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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

21st Aug 2019CitiTech Newsletter August 2019
21st August 2019
CitiTech Newsletter August 2019
 General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Note from the Editor

Hello! 

Read on to find out What's New!  Pop into Guru's Corner to see if YOUR  …

Read More

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

What's New?

A Better Way To Create Contractors!

If you’ve ever created a Contractor, you found out you selected the menu item “Vendors”...  

Read More

 
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

Features & Functionality

Would your organization benefit from moving to the Cloud?

Have you ever wondered if there is a way for your organization to more effectively utilize tools in 'the Cloud'? ...  

Read More

 

 
Fema Flames

 

 

Cool Stuff!

Various Preventive Maintenance Approaches  ...

Read More

Editor's Note

Hello!

Read on to find out What's New!  Pop into Guru's Corner to see if YOUR question was answered, check out our Features and Functionality section, and discover different PM approaches in the “Cool Stuff!” section. 

Enjoy the newsletter, consider being featured in the next one, and keep the suggestions and feedback coming.  We’ll listen.

By Tari Muth

What's New?  A Better Way to Create Contractors!

If you’ve ever created a Contractor, you found out you selected the menu item “Vendors” and then put a checkmark next to “Contractor” to signify it as one.  How confusing! 

Sometimes when you do something great, you're so hyped that you forget some embarrassing detail.  I was glad to break Contractors out so users can easily find and create them - but I was so excited that I forgot to tell our users!

Those users who download updates but choose NOT to read the update notes won’t know about the new menu item.  They will try to create new Contractors (or find existing ones) using the Vendors screen (or it's Find functionality).  However, now Contractors won't be found or created using that screen!  There's no “checkmark” to designate it a Contractor, and no place to tell CMS what it's Resource Class is!  One user already found that out, and let us know (thanks, Bruce!).  Our next update will include a message box in the "Vendors" screen to remind you where to go if you're creating a Contractor. (The update after that will remove the message box)

We hope you enjoy using the new Contractor screen, under “Resources” in the top-line menu.

By Tari Muth 

Guru's Corner -  Answered… More of Your Frequently-Asked Questions!!

Q:  “Why is it important that I keep my software up to date?”

A:  In some cases, the things you notify us about or want improved already exist in the latest (and greatest) update!  In all cases, the update includes improvements/enhancements to make your job easier.  Win, win!

Q:  "How can I tell what new changes I'll see when I update my software?"

A:  While doing a WebUpdate, answer "Yes" when asked if you want to see the changes.  The webpage with descriptions of the changes is displayed.

Q:  "What's with the new green color for some reports in the Reports menu?"

A:  We've improved both the speed and accuracy of many of our reports, by using a "Data Reader" rather than building the report data programmatically and storing the result in a Data Set.  History reports have historically been slow and unwieldy but now they are so much faster!

Q:  "I need to be able to schedule my Work Orders to be periodic.  Is there a way to do this?"

A:  Yes!  There's a button in the navigation bar of Work Orders.  It's next to the "Quick Search" dropdown.  Hovering over it displays this tool tip:  "Recurring duplication of the current Record (weekly/monthly/annually)" and clicking on it will let you set a start and end date, with choices of weekly, monthly, and annually recurring.  Also you will be prompted for whether to include the same asset(s) and/or resource(s), if applicable.

By Tari Muth

Features & Functionality - Would Your Organization Benefit From Moving to the Cloud?

Have you ever wondered if there is a way for your organization to more effectively utilize tools in 'the Cloud'?

Have you heard of Azure, Microsoft's set of cloud solutions? (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/)

Thanks to a question from one of customers, CitiTech has now done testing to see how well some of these Azure solutions could work for you.

"What are some of the advantages of moving anything to the Cloud?"

As long as your organization has a consistently stable Internet connection, there are several benefits to doing so.

                1) IT costs can be reduced for both new hardware setup as well as repairing existing hardware because the physical hardware is no longer maintained by your organization.

                2) In addition, since Azure has 54 regions, this increases access and prevents any down time which means your data is safe and secure with minimal effort.

                3) Automatic updates are provided if desired (for both Windows and Microsoft software like SQL Server).

                4) As your organization needs change, so can your Azure Database or Virtual Machine.

                Unlike physical hardware, modifying your Virtual Machine is practically as easy as a click to increase memory or CPU performance.  One example is discussed briefly here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/resize-virtual-machines/

                5) Mobility is another benefit. Not connected to your organization's network even though you have access to the Internet?

                You can still access CitiTech's Database, or anything else hosted in the Cloud with your laptop, etc.

                6) Besides lower IT costs as mentioned earlier, because of using less hardware and increased flexibility with using the minimal resources needed, this can help the environment in the long run too.

These are just some of the benefits!

"What are options for CMS that can be utilized for CMS8 data?"

One option is to take your current SQL Server Database (residing on a physical or virtual machine within your organization) and host your SQL Server Database in Azure.

Another option, and what we recommend that prevents any possible future 'bugs' occurring, is to have a complete Virtual Machine hosted in Azure which has SQL Server installed on it with your CitiTech database.  Click here to find out about Azure pricing:  https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

While we focused our testing on SQL Server, there are options for Oracle in Azure as well. (See https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/oracle/.)

As the need arises, Oracle would be tested further.  However, based on our testing so far, using an Azure hosted Virtual Machine with Oracle installed on it for CitiTech data would be the recommended way to go.

If you are interested in moving your CitiTech Database to the Cloud, shoot us an email or give us a call.   

By Ariell Vano

Cool Stuff!  Various Preventive Maintenance Approaches 

I learned a lot recently, while trying to find out more about Preventive Maintenance (a.k.a., Preventative Maintenance).  I saw an entirely different viewpoint on maintenance (there are other approaches…. who knew?!) - and I was struck by how well our software meets the need for various PM types - even MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul), which may be the natural evolution of PM. 

The technical meaning of maintenance involves functional checks, servicing, repairing or replacing of necessary devices, equipment, machinery, building infrastructure, and supporting utilities in industrial, business, governmental, and residential installations.  Over time, this has come to include multiple wordings that describe various cost-effective practices to keep equipment and other assets operational; these activities take place either before or after a failure. Together, these functions are referred to as Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO).   (Confusingly, MRO is also used as an acronym for Maintenance, Repair and Operations.)

MRO, as defined by the United States Department of Defense, is:

Any activity—such as tests, measurements, replacements, adjustments, and repairs—intended to retain or restore a functional unit in or to a specified state in which the unit can perform its required functions.

All action taken to retain material in a serviceable condition or to restore it to serviceability. It includes inspections, testing, servicing, classification as to serviceability, repair, rebuilding, and reclamation.

All supply and repair action taken to keep a force in condition to carry out its mission.

The routine recurring work required to keep a facility (plant, building, structure, ground facility, utility system, or other real property) in such condition that it may be continuously used, at its original or designed capacity and efficiency for its intended purpose.

Maintenance is strictly connected to the utilization stage of the product or technical system, in which the concept of maintainability must be included. In this scenario, maintainability is considered as the ability of an item, under stated conditions of use, to be retained in or restored to a state in which it can perform its required functions, using prescribed procedures and resources.

The basic types of maintenance falling under MRO include:

  • Preventive Maintenance, also known as PM, is a routine for periodically inspecting (noticing small problems and fixing them before major ones develop). Planned maintenance is preplanned, and can be date-based, based on equipment running hours, or on distance travelled.  Planned maintenance can occur on a regular schedule for other assets.
  • Corrective maintenance where equipment (or other asset) is repaired or replaced after wear, malfunction or break down.
  • Predictive maintenance, which uses sensor data to monitor a system, then continuously evaluates it against historical trends to predict failure before it occurs.
  • Architectural conservation employs MRO to preserve, rehabilitate, restore, or reconstruct historical structures with stone, brick, glass, metal, and wood which match the original constituent materials where possible, or with suitable polymer technologies when not.

Another approach to maintenance is called “Condition-based”.

Condition-based Maintenance

Condition-based maintenance (CBM) is maintenance when need arises. Albeit chronologically much older, it is considered one section or practice inside the broader and newer predictive maintenance field, where new AI technologies and connectivity abilities are put to action and where the acronym CBM is more often used to describe 'Condition Based Monitoring' rather than the maintenance itself. CBM maintenance is performed after one or more indicators show that equipment is going to fail or that equipment performance is deteriorating.

Condition-based maintenance was introduced to try to maintain the correct equipment at the right time. CBM is based on using real-time data to prioritize and optimize maintenance resources. Observing the state of the system is known as condition monitoring. Such a system will determine the equipment's health and act only when maintenance is actually necessary.  Ideally, condition-based maintenance will allow the maintenance personnel to do only the right things, minimizing spare parts cost, system downtime and time spent on maintenance.

CBM’s advantages and disadvantages over planned maintenance:

Advantages:

  • Improved system reliability
  • Decreased maintenance costs
  • Decreased number of maintenance operations causes a reduction of human error influences

Disadvantages:

  • High installation costs, especially for minor equipment items which are often more than the value of the equipment
  • Unpredictable maintenance periods cause costs to be divided unequally
  • Increased number of parts (the CBM installation itself) that need maintenance and checking

Today, due to its costs, CBM is not used for less important parts of machinery despite obvious advantages. However, it can be found everywhere where increased reliability and safety is required, and in the future will be applied even more widely.

For myself and my personal vehicle, I use the CBM approach; the advantage is cost-effectiveness.  However, larger organizations should consider PM, and even MRO.  CMS software is how you get there.  It manages every kind of asset imaginable, their inspection schedules, their inspection factors (and activities for maintenance and repair), the assets’ inspections and resultant condition, the PM Activities and timeframes, and the alerts for PMs due.  PMs and inspections can be planned and scheduled. 

What assets do you manage? Equipment (rolling stock and/or plant equipment), Roads, Bridges, Lights, Signs, Sidewalks, Signals, Railroad Crossings? What about Cemeteries, Golf Courses, Airports, Marinas, or Beaches?  Create a category, and start to manage it today by applying Preventive Maintenance and MRO, using CMS.

By Tari Muth

Read More
21st Nov 2018CitiTech Newsletter November 2018
21st November 2018
CitiTech Newsletter November 2018
 General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Note from the Editor

Hello! 

Read on to meet our new Guru, check the news, and find out what's new! …

Read More

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

CitiTech News

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve done this year and what we have planned for 2019.…

Read More

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

What's New?

MORE Report Changes!

The reporting module in CMS is undergoing EVEN MORE exciting revisions and improvements, thanks to input from you.... 

Read More

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

Guru's Corner

New GURU!

We’re proud to introduce our new CitiTech team member to you, our Customers!….

Read More

  
Fema Flames

Features & Functionality

FEMA Functionality in CMS Makes FEMA Documentation Easy! 

In the U.S., likely natural disasters include hurricanes ...  

Read More

 

 
Fema Flames

 

Cool Stuff!

Business Process Improvement (BPI) – what is it, and how can my organization achieve it? ...

Read More

Editor's Note

Hello!

 

Read on to meet our new Guru, check the news, and find out what's new!  Learn more about CMS features, and find out about BPI in the “Cool Stuff!” section. 

Enjoy the newsletter, consider being featured in the next one, and keep the suggestions and feedback coming.  We’ll listen.

By Tari Muth

CitiTech News

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve done this year and what we have planned for 2019.

Thanks in large measure to the Alabama Department of Transportation, we devoted a significant amount of time to improving CMS performance; both in terms of how we present data on the screen and how we report information. Our greatest strength has been our ability to collect huge amounts of information and use advanced tools and techniques to deliver mission-essential information. With these huge data sets, large users such as the Alabama and Mississippi Departments of Transportation were experiencing unacceptable delays in processing Daily Work Reports or generating complex reports for a year’s worth of data, such as the Work Report Transaction Detail Report.

We focused on improving data entry and reporting performance and are pleased to report that CMS now delivers comprehensive reports for extended date ranges in minutes, rather than hours. Collecting data in Daily Work Reports, a critical and required step, has improved as well.  Improving performance in data collection and reporting was an important effort that required several months to improve and is now available to all users. This improvement is an example of how users help us identify and resolve stress points and improve CMS functionality.

Since we’ve made significant performance improvements, we are now shifting our focus to bridging the gap by enhancing web and mobile functionality.  CMS has a proven track record as a desktop application.  We are currently researching the most effective methods of providing connectivity to remote users without sacrificing performance or functionality.  Our goal is to provide a consistent workflow across most prevalent operating systems without sacrificing productivity regardless of internet connectivity.

We’re excited about this future functionality in addition to our Desktop application. It will allow CMS users to use Work eOrders on tablets and/or cell phones in the field where they can be completed and saved. We’ve already developed at least one proof-of-concept prototype. As we get closer to having fully-developed applications, we’ll announce them and welcome CMS users to be beta testers.

And, finally… best wishes for the upcoming Holiday Season. We hope 2019 brings you good health and happiness.

By Brian McKiernan

What's New?  MORE Report Changes!

The reporting module in CMS is undergoing EVEN MORE exciting revisions and improvements, thanks to input from you.  

Once you get the latest update, you’ll notice that the report screen has changed.  A few improvements we’ve made:  the Date Range prompt is now on the screen (rather than having to click on “View Report” to be prompted), you can now view the new Data Reader reports using many different file types (like crystal report, adobe pdf file, excel spreadsheet, text, or Microsoft word document), and buttons that clear, reset, or save the filter(s).   

The traditional reporting mechanism generates a memory Data Set containing data and is fed to a crystal report document.  When reporting requests cover multi-year date ranges or use wide-open selection criteria (or no selection criteria at all), these memory datasets would sometimes exceed the capacity of the .NET framework to hold such huge amounts of data. 

The new approach, which is being rolled out in increments, uses a Data Reader.  This sends a continuous stream of data that is fed by the database (instead of holding all the data at once).   The Data Reader will continuously provide information to the crystal report document (or other file type), thus lessening or eliminating the occurrence of Out-of-Memory exceptions.  Additionally, you can look forward to your reports being generated much faster!

Changes started with the large reports that have often caused users issues when trying to run huge date ranges.  We have revised the reports we initially released, to improve accuracy and also to fix several scenarios we didn’t originally take into account, all thanks to our customers’ feedback.  They are now faster and more accurate.

More reports that use the Data Reader are coming in future Web Updates... so stay tuned!   

By Tari Muth 

Guru's Corner - New GURU!

We’re proud to introduce our new CitiTech team member to you, our Customers!  

Meet Todd Bagley, our new developer, who hails from Wisconsin.  Todd served in the Air Force as a Russian linguist and a Pararescueman after school. After completing his service he began working in the technology sector, focusing on AI and machine-learning using logistic regression.  This led him to developing aircraft systems for the military, where he developed autonomous systems for the Predator and Reaper, also serving as a pilot on overseas assignments. In his spare time, Todd still pursues his love of flying along with the creative endeavors of music and photography.

Todd has been developing process-centric applications for 20 years and is looking forward to bringing this experience to CitiTech.  

Welcome to the CitiTech team!

By Tari Muth

Features & Functionality

FEMA Functionality in CMS Makes FEMA Documentation Easy! 

In the U.S., likely natural disasters include hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, heat waves, droughts, cold waves, snowstorms, blizzards, landslides/mudslides, wildfires, famine, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  Or, earthquakes FOLLOWED by tsunamis (1964). And last - but not least - volcanoes!

No one needs to tell you, none of them are fun.  Chances are you know someone affected, or have been affected yourself.  Deaths, injuries, and damage paralyze communities, and it will take months – or years – to recover.

Flooding across the Midwest in June 2008 affected more than 11 million people, the most people affected by a natural disaster in U.S. history.  Wildfires cost lives and acreage.  More than 10 MILLION acres were lost in 2015!

Unfortunately, natural disasters will happen.  However, if the disaster is documented, FEMA will reimburse some of the costs for emergency operations and disaster cleanup. 

CMS allows you to set up a disaster record, and tie FEMA rates to YOUR rates (so rates match what FEMA will reimburse, regardless of what you usually charge for equipment).  When you specify the disaster in a Work Report, CMS captures those “alternate” rates for the reports you’ll need, making it easy to submit paperwork to FEMA for reimbursement.  Check it out!

Here’s where I got my facts about natural disasters:

https://www.statista.com/topics/1714/natural-disasters/

By Tari Muth

Cool Stuff!

Business Process Improvement (BPI) - what is it, and how can my organization achieve it?  Business Process Improvement (BPI) is an approach designed to help organizations redesign their existing business operations to accomplish significant improvement in production. Effective BPI helps to generate promising results in operational efficiency and customer focus.

BPI, when implemented by means of a structured methodology, helps organizations to reduce their operational costs and cycle time, enhance customer service and improve the quality of their services.

The significance of BPI is remarkable in today’s competitive market as work processes are extensively affected by technology. An effective way to achieve a successful Business Process Improvement is to concentrate more on the business requirement than on the technology used to achieve the solution. 

BPI aims to reduce waste and/or variation in processes to achieve the desired outcome by using existing resources in a better way. The ultimate goal of BPI is to bring out a drastic change in an organization’s performance, rather than bringing out the changes in incremental steps.

Because BPI implementation is a project, all project management principles apply. This ensures well-organized improvement processes without any conflicts.

In a simplistic view, these steps can be defined like this: 

  1. Define the existing processes and structure in the organization.
  2. Identify the outcomes that would add value in achieving the organization's objectives and the best ways to align the organization’s processes to achieve these outcomes.
  3. Reorganize the workforce in the organization based on the desired outcomes by means of the various tools available in the BPI process.

More than one approach exists.  For example, I found one website that uses information developed by researching methodologies employed by institutions of higher learning called “RAPID Process Improvement Methodology”.  It’s a customized way to assess business processes and make recommendations for improvement.  If you ever wonder how to get started, this website contains checklists, how-to guides, samples, and templates!

Their steps are:  Review the Problem, Assess the Current State, Plan for Change, Implement Changes, and Determine Success.

CMS can help you improve the process!  Work smarter, not harder.  One great example of using CMS to improve processes is Mississippi Department of Transportation.  They analyzed one activity (mowing) and found one district was more cost-efficient than the rest.  By standardizing that district’s processes state-wide, they were able to do the same amount of work more efficiently state-wide, and saved $2.4 million – annually - for one activity! 

Find out for yourself how improving the process of doing work can save time and money. 

Source:

https://www.uillinois.edu/cio/services/bpi/business_process_improvement_methodology_toolkit/

By Tari Muth

Read More
23rd Apr 2018CitiTech Newsletter Spring 2018
23rd April 2018
CitiTech Newsletter Spring 2018
 General Asset Management with CitiTech Management Software (CMS) increases performance and saves money.

Note from the Editor

Hello! 

Read on to learn the latest exciting CitiTech news, and find out what's new now!  See what sage advice the Gurus impart, and learn about a CMS feature you may not even know exists! …

Read More

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

CitiTech News

Smartphones and tablets have changed how people use computers…

Read More

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

What's New?

Report Changes!

The reporting module in CMS is undergoing an exciting...

Read More

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

Guru's Corner

Speed up your software!

Want CMS to run faster and more efficiently?    You can speed up everything from screen loading, to lookups, saving, reporting, and more - while also saving keystrokes, paper, and time! ….

Read More

  
Fema Flames

Features & Functionality

CMS Has Automated That!  Now it takes minutes instead of days.

Read More

 

 
Fema Flames

Cool Stuff!

“Asset Management” –vs – “Asset Maintenance Management”…. What’s the Difference?  And Which Do I Want To Do? ...

Read More

Hello!

Read on to learn the latest exciting CitiTech News, and find out What's New Now!  See what sage advice the Gurus impart, and learn about a Feature you may not even know exists!

Does your organization do Asset Management or Asset Maintenance Management?  What’s the difference?  And, which one should you be doing?  Find out in the article “Cool Stuff!

Enjoy the newsletter, consider being featured in the next one, and keep the suggestions and feedback coming.  We’ll listen.

By Tari Muth

CitiTech News

MobileCMS

Smartphones and tablets have changed how people use computers, allowing greater freedom and mobility.  Mobile application development has quickly grown to rival that of traditional PC applications.  More than just their convenient size, smartphones boast features such as flexible access to data networks, location services, biometrics, and voice and camera features that go beyond the traditional definition of a personal computer.

To take advantage of this potential and complement its CMS product, CitiTech is developing a responsive web application that will allow users to access core CMS functionality from a smartphone or tablet.  The 1.0 release (dubbed "CitiWeb") will include modules for Work Orders, Work Reports, Inspections, and Assets.  It will operate seamlessly alongside existing Windows client installations and will support all major browsers.  We are far enough along in the CitiWeb development cycle to begin communicating to our customers what we have in store.  

The responsive UI in CitiWeb means that it will adjust to the user's device.  CitiWeb will provide compact and touch-friendly controls on smart phones while on desktop computers its UI will expand to fill the browser screen, showing more at a single glance.  Because CitiWeb is browser-based, it runs identically on all modern smart phones and has no installation footprint, easing deployment and allowing development to take advantage of the latest web technologies.

We'll be showcasing some of the features of CitiWeb in the coming months.  Our team is excited to be bringing the biggest features of CMS to the web!

By Brian McKiernan

What's New?  Report Changes!

The reporting module in CMS is undergoing an exciting revision. 

The traditional reporting mechanism generates a memory dataset containing data to be fed to a Crystal Report document.  When reporting requests cover multi-year date ranges, or use open selection criteria (or no selection criteria at all), these memory datasets would sometimes exceed the capacity of the base framework to hold such huge amounts of data. 

The new approach - currently in the works and being rolled out in increments - is use of a “data reader”.  The data reader uses a continuous stream of data being fed by the database, instead of attempting to hold all the data at once.   The data reader will continuously provide data to the crystal report document, thus lessening or eliminating the occurrence of Out-of-memory exceptions.  Additionally, you can look forward to your reports being generated much faster! 

What is the schedule of roll-outs of report changes?  We are concentrating on the reports that use huge amounts of data, like Asset History and Transaction Detail reports.  Some report changes have already been released (such as the Work Report Transaction Detail) and more will be released with upcoming Web Updates.

By Bimende Malik

Guru's Corner - Speed Up Your Software!

Want CMS to run faster and more efficiently?  You can speed up everything from screen loading, to lookups, saving, reporting, and more - while also saving keystrokes, paper, and time!  How?  By cleaning up your data! 

Here are some of the options in CMS that YOU can run at your convenience: 

  • Yearpost all years up to the current year
  • Lower the “Load Days” number in your System Preferences to gain loading speed for operations modules like Work Orders, Work Reports, and Purchase Orders
  • Turn off Auditlog (unless you need to track all changes)
  • Perform Auditlog maintenance - delete old entries from way back (don’t worry; if your Auditlog is on, it will immediately begin tracking changes again, or if not, you can turn it on any time and it will start there)
  • Analyze and fix Work Reports with Asset/Activity duplication problems
  • Close old overdue Work Orders
  • Close old Purchase Orders
  • Archive Employees no longer employed
  • Archive all sold Equipment
  • Do Address Maintenance - and then Address Cleanup 
  • Check / Repair Inventory Orphans
  • Check / Repair Duplicate Inventory Sites
  • Check / Repair Inventory Counts
  • Check / Repair Matlog records
  • Check / Repair Matlog record rates
  • Consider using the Inventory Anchor table
  • Consider creating Templates, if you don’t already use them
  • Specifically look at Alert Reminders and clean up the alerted items; examples include entering “Life In Years” values in the Equipment Records, entering positive budget amounts in Projects, doing citizen follow-up for closed Work Orders, ordering Inventory that is below minimum quantity, inspecting Assets that are overdue, updating Employee record dates with the NEW dates (once the expired CDL has been renewed or employees have done their annual performance review, as examples)

Most items are available through a menu item.  Just click on it – how easy is that? 

A few items need fixed one-by-one (such as Alert Reminder items).

Outdated alert items make Alert Reminders useless, orphan records and accidental record duplication bloat your datasets.  Outdated fiscal years skew “Year-To-Date” throughout CMS.  ALL are worth checking into, to streamline your data, to make record loading and lookups faster, as well as making record saving AND reports faster. 

Where can you do data cleanup?

By Tari Muth

Features & Functionality

CMS Has Automated That!  Now it takes minutes instead of days. 

Hi, it’s Tari!  As you may know, I’m first-line tech support here at CitiTech Systems, Inc. 

I love helping our customers!  So when I hear horror stories, I am glad when I’m able to recommend something to fix it.  One example follows, in case you find yourself in her shoes and weren’t aware…. Sometimes, we can help with that!

Recently, I heard how long it takes to record one process… equipment fueling.  Your Equipment is an asset, so in order to maintain accurate history (and keep track of fuel quantities), you have to record WHICH days fueling happened, WHICH department and WHICH program to use, WHICH activity was done, HOW MUCH of the activity was accomplished, WHICH equipment items were fueled, WHICH fuel was used, from WHICH site, HOW MUCH fuel was used, and WHAT the equipment readings were at the time.  I heard it took DAYS to enter all that.  Days per month!

I asked her, “What if you could periodically just process those records automatically?” and we went from there.  You see, we have a Fuel System module that you can tailor to read YOUR automated fuel system, and create Work Reports for fueling equipment at the touch of a button (the “Fuel System Process” button, actually)!   Fueling reports, as well as exception reports, are also included.  Additionally, the fueling activity and costs become part of the Equipment's history.

She didn’t know that the Fuel System module existed – and couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was - so I sent her a quote in writing.  She discussed it with her boss, and shortly her city provided a Purchase Order number.  We enabled the module the same day, and set up her profile. 

Fuel System can read lots of different formats – but, this user only gets a monthly spreadsheet, and it needed some TLC in terms of formatting.  We helped by writing a macro she can run to create a file with correct formatting and relevant fields. 

When we followed up to see how she liked pressing "Process Fuel" instead of entering tons of fueling work reports, we discovered that even though she no longer has to create those records, she still had to access each one - just to enter the Program!  So we enhanced our module by adding the Program field; now it can read and input that automatically.  Her predicament led to our enhancement... to everyone’s benefit!

Now, it takes her a few keystrokes instead of a few days.  In fact, she estimates it saves her at least 12 hours per month!  Here’s what she had to say:

“The fuel system in CMS has cut hours of data entry off my time each month.  What took me about 3 days of 4 hours of data entry is now only a few clicks with my mouse and I’m done with 100% accuracy.  The setup process did not take long at all.  With Tari’s help and the use of “GoToMeeting” it was done in no time.  The best thing is, CMS can customize the program to fit your needs. Have a question or problem? Tari is just a phone call away. She is soooo helpful and has always answered my questions and educated me on how to use the program efficiently.”

JoAnn Dickman, City of Alma

Several of our other customers also own the Fuel System module; in fact, some have had it for years!  Here’s what one had to say:

“Prior to the Fuel System module, the employees had to write down all the information for that piece of equipment on a fuel card for the month.  Those fuel cards were entered in CMS individually, which took 1.5 days of steady input!  Now, I feel that we are more accurate on the information and amount of fuel used plus it saves so much time for shop employees and office staff.  Shop employees no longer have to remember to write down date, mileage, type of fuel and gallons for that piece of equipment on a fuel card.  Everything we need is entered prior to fueling.  The office staff no longer has to ask questions to fill in the missing blanks.  With a few clicks of a button, the software transfers the information daily.  In doing so, we are up to date for any report that we may need.  When we started with the Fuel System module, we were using Gasboy.  In 2015 we converted to the FuelMaster system.  This [CMS] module works with both without any problems.  Set up and conversion were smooth.  This module is such a great time saver!”

Jane Hatch, Butler County, KS 

Like Butler County, other users started with one fuel program, and then seamlessly switched to another – like 18-year user Tulsa County, OK.  During most of that time, they used Gasboy with Fuel Systems.  Four years ago, they switched to Fuel Master.  A representative had this to say:  “CitiTech has worked perfectly with the data - whichever fuel system we have used. “

Barbara Pursell, Tulsa County, OK

We have one customer who has just recently requested and received approval for CMS Fuel System, and is looking forward to getting it set up and running.  They are quoted as saying, “We use Voyager for our fuel supplier. The reason we [purchased] the fuel module is to enter equipment mileage automatically – in order to alert us to upcoming preventive maintenance schedules. We have close to 700 City owned units (vehicles and equipment). When we do our annual evaluations it takes close to a week to prepare and enter all the data from the different suppliers. [Fuel Systems] should streamline the process to just a day or two. It should pay for itself by cutting down on the [unexpected] maintenance cost of vehicles and equipment repairs that could have been corrected during the scheduled preventive maintenance, had it been done when it was due.”   

Paulette Cornell, Gulf Shores, AL

It’s clear that this module pays for itself many times over, saves time, AND increases accuracy.  Give us a call if YOUR organization wants to track fuel usage (and optionally equipment readings) automatically.  We’re happy to demo it for you; you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to use AND how inexpensive it is.

By Tari Muth

Cool Stuff!

“Asset Management” –vs – “Asset Maintenance Management”…. What’s the Difference?  And Which Do I Want To Do?

Asset Management is a strategically focused approach to make meaningful decisions related to the development, use, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and preservation of an agency’s infrastructure. 

Asset Management can be defined as “the combination of management, financial, economic, engineering, and other practices applied to physical assets with the objective of providing the required level of service in the most cost effective manner. It includes the management of the whole life cycle (design, construction, commissioning, operating, maintaining, repairing, modifying, replacing and decommissioning/disposal) of physical and infrastructure assets.”

The process of Asset Management requires managers to identify what they own or have jurisdiction over, determine what the level of service for those assets are, discover the current condition of them, and decide which to fix or maintain first.

Asset Maintenance Management is defined as “a continuous process improvement strategy for improving the availability, safety, reliability and longevity of physical assets”.  This not only includes tracking work to the asset and resource usage, it requires managers to use this collected historical data to make meaningful business decisions in terms of providing maintenance and repairs most effectively.

Physical assets include – but are not limited to - equipment, plants, facilities, vehicles, utility systems, and infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, tunnels, railroad crossings, marinas, golf courses, parks, and sidewalks).  

Ideally, you want to do both – manage your assets and manage the maintenance of your assets.

The ideal Maintenance Management process is based on four primary fundamentals:  planning, organizing, scheduling, and controlling.  Planning entails establishing the desired frequency of maintenance for your activities, determining the best methods to accomplish the work, matching your available labor and equipment resources to assets, and projecting how much you can accomplish.  Organizing your planned available resources and applying them to your inventory of assets to achieve the desired service levels is next.  Scheduling work, including planned, routine, and backlogged work, helps you see what work is in the future, and keeps you proactive.   Managers and supervisors control the process by using collected data from work accomplishment to benchmark against other similar entities to raise the bar and strive for the highest level of quality service at the lowest cost, and improve future planning efforts.

Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is software that helps organizations keep track of all assets that they are responsible for, helps them schedule and track maintenance tasks, and keep a historical record of work they perform.

CMMS should:

Generate a report detailing all maintenance and other work carried out on an asset over any specified period.

Record customer requests, and optionally program an asset inspection and/or maintenance in response to them.

Record the maintenance carried out on asset components.

Program a range of maintenance activities against an asset or asset component.

Schedule maintenance after a fixed period of time has elapsed since maintenance was last carried out.

CitiTech Management Software does all the above – and more!  CMS can record inspection results, use those results to adjust assets’ condition or level of service, and goes further – it can analyze work and inspection results to modify future plans to accomplish target levels of service!  

Anyone can do Asset Management using software – or even a spreadsheet!  Anyone can accomplish Asset Maintenance Management using software.  Smart users use software that can do both, analyze the results, and improve the process - and CMS is that complete package.

By Tari Muth

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17th Apr 2016CitiTech Newsletter 2016
17th April 2016
CitiTech Newsletter 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 …

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

CitiTech News

CitiTech has dramatically improved performance ….

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

What's New?

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

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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

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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 ...

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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

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