how asset care (maintenance) dollars are being spent, your CMS needs enough information in sufficient detail to decide whether to repair, refurbish, or replace a given asset.  Use Annual Work Plans to plan and schedule work on the assets, Inspections to create Work Orders, and Work Scheduling to schedule work.

 Maintenance asset management strategies include:

Work identification and control – your own cardinal rules.  Although Work Orders are not required in CMS to report work, some users would choose to institute rules such as “No Work Order, No Work”, “No Work Order, No Parts”, and “No Parts, No Work”.

Job planning – provides benefits such as quicker repairs on prescheduled work, projects, and other tasks – and less downtime, more uptime of systems and equipment.

Work order scheduling – schedule work to be performed.  Consider scheduling work according to three general categories:  “Right Now” (for emergencies, unplanned outages, environmental or safety hazards, etc.), “Near Future” (sometime in the next few hours or days), and “Distant Future” (more than a week out).  The last category allows more effective planning to minimize the time, materials, and downtime requirements necessary to get the right work done right, at the right cost, and at the right time.

Preventative/predictive optimization – balance and optimize priorities, providing “value” for the time and effort they require.

Materials coordination – having the right parts and materials on-hand saves time.  Having enough (but not too much) on-hand helps you avoid unnecessary storage and handling costs, spot buying, overnight freight charges, and downtime.  Being proactive can help you determine which parts to keep in stock and which can be ordered later.

Scheduled outage/shutdown coordination – knowing in advance which asset(s) you will be working on allows you to coordinate system shutdown and notify the public well in advance of the scheduled work.

Using a sound asset maintenance management strategy makes sense from an organization standpoint, making the goal of extending the lifecycle of assets while reducing maintenance costs achievable.  It makes sense from a management standpoint, as well, since unscheduled downtime is minimized.  Citizens will also appreciate the improved service reliability and advance notice for outages.  Everyone wins!

By Tari Muth

Read More
28th Apr 2015CitiTech Newsletter May 2015
28th April 2015
CitiTech Newsletter May 2015
 General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Note from the Editor

Hello!  All of us here at CitiTech Systems are working diligently on the next awesome evolution of our software, Version 9, due for release....

Read More

General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

MDOT Gets Sneak Peek At CMS Version 9

Approximately 400 Mississippi Department of Transportation staff ….

Read More

Inspections with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

What's New?

A new user!  We’re thrilled to welcome...

Read More

GIS with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Coming Soon...

Version 9!  What does it take to create a whole new version...

Read More

General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

ESRI's Evolution Drives Changes in CMS

For many years Dynamic Segmentation has been ESRI’s module ….

Read More

General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money. increases performance and saves money.

Guru's Corner

Meet our newest developers!  We are lucky to have two smart, talented developers join the CitiTech team, just in time to ….

Read More

Fema Flames

Features & Functionality

Accomplishments… your way!  Now you get to decide…

Read More

Fema Flames

Cool Stuff!

Version 9 is on the horizon...

Read More

 

Note from the Editor

Hello! All of us here at CitiTech Systems are working diligently on the next awesome evolution of our software, Version 9, due for release later this year.  Read on to learn more about how we’re upgrading CMS functionality to keep up with new trends, and taking it to the next level with the help of amazing new additions to our developer staff, our partner (Microsoft), cool new features and technologies, and you – our users.

Enjoy the newsletter, and keep the suggestions and feedback coming.  We’ll listen.

By Tari Muth

MDOT Gets Sneak Peek At CMS Version 9

ATMDOTApproximately 400 Mississippi Department of Transportation staff attended the 2015 MDOT Maintenance Management Conference May 12-14 in Jackson, MS where they discussed maintenance issues and got a sneak peak at new Version 9 software being developed by CitiTech Systems. Brian McKiernan, CitiTech president, and Cassidy Keyser, CitiTech’s senior software engineer, outlined CMS’s move from a desktop application to a web-based services oriented solution. The shift will greatly enhance CMS’s ability to deliver real-time data to desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smart devices using Android or iOS operating systems.

CitiTech unveiled a new set of web apps that will streamline how data flows from the office to the field. The new Dispatcher, a web app that notifies users of pending work orders, will send either emails or text messages to Smart Phones and other devices alerting them of new and existing work orders. Field workers can then log into the Internet, view the work order, add comments, resource usage and work accomplishments, complete the work order and automatically complete the work report without having to enter data in disconnected mode or tracking work on paper. “This new enhancement demonstrates CitiTech’s commitment to new technology tools that are expanding information flow between devices,” said McKiernan. New web apps are being developed for work orders, work scheduling, work reporting and asset creation/viewing. Over time, these new applications will augment CMS’s integrated work and asset management system and leverage the Internet using the latest techniques available.

CitiTech is also developing a series of Web APIs that expose CMS data for external uses. These tools can be used to develop new data entry forms, reports and data extracts by user IT personnel. Version 9 will also see a marked improvement in performance, especially with large data sets. Because CMS can store gigabytes of data, large complex reports could take a significant amount of time to gather and present data. Using new stored procedures that use powerful servers to process the request and a new technique that delivers only the results of a query has shown a performance improvement that surpasses SSRS report benchmarks.

Despite its move toward the Internet, CMS will retain its ability to operate disconnect from a network, including an Internet network. Using HTML5 tools and caching, users will continue to be able to work in areas where no wireless or data networks exist and upload data when a network becomes available.

“We are committed to delivering state-of-the-art tools to our users,” Keyser said, “and are focused on improving the user experience. User screens are being re-designed to be more intuitive, logical and simple-to-use. Our new Version 9 software will be a collaborative effort between CitiTech and our diverse user base.” MDOT and ALDOT, the Alabama Department of Transportation, have both expressed interest in serving as beta test sites to offer input, suggestions and other possible enhancements. Version 9 is scheduled for release by fourth quarter 2015.

By Brian McKiernan

Coming Soon...  Version 9!

What does it take to create a whole new version of software?  Smart ideas include involving current users, improving existing functionality and performance, and adding new dimensions to CMS' capabilities.  That sounds like Version 9 to us!

We began by surveying our users – what are your priorities; what's important to you?  We reviewed “Requests for Enhancement” Tickets – how would you, our users, like to see CMS improved or enhanced?   We reviewed RFPs – what do our future customers want in their software?  We researched exciting new technologies – how can we leverage them to improve functionality, performance, and speed?  We explored options with our partner, Microsoft - what is available, and what are some distributable options?  We looked at other software programs – what are their great features, and how can we incorporate them into ours? We held meetings and discussed what our new software would do and how we could do it.  In some cases, we went back to our users to discuss feasibility.  We talked about what we had to add, what we had to change, and what we could leverage to make it happen.  We even voted on how it would look.

Now we’re making that vision happen!  Version 9 is on the horizon - as you'll see in "Cool Stuff", below.

Our goal for Version 9: to provide you with easy to use, knock-your-socks-off software and fast reporting.  Your job:  tell us how we did.  Luckily, several users have volunteered to be first; they’ll tell us what they love, what they don’t love, and what’s missing - and help us improve CMS for everyone.  Thanks, beta testers!

Our new version will have all the great features you've come to expect – only better, and faster.  Some modules have expanded accessibility, some have expanded functionality, some have improved performance, and some, like Component Control, will be new to Version 9!

Watch for our announcement of release in coming months.

By Tari Muth

Version 9
What's New?

AtRankinCoA new user!  We’re thrilled to welcome Rankin County, MS, to our CMS family.

Rankin County is the fourth-largest county and one of the fastest-growing counties in Mississippi. An urban/rural county, it is a suburb of Jackson, MS, the state capitol, and home to several government officials. It has over 900 miles of roads, plus bridges, and helps maintain roads in several communities.

Dale Westbrooks, the road manager, receives thousands of work requests per year and needed a system that would track the work order and the costs associated with doing the work order. But, he wanted a solution that did more than just track work orders. He wanted something that would help him track where he did work and what it cost, and evaluate efficiency and effectiveness. The objective was to provide the best possible service at the lowest cost and improve the level of service to the county.

Rankin County used a Mississippi Department of Transportation contract to purchase CMS at a very favorable license cost and plans on using the software to better track work requests and the actual cost of doing the work, as well as tracking those costs to individual assets.

Rankin County is the sixth Mississippi county to implement CMS software - joining Warren, Lee, Tunica, Harrison and Oktibbeha counties.

By Brian McKiernan

ESRI's Evolution Drives Changes In CMS

For many years Dynamic Segmentation GISMaphas been ESRI’s module to help manage data (data entry, search, mapping) on linear features without going through a process of splitting and merging.  It was - and still is - heavily used in transportation/utility related industries.

ESRI has evolved.  The new extension - ESRI Roads and Highways - is a linear referencing system solution that allows for multiple linear referencing methods - and it can handle the temporal aspect of the data.

It is gaining momentum in implementations at large organizations like state Departments of Transportation and others involved in transportation planning and road maintenance.

CitiTech Systems is changing to meet the needs of ESRI Roads & Highways users.  We are taking our bi-directional GIS module to the next level, to allow for Roads and Highways functionality within our CMS solution!

Just another example of how CitiTech is constantly improving our software.

To learn more about the ESRI extension itself, click here.

On another note, ESRI has stopped supporting ARCGIS Version 9.  CMS will continue to work with ARCGIS Versions 9 and 10 both.  However, if your ESRI license runs year-to-year, you will not be able to "renew" version 9 when it expires.  If you have a perpetual ESRI license, you won't necessarily need to upgrade it to Version 10; but note that ESRI won't be able to help you if you have problems with your map, and CitiTech Systems won't be able to add or change any map functionality.  Your bi-directional GIS functionality will be effectively "frozen in time".

By Bimende Malik

Guru's Corner - Featuring Stacie and Jay!

Meet our newest developers!  We are lucky to have two smart, talented developers join the CitiTech team, just in time to be in on Version 9 at the beginning!  Their fresh perspectives, ideas and talents during CMS’s evolution can only serve to make it even better.

Stacie Straub started working for CitiTech Systems in December 2014.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, from South Dakota School of Mines And Technology. “My favorite part of the job is that every day is different, no two problems I work on are exactly the same. It keeps things interesting.” When asked what she’s looking forward to in the future, she replied “I’m looking forward to learning more and growing as a developer.”

Jay Pearson started with CitiTech in mid-November 2014.  He has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Programming and Application Design, from Western Dakota Technical Institute. He says, “My favorite part of my job is working with all the new technologies we’ll be using in Version 9.” He’s looking forward to growing, both personally and professionally as a developer.

Welcome to the CitiTech team, developers!

By Tari Muth

Features & Functionality

Accomplishments… your way! Now you get to decide how your Work Order's and Work Report's work accomplishments behave.

We listen to our users. So when they said, “I wish my activity's accomplishment could default to 1”, we heard them; but, other users said, “I wish MY accomplishments would default to 0"... and still OTHER users said, “I want them to default to my activity’s ADP!” And - you guessed it - some users said, “I want to force MY users to enter a value! Please don’t default it at all!”

And we listened! It inspired a new system preference - so you can have it your way. With the “flick of a switch” (system preference), you can decide how your Work Accomplishments default (0, 1, your activity’s ADP, or a negative value, which forces users to enter a valid value).

Just another way your input improves our software – for all versions.

By Tari Muth

Cool Stuff!

Version9Version 9 is on the Horizon

The CitiTech development team has been hard at work bringing you a better experience in Version 9 - but to create something truly amazing we need you. In the near future we will be releasing our Beta version to our users for their input on the user interface for CMS, now that we are wrapping up the code behind it.

What should we expect in Version 9 and the upgrade process?

Our goal with the Beta release of Version 9 is to deliver a seamless process that copies an existing CMS 8.5 database and converts the schema with data intact. (Schema structure is the same; table and column names have been changed for consistency and readability.)

Faster Reports

We are proud to introduce our new approach for displaying reports using Stored Procedures. In Version 9 you will see a new report interface, user-modifiable queries (before the query is sent to the server, to reduce the amount of data being sent over the network), the ability to view the SQL of any data set CMS produces for reports, data readers, and more!

Updated User Interface

CMS has had a face lift, and is taking a new name - CitiCore. We are working hard on improving its look and your user experience. This is where your feedback will matter most so we can provide you with a tool that works for you, and is easy to use.

CitiSmart [Dispatcher Module] - iOS & Android Application

New technology is constantly evolving and we are excited to bring you CitiTech's first step into our new future with CitiSmart - the Dispatcher module. This is only one of the many steps you will see as Version 9 evolves over its life cycle and beyond.

With the CitiSmart app, users will be able to dispatch work orders via email or text to users in the field. The user can edit work order information, start and stop work with NEW timesheet functionality, and complete the work order by creating a work report from said work order.

The good news:  the Dispatcher module is just the first of many modules in our vision to bring parts of our software to the field. The even better news: it will also be available in Version 8.5! The next update will include this functionality... look for it in the near future.  The best news of all:  if you currently own the Work Order module, the Dispatcher module is yours at no charge!

Software APIs

Over the development cycle of Version 9 we will be releasing Web APIs for our various modules that will reproduce all their functionality. Initially, the Work Orders module will be available, and additional modules will be released as we develop them.

This is what we have been up to, and we hope you’ll provide feedback… join us in creating something truly amazing!

By Cassidy Keyser

Read More
8th Sep 20143rd Quarter 2014 Newsletter
8th September 2014
3rd Quarter 2014 Newsletter

 General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

 

Note from the Editor

Hello! Time for another fact-filled edition of our newsletter, and I’m excited to tell you what’s happening now (and also what's coming very soon) here at CitiTech Systems, Inc.

It’s not every newsletter edition that lets me welcome our newest partner and also our newest user… and I must say, this feeling rocks!  Please join us in welcoming ...

Read More

General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

CitiTech News

Software For Rent!?

Read More

GIS with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Coming Soon...

Version 9 Reports!

Read More

General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

 

New CitiTech Partner!

CitiTech Systems has partnered with ...

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General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money. increases performance and saves money.

Guru's Corner

Answered... More of YOUR Frequently-Asked Questions!

Read More

Fema Flames

 

Maintenance Management Nuggets

Multifarious approaches to maintenance exist, but it seems the best results are achieved ...

Read More


Note from the Editor

Hello!  Time for another fact-filled edition of our newsletter, and I'm excited to tell you what's happening now (and also what's coming very soon) here at CitiTech Systems, Inc.

It’s not every newsletter edition that lets me welcome our newest partner and also our newest user… and I must say, this feeling rocks!  Please join us in welcoming our newest user, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi.

They're taking advantage of CitiTech's knowledge and tradition of caring to entrust us with importing their data into CMS - in its various forms, including spreadsheets and GIS-based asset data.  They're also getting on-site training soon, so they can "go live" ASAP.  Welcome, Oktibbeha County!

Our newest partner is introduced by our president in "More CitiTech News".  Click here to find out who it is - or simply read on!

Speaking of new things, we now have a blog!  CitiTech Systems will now be providing more up-to-date, relevant news articles - directly from our blog! No more waiting for the newsletter to get the latest news; just visit www.CitiTech.com to keep up with current news and informative articles from CitiTech.

We would love to hear from YOU on topics you would like to see discussed in our upcoming blog posts.

As you know, our software is living, breathing, and evolving to meet the needs of our user base... it's a dynamic program whose users help shape its current and future functionality. It's currently evolving into Version 9, and it will look better, be even easier to use (if that's possible), and contain faster reports, I can’t WAIT until you get to use it! Until then, see the Coming Soon section for a "sneak peek".

Putting together articles for Maintenance Management Nuggets, I’ve learned a lot about the management of maintenance. For example, a quick, one-shot solution to all our maintenance effectiveness problems doesn't exist. Maintenance problems are best solved in two stages:  (1) changing the way people think, and (2) getting them to apply their changed thought processes to technical/process problems, one step at a time. Recently, I've discovered that the best approach to maintenance management may be... a combination of approaches! Here's hoping you find a "nugget" - or two.

Version 7 users, make this the year you  upgrade to Version 8.5!  Conversion is straightforward, fast, and free - and the functionality will knock your socks off – yet it’s so similar to Version 7 that training isn’t needed (although webinars are offered, free of charge, for “how-to” sessions – did you know?).

We're working hard on perfecting Version 9 - it'll be released soon.  Don't be left behind - convert to 8.5 before we release 9.  Call me; I can show you what you’re missing in 8.5 and arrange conversion. What do you have to lose?  The better question is, what do you have to gain? More and better functionality and reports. What’s not to love? 1 (800) 738-9892  x7624

We are almost as proud of our newsletter as we are our software, but are always open to feedback and suggestions.  What do you like best about it?  What would you like to see that isn't there? Is there a topic or series of topics you'd like to see us cover?  Just as we listen to YOU, our users, when designing and enhancing our software, we're interested in input and ideas from YOU for our newsletter.  Please continue to let us know how we’re doing and how we can make it even better!

CitiTech News

Software - For Rent?

ForRentsignThere’s a new approach in how people use software. In the old days, they bought a perpetual license for a one-time fee. Sophisticated systems, such as financial, equipment or management software like CMS, cost tens of thousands of dollars for a perpetual software license. It’s a big investment and requires a lot of thought and due diligence.

Well, times have changed. Rent, don’t buy software. Bill Gates of Microsoft advocated software rentals for years. It’s now here and a new approach called “Software as a Service” or “SaaS” has become commonplace. Similar to paying a monthly phone bill, software can be rented for a period of time. Quit paying the subscription fee and the software doesn’t work.

This change is evolutionary and changes how software can be used. CitiTech now offers a SaaS alternative. This will benefit potential users more than existing users because they already have a fully-paid perpetual license. But, occasionally, existing users may need a few extra user licenses. Renting them for a few months is significantly less expensive than buying perpetual licenses. The cost savings can be huge. Rather than spending thousands of dollars for a perpetual license, the software can be rented for as little as a few hundred dollars per user per month (depending on the modules).

New users, however, can see significant benefit. It eliminates the costly up-front investment, lowers software costs and changes software from a capital to a low-cost operational cost. It’s a “pay-as-you-go” approach that minimizes risk. The only disadvantage to SaaS is that it is not cost-effective for long-term users. Statistics show a perpetual license is more cost-effective for systems that have been in service for 3-5 years. Many of our users have been using CMS for ten years or more.

CitiTech has an answer for that. For users that want to rent CMS software and later decide to convert to a perpetual license, CitiTech will apply 50% of SaaS fees toward the perpetual license fee. This is an exciting new enhancement. If you are interested in learning more about renting CMS software, please call us at 1 (800) 738-9892.

By Brian McKiernan

Coming Soon...

Version 9 Reports!

Same great reports, only faster - and even easier to use. Although our previous approach to reports worked fine, processing the data using code and putting the results into an .xml file proved cumbersome.  So, our new approach leverages the power of the server by creating SQL statements directly against the data - for better and faster results!

Of course, our easy-to-use functionality for modifying existing reports and creating custom reports will still exist; just brace yourself for the Mach 1 report results! Although still in development, a "snapshot in time" picture of the Reports interface currently looks like this:

V9ReportScreen

By Tari Muth

Sneak Peek
More CitiTech News

New CitiTech Partner!

APWA 2014 Conference, Toronto, Canada - August 2014

 CitiTech Systems has partnered with Infrastructure  Solutions, a Canadian-based consultant that  specializes in asset management and capital planning. ISI has developed long-term asset capital improvement plans for over 60 communities in Canada and provides a priority-based optimization approach to asset management.   “Where CMS manages assets and suggest the best  work effort to maintain those assets, ISI takes it to  the next level”, said Brian McKiernan, CitiTech president.

Asset management is the objective because it is cheaper to maintain existing assets than replace them. CitiTech effectively manages assets to extend asset life and lower life cycle costs. But, prioritization and optimization adds a new dimension to maintenance management. It prioritizes work, by activity, to ensure the right focus on work effort. It prioritizes assets that need work to occur. It maximizes the work effort to deliver the right solution at the right time. And, it goes beyond work prioritization to incorporate optimization.

When is the best time to make these improvements based on higher-level analysis? Infrastructure Solutions will be CitiTech’s Canadian provider. We will work closely with them to implement a complete solution to the Canadian market. We are pleased, and privileged, to welcome Infrastructure Solutions to the CMS family.

By Brian McKiernan

Guru's Corner

Answered... More of YOUR Frequently-Asked Questions!

Q: "I've had some employee turnover. How can I get a few new people up to speed?"

A: CitiTech Systems offers "webinars" (web-based training sessions) - at no charge!  Pick a topic, and give us a call to schedule it for a day and time that work for you. Best done after initial training, when a few users are being trained or as "refresher" training on one topic for one hour.

Q: "We're new; all of us need trained - here. Do you offer on-site training?"

A: Yes! You can receive the Basic Training course for CMS at your location, using your data, for any and all modules purchased.  Best for initial software training or follow-up training, for small groups and multiple topics. Call us for a price quote; it's surprisingly affordable.

Q: "Our organization has so many users, it would be impossible to get them in one room at the same time! Now what?"

A: CitiTech Systems offers a "Train the Trainers" program to train Trainers how to train Users, sometimes in conjunction with consultants, and aligned with the organization's business rules.  Basic Training course plus Advanced Training course.  Best for large organizations.

Q: "Our organization was trained, but we could use the "Refresher" training, and a few of us could use the "Advanced Course". How can we divide the training time?"

A: Any way you want!  Our trainers believe it's YOUR training, and they'll help you get the biggest "bang" for your buck.  They will work with you to determine what to cover when, divide training times into multiple sessions with various audiences, and can propose a tentative agenda for your review/approval before training occurs. Give us a call for a price quote today at 1 (800) 738-9892 x7624

By Tari Muth

Maintenance Management Nuggets

Multifarious approaches to maintenance exist, but it seems the best results are achieved using a combination of them!  Two are discussed below.

First, let's talk about Maintenance Planning & Scheduling. Maintenance planning & scheduling prioritizes and organizes work so it can be executed in a highly efficient fashion. Managers and hourly employees alike in stores, accounting, purchasing, engineering and production must buy in to the concept and do their part for it to work.

Some of the major outcomes of planning and scheduling are:

•An organized approach to analyzing and executing any work identified

•Detailed plans, rules and records for the evaluation and execution of work

•Effective utilization of planners, supervisors and craftspeople.

These outcomes should yield these benefits:

•Cost savings due to efficient use of maintenance labor hours.

•Increased production yield from faster execution of all jobs.

•Reduced injuries and less stress from a better work flow.

As we can see, it’s all about efficiency and organization! When maintenance planning and scheduling is implemented alone, craftspeople often continue to be frustrated with emergencies caused by “surprise” breakdowns, forcing them to bypass the planning and scheduling procedures they labored too hard and long to deploy.

Next, let’s look at Condition-based Maintenance. Condition-based maintenance, or predictive maintenance as it’s often called, can be defined different ways. However, it is important to note that it goes far beyond vibration analysis.


Figure 1

Figure 1.

A Common Definition of Condition Based Maintenance The outcome of condition based maintenance is:

• Finding future failures before they manifest themselves as a breakdown of equipment or a component.

A breakdown is defined as the loss of the function a components was designed to accomplish e.g., when a pump stops pumping. As we can see, the outcome is pure information; knowing that an item will break in the future.

This in itself does not prevent any failures, but it allows you to:

• Gather information about the equipment and parts affected by the future breakdown.

• Plan and schedule the repair.

• Eliminate the cost of consequential damage caused by a functional failure.

When you repair it before a breakdown develops, you typically save 50-90%. (compare Figures 2 & 3)


Figures 2 and 3

Figure 2.

Planning and Scheduling Without Condition Based Maintenance.

When a breakdown is discovered, you must diagnose, plan, and repair it immediately to get production back up and running. Typically no resources are spared at this time.

Figure 3.

Planning and Scheduling and Condition Based Maintenance.

When impending failure is discovered ahead of time, you have time to plan it, get parts, schedule and repair it before a breakdown occurs. This typically cost 50-90% less and can often be scheduled with other repairs for less production impact.

The degree of savings above depends on how early you catch it, if can be repaired online, and the cost of repairs. Compare finding an impending breakdown on a standard motor you have in stock, attached to a production line scheduled for maintenance next Wednesday at 8 AM - 4 PM, to the scenario where a non-stock motor failed at night and forced a shutdown of the line for repair.

The second scenario will cost much more than the first as people scramble to find what’s wrong, call in several trades and perhaps stores. Add overtime, production losses, and contacting supplier(s) to find replacements and a familiar picture emerges. Implementation of predictive maintenance alone frequently results in many items being flagged for repair. However, only some of them are actually being repaired as maintenance does not have the efficient work practices (read planning and scheduling). Of course, this demoralizes operators and craftspeople as most items they find using predictive maintenance still break down instead of being repaired when discovered. On the other hand, when predictive maintenance and planning and scheduling are used together, they produce synergies like:

•reduced cost of spares and material

•increased labor productivity (primarily in maintenance but also for operators)

•better job satisfaction

•increased production yield

•effective work practices

•improved production quality

Either method has its good points, but also some bad points - and it seems that the impact of those bad points can be reduced, or even negated, by using both methods together. I learned this, and other stuff, from this awesome website:  Article

By Tari Muth

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29th Apr 20141st Quarter 2014 Newsletter
29th April 2014
1st Quarter 2014 Newsletter

Note from the Editor

Hello, all. This newsletter brings some exciting news! We are working on....

Read More

CitiTech News

Same report - much, much faster!  User yells, "Hooray!"

Read More

What's New?

The Changing Face of Technology

This is an exciting time to be in the technology field. We started working on Version 9.0 in earnest...

Read More

Coming Soon...

One of the biggest challenges computer users have is linking or sharing information between software programs ...

Read More

Guru's Corner

Answered... More of YOUR Frequently-Asked Questions!

Read More

Features & Functionality

Completing the Maintenance Management Cycle; Work Smarter, Not Harder ...

Read More

Maintenance Management Nuggets

Here’s what I’ve discovered after thinking about the ways asset management are changing...

Read More


Note from the Editor

Hello! This newsletter brings some exciting news. We are working on the next awesome version of our software! Version 9 will look better, be even easier to use, and also will have faster reports. It’s not coming soon enough to be featured in our “Coming Soon” section; maybe we should create a new section called “Coming This Year!”.

Guru's Corner features MORE of your Frequently-Asked Questions; in this edition we feature Material Inventory.

Version 7 users, make this the year you  upgrade to Version 8.5! Conversion is straightforward, fast, and free - and the functionality will knock your socks off – yet it’s so similar to Version 7 that training isn’t needed (although webinars are offered, free of charge, for “how-to” sessions – did you know?). What do you have to lose? The better question is, what do you have to gain? More and better functionality and reports. What’s not to love? Give us a call and we can show you what you’re missing in Version 8 – and how easy conversion will be. Tell ‘em I sent ya.

Here’s something you may or may not know… in addition to being CitiTech’s newsletter editor, I’m also the senior trainer – AND, first-line tech support. This means that if you call with a question or problem, I’ll be the first in line to help you – but, sometimes the problem is complicated, or results from a snippet of code that pertains to a certain developer. I will do my best – but in the event I don’t know the answer, we’re lucky that there’s a whole team of talented developers that can help!

Something I’ve found out recently is that if you search for terms like “National Maintenance Management Standards”, you get TONS of results… but if you put quotes around those words, there are NO results! Aren't there any national standards?  I learned a lot about the management of maintenance, and hope you enjoy the article on “Maintenance Management Nuggets”. Please enjoy the newsletter, keep the suggestions coming, and continue to let us know what you think; we care!

CitiTech News

Tulsa County, Oklahoma used to dread producing a certain report, because due to its nature, it encompassed records "from the beginning of time" - meaning, from the very first day they began using CMS, back in 1999.

As you can imagine, the more data they had, the slower it became.

CitiTech Systems has recently re-worked this report to become more efficient, and it now runs in a mere fraction of the time it used to take, saving time and patience while eliminating the "dread" factor.

Just another example of how CitiTech is constantly improving performance.

By Tari Muth

What's New?  The Changing Face of Technology

This is an exciting time to be in the technology field. We started working on Version 9.0 in earnest at the beginning of the year and, as we started discussing all the new features and functions we wanted to add to CMS, we saw this as a tremendous opportunity to leverage technology and improve how CMS delivers and uses information.

CMS is getting a facelift. We’re building a new user interface that resizes itself to work on laptops and tablets with touch-screen technology. This revolutionary technology will work on all Android OS, Windows 8 RTM, and iPad tablets, but require a Snap-on keyboard due to on-screen keyboard visual interference. CMS9 uses Microsoft’s latest technology tools that incorporates web browsers with traditional Smart Client applications and delivers a “hybrid” solution that can operate on the Internet and in a traditional network, but isn’t dependent on a consistent network connection.

Now that the Internet and “data plans” offered by cell phone companies are more reliable and ubiquitous, the Internet and “the Cloud” have revolutionized how data is accessed, stored and shared. Version 9 will take advantage of these new wireless capabilities. It will be web-enabled using RemoteApp, an add-on of Windows 2008 R2+, and support cloud managed servers in both user-hosted and third-party hosted environments. CMS Version 9 can be hosted for as little as $30 per user per month (10-user system), with zero footprint and automatic software updates. IT departments love the “low maintenance” aspect of web-based applications.

CMS’s hybrid approach allows users to mix and match how they use the software. It can be deployed using the Internet, using traditional networks (the way it has been) and deployed without a network (CitiTech’s Smart Client disconnected capability). Researching the marketplace revealed the hybrid approach is the most flexible and sustainable method.

We are also porting CMS over to Smart Phones. Because of the smaller screen size, regular CMS forms don’t fit very well. We are developing a new user interface that adapts itself to smaller devices. The Dispatcher, a new CMS module that sends work orders to cell phones and other devices using email or text messages, is our first step into the exciting web/cell/mobile market. Once a field worker receives the email or text message, a hyperlink launches the Internet web services and lists all pending work orders for the crew member. The user can review a work order, complete it and automatically create a work report tracking work costs and accomplishments. This streamlines and improves workflow and simplifies how work is processed and completed.

In the next several months, user interfaces for work orders, work reports, inspections, work scheduling calendars and asset records will be redesigned to fit on Smart Phones and other small devices. With careful engineering, we hope to deploy CMS to the new generation of handheld devices that ensure reliability, security and affordability.

By Brian McKiernan

Coming Soon...

Web APIs - Bridging Data Islands

One of the biggest challenges computer users have is linking or sharing information between software programs. Being able to merge names and addresses from a spreadsheet file into a word document is a great achievement. CMS supports open architecture and provides flexible tools to link data together.

A new set of tools is being developed that will extend CMS data integration even further. Pre-defined WebAPIs serve as gateways between CMS and other systems. For example, CMS pay and leave data can be sent to the Payroll Office, inventory purchases and usages to the Finance Office, equipment costs to the fleet department, etc.

This gateway delivers bi-directional functionality. Using these WebAPIs, the user can develop scripts that can send CMS data to other systems or receive data from other systems to update CMS files.

WebAPIs, combined with CMS’s User-Defined Triggers module, build bridges between data islands and give CMS sophisticated data integration tools that can be scheduled or timed to occur as the result of a specific user-defined event. “This capability has been sorely missing in modern management systems”, said Brian McKiernan, CitiTech President. “We’ve always encouraged open architecture and even built some sophisticated interfaces to share data between CMS and large legacy systems. But, these required our help because our data is normalized. That means it manages data very efficiently, but nobody can figure out how to access the data without help”. WebAPIs provide that help to the user. When WebAPIs are released with Version 9, CMS users can share data between systems on-demand, on-event or on-schedule.

If you would like more information on how WebAPIs and User-Defined Triggers can improve data integration in your systems, please give us a call.

By Cassidy Keyser

WebAPIs!
Guru's Corner

Answered... More of YOUR Frequently-Asked Questions!

Q: "I have lots of material inventory. This makes inventory functions like my counts and reports so slow! Is there a way to speed these up?"

A: Yes! You can use a new table called "InvAnchor"; the anchor table is designed to host information on in-stock quantities - without going back to the beginning of time - so calculations are faster wherever in-stock quantities are calculated, including reports! It does require some initial setup, but users say it's not complicated to do, and worth the effort! See the HELP for more information; search for "inventory anchor table".

Q: "Is there an easy way to "clean up" my inventory records?"

A: Yes! You can use functions in the "Verify Data" section to identify and delete inventory "orphans", duplicate sites, and more. Other examples include resetting matlog (inventory usage) quantities and deleting unneeded (extra) inventory counts. Check it out!

By Tari Muth

Completing the Maintenance Management Cycle

Also known as a "feedback loop", CMS allows users to not only Plan, Schedule, Perform, Monitor, and Evaluate work... but also analyze that data and affect current and/or future work plans (and the resulting budget)! The result is better planning - so they work smarter, not harder!

The concept is simple - use existing data to update work plans to meet your target levels of service while working efficiently.

This "feedback loop" begins with planning. Plan your activities.

Then, schedule your activities throughout the year.

Work on those activities.

Monitor your progress, using Planned -vs- Actual reports.

Inspect your assets (evaluate their condition/level of service).

Analyze your work in terms of the resulting levels of service of your assets, and update work plans to meet your target levels of service - all at the touch of a button!

"What does that mean to me?", you may ask.

For one user, it meant that they were able to compare the costs for the same activity (Mowing) over many districts, find efficient practices, apply those practices statewide, and save approximately 2.4 million dollars! That's per year. For one activity (Mowing).

How much could YOU save? 

By Tari Muth

Maintenance Management Nuggets

Here’s what I’ve discovered about how ways of thinking about asset management are changing. Following are 15 of the most important areas of change which have occurred in the field of physical asset management over the past 15 years:

OLD - Maintenance is about preserving physical assets
NEW - Maintenance is about preserving the functions of assets

OLD - Routine maintenance is about preventing failures
NEW - Routine maintenance is about avoiding, reducing or eliminating the consequences of failures

OLD - The primary objective of the maintenance function is to optimize plant availability at minimum cost
NEW - Maintenance affects all aspects of business effectiveness and risk - safety, environmental integrity, energy efficiency, product quality and customer service, not just plant availability and cost

OLD - Most equipment becomes more likely to fail as it gets older
NEW - Most failures are not more likely to occur as equipment gets older

OLD- Comprehensive data about failure rates must be available before it is possible to develop a really successful maintenance program
NEW - Decisions about the management of equipment failures will nearly always have to be made with inadequate hard data about failure rates

OLD - There are three basic types of maintenance; predictive, preventive, and corrective
NEW - There are four basic types of maintenance; predictive, preventive, corrective, and detective

OLD - The frequency of condition-based maintenance tasks should be based on the frequency of the failure and/or failure the criticality of the item
NEW - The frequency of condition-based maintenance tasks should be based on the failure period (also known as the “lead time to failure” or “P-F interval”)

OLD - If both are technically appropriate, fixed interval overhauls/replacements are usually both cheaper and more effective than condition-based maintenance
NEW - If both are technically appropriate, condition-based maintenance is nearly always both cheaper and more effective fixed interval overhauls/ replacements throughout the life of the asset

OLD - Serious incidents/catastrophic accidents which involve multiple equipment failures are usually the result of “bad luck” or “acts of God”, and are hence unmanageable
NEW - To a considerable extent, the likelihood of a multiple failure is a manageable variable, especially in protected systems

OLD - The quickest and surest way to improve the performance of an existing “unreliable” asset is to upgrade the design
NEW - It is nearly always more cost-effective to try to improve the performance of an unreliable asset by improving the way it is operated and maintained, and only to review the design if this cannot deliver the required performance

OLD - Generic maintenance policies can be developed for most types of physical asset
NEW - Generic policies should only be applied to identical assets whose operating context, functions and desired standards of performance are also identical

OLD - Maintenance policies should be formulated by managers and maintenance schedules drawn up by suitably qualified specialists or external contractors (a top-down approach)
NEW - Maintenance policies should be formulated by the people closest to the assets. The role of management is to provide the tools to help them make the right decisions, and to ensure that the decisions are sensible and defensible

OLD - The maintenance department on its own can develop a successful, lasting maintenance program
NEW - A successful, lasting maintenance program can only be developed by maintainers and users of the assets working together

OLD - Equipment manufacturers are in the best position to develop maintenance programs for new physical assets
NEW - Equipment manufacturers can only play a limited (but still important) role in developing maintenance programs for new assets

OLD - It is possible to find a quick, one-shot solution to all our maintenance effectiveness problems
NEW - Maintenance problems are best solved in two stages: (1) change the way people think (2) get them to apply their changed thought processes to technical/ process problems - one step at a time

I learned this, and other stuff, from this website:
Article

By Tari Muth

Read More