Note from the Editor
In our fourth quarter 2011 newsletter, we proudly present MORE features and functionality available in Version 8. We tell you “What’s New”, and what’s “Coming Soon”! Guru’s Corner features our new Operations Manager. We also have a new section called “Frequently Asked Questions”. AND, we spotlight another of our awesome users!
Most users have now converted to Version 8. Version 7 will NOT be supported forever, so if you are still using Version 7, give us a call; we can provide information on conversion and/or a preview of Version 8.
Please continue to let us know what YOU think of our newsletter, and to suggest articles, give us feedback on your/our software, or volunteer for our User Spotlight!
Version 8 Features & Functionality: Bi-directional G.I.S.
CMS provides links into, and out of, GIS systems.
CMS provides basic connectivity as part of the basic system. Basic connectivity is defined this way: the ability to join the map records to the CMS record(s). This functionality is provided by the map.
CMS contains an additional optional module (“GIS”) which provides bi-directional GIS functionality. Bi-directional functionality is defined this way: in the CMS program, the ability to show a map with the CMS record(s) displayed on it, and also from the map, access the CMS program to either create or display assets, create a Work Order or Work Report related to an asset, or run a history report on an asset. In other words, you can start in CMS and display the map containing the item OR you can start in the map and launch options in the CMS program.
If your assets, such as signs, buildings, pavement records, or utility items exist on a map, save yourself time; import those shape files into CMS as records!
Some examples of things you can do with GIS: You can report into GIS all the work orders for a specific block, or display an overlay of all bridges in the city, or see all the stop signs on a specific road.
If you are in CMS on a record which exists in the GIS map and you click on the “Show Map” icon (a picture of a globe), the map will be displayed with your item(s) highlighted.
On the map, if an item is highlighted and you right-click on it, options are displayed – you can Create a Work Report, Create a Work Order, Create an Inspection, Show History, Query, Create Asset, and Show Asset.
You can also locate work on the map using the mover/builder screens of Work Orders and Work Report; click on the “Map” icon to launch the map, then select an area or an asset. When you close the map, the asset(s) is displayed in the “related assets” section of the mover/builder!
The map displayed contains layers on the left, and tabs on the top: “Map”, “Print Preview”, and “CitiTech Objects”.
Save yourself time and effort, and work with CMS and the map concurrently!
What’s New: Triggers!
Have you ever wished that you could MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN every time you create a certain type of record, or enter a certain value? Now you can!
Triggers are available for the following main screens and their templates: Work Orders, Work Reports, Purchase Orders, Inspections, Pavement Management, Roadway Features, General Assets, Utilities, Contracts, Vouchers, Inventory Receipts, Annual Work Plans, Inventory Master screen, Equipment Master Screen and Employee Master Screen.
The good news: Triggers are ALL OR NOTHING! This means you don’t need to buy Triggers for Work Orders and Triggers for Work Reports and Triggers for Purchase Orders and Triggers for Inspections, and so on. Buy Triggers and they are instantly available for ALL the modules listed above.
Trigger records let you specify what type of action to take, when the action should occur, and optional parameters to the action routine. Multiple triggers may be defined in each screen, and each trigger may have multiple rules specified.
You can pick from a selection of pre-canned options or create your own trigger(s). You can specify when you’d like the action to occur (when you leave the record, midnight, or …) and what condition must be met for the trigger to fire. Trigger actions include actions inside CMS and outside CMS. For example, you could set it up to create a new Work Order automatically when a Bridge record’s condition is set to less than or equal to 30%. Or you could set up a trigger that would send an email to a specified user or group if the record meets your conditions – for example, send the legal department an email when a Work Report is marked “Accident-related”. Or you could set up a trigger as an interface mechanism to initialize action and propagate changes in adjacent applications. For example, a trigger can be established that will fire an executable with record values as arguments, and send those values into different software packages (accounting, payroll, inspections etc.) at a time you specify.
Guru’s Corner: Featuring Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis is a welcome addition to the CitiTech team. A former Californian, he brings with him years of experience as a General Manager of both City of Arcadia, California and City of Indio, California. Both organizations are CitiTech customers, so he also has first-hand knowledge of our software’s capabilities and our willingness to work with our customers to provide solutions that meet their needs – in fact, he was instrumental in both commissioning custom development for those organizations and providing input on some functionality we’ve made standard (available to all our users).
In addition to his General Manager experience, his background includes Manager of Mechanical Services for Southern California Edison’s 65,000 sq ft mechanical repair facility, built to service the company’s generating system rotating equipment. This included Engineering, Inspection Services, Shop and Field Machining services, administrative support services and contract services. Directed the development of a job order costing and shop scheduling system. He was also General Superintendent of the Utilities Department at Kaiser Steel Corporation, where he was responsible for the maintenance and operations of the Utilities Department which included the Water Services Division, Sewer facilities, Electrical Distribution, Gas Distribution, Steam/Compressed Air, Power House and Environmental Control Equipment. Another position he held was Industrial Engineer for Kaiser Steel Corporation, where he led a team of Engineers to write programs for the creation and implementation of the steel industry’s first computerized maintenance management control system.
Gary’s duties will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the CitiTech staff, as well as providing insight into how government organizations (like cities and water authorities) function, what their needs and expectations are, and project management.
Gary said, “I look forward to the opportunity of working with all our customers in combining my experience in both the private and public sectors to prepare CitiTech for the next generation of development. I especially look forward to working with the assembled team of programming personnel comprising a very talented and capable group of professionals with a variety of disciplines that will help CitiTech meet the challenges of the future. I will further be calling on our existing customers and staff for their support in advancing my innovations and programs.”
Please join us in welcoming Gary!
Frequently Asked Questions
“I want to delete this item, but I’m afraid if I do, I’ll lose its history!”
Yes, if you delete something, you won’t be able to see it on your screen or in your lookups anymore. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! If it has a history (it’s been used or worked on in a Work Report or Warehouse Requisition, or been received using Inventory Receipts/Purchase Orders, etc.), the record is treated differently than one without history. Using the screen to display the record and pressing the “Delete” button calls functionality that determines whether the record should be Archived or Deleted by looking for its history. Records with history are archived so that the history is not lost – it will still show up in your reports.
See for yourself by browsing the appropriate table – some records have a check in the “archive” checkbox. They don’t show up in your screens, lookups, or mover/builder screens, but they exist!
Worth noting: some tables don’t HAVE an “Archive” checkbox. For those that don’t, analysts could not determine why the record should EVER need to be archived. For example, if you delete a Work Report, you will in fact DELETE it (it will no longer exist)!
User Spotlight/Case Study: Alabama Department of Transportation
CitiTech would like to welcome its latest user, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), to the growing CMS family.
As many of you know, CMS has evolved in the last several years as a result of its first DOT implementation with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).
“Fortunately, modifying CMS from a city/county maintenance management system to have a state DOT focus wasn’t overly difficult,” said Brian McKiernan, CitiTech president. “All CMS users have the same objectives… maintain assets and extend asset life, control costs and provide the best customer service possible. DOTs are more focused on work planning and budgeting, but they all have the same basic maintenance management mission.”
When ALDOT independently selected CMS for its state-wide maintenance management application in 2010, CMS already met basic DOT requirements, yet was flexible and configurable enough to accommodate ALDOT-specific functionality, as well.
“The MDOT and ALDOT implementations have benefited all CMS users; between them, handhelds, improved asset location screens using GPS, GIS, and Linear Referencing System (LRS), improved inspections with Level of Service indicators, and better cost reporting have all been integrated into the CMS model.”
ALDOT had a goal to improve their maintenance management processes. With the assistance of Dye Management Group, ALDOT initiated an extensive maintenance management improvement program consisting of several related efforts. One effort involved holding workshops to understand current business practices and identify strengths and weaknesses of the current program. Combining this information with Guidelines for Maintenance Management from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and taking into consideration the experiences of other state departments of transportation, ALDOT was able to apply that information to the proposed future maintenance management business model.
This performance-oriented maintenance management model wasn’t new – it’s maintenance management lifecycle best practice! It is based on an iterative flow, incorporating a feedback loop throughout the entire process. It begins with initial planning, which then flows to budgeting, scheduling, performing, reporting, and concludes with an evaluation of outcomes. Feedback on these outcomes are then incorporated back into the planning process where the cycle begins again. See Figure 1.
ALDOT named this model “RoadMAP” which stands for Road Maintenance Accountability Program. In order to implement RoadMAP, ALDOT needed an off-the-shelf solution that could be put into operation quickly and configured to meet their specific requirements. ALDOT found what they needed with CitiTech Management Software, which complemented their proposed maintenance management business model. In fact, CitiTech Management Software met 91% of ALDOT’s requirements right out of the box! The contract was awarded to CitiTech Systems, Inc. and Exor (which was in the process of being acquired by Bentley Systems, Inc.). Bentley Systems managed the implementation of the software and developed several interfaces, such as a Random Condition Assessment Sample Generator, which continues to save ALDOT much time and effort in preparing for its annual condition assessments. Dye Management Group provided project support, including monitoring and reviewing the implementation, training, user acceptance testing, and roll-out to ensure ALDOT’s goals were being met.
ALDOT also had some enterprise systems that they wanted to keep as the primary system of record. To fulfill this need, CitiTech Systems developed interfaces. For example, interfaces were built to use the data in the Alabama Bridge Information Management Systems (ABIMS) to create and update bridge inventory and condition assessments. The custom interfaces were also built to use inspection data from ALDOT’s Pavement Management Office to generate pavement condition assessments in RoadMAP. The results collected from the bridge and pavement condition assessments are then used for calculating the Level of Service (LOS) for assets.
Other interfaces were developed to create and/or update records in RoadMAP for Employees using their Human Capital Management (HCM) system and Comprehensive Project Management System (CPMS). Equipment records are also updated using CPMS and their Comprehensive Equipment Management System (CEMS) and Material records are updated using CPMS. In addition, CitiTech created triggers that send emails to the appropriate ALDOT personnel regarding accident-related work orders being scheduled or completed, and regarding completed sign-related work orders. RoadMAP evaluates the results of sign inspections and, if any sign falls out of the user-defined standards and work has not been done to repair the deficiency, sends an email to the appropriate personnel! CitiTech also developed an interface that allowed customer input data on LOS for each maintenance feature, including customer ratings, to be brought into RoadMAP. Another interface developed by CitiTech Systems creates equipment usage data when the minimum required hours/miles have not been met for a month – by either creating or updating work reports. Of course, some of these interfaces needed custom reports, so CitiTech provided reports such as “LOS Actual –vs- Customer Perceived,” “Outbound Labor,” “Outbound Equipment,” “Outbound Material,” and “Accident Reimbursement.”
In addition, ALDOT needed a customized condition assessment form, so CitiTech Systems designed a “Data Collection Form” to their specifications. After all, the Alabama State Highway System consists of approximately 11,000 centerline miles of roadway, so the ability to continue assessments in a familiar way was important. ALDOT identified specific functionality that was lacking in the calculation of inventory quantity and CitiTech enhanced core CMS software to improve it for everyone! A new system preference was created for calculating “Inventory Qty” by factoring in Asset Program (or not), which affects Annual Work Plans, LOS Analysis, Work Plan Analysis, and Budget Analysis.
ALDOT is geographically organized into nine (9) Divisions that cover the entire state. Each of these divisions is further divided into Districts, totaling forty-one (41) throughout the state. The organizational structure is such that the Districts collectively report up to the Division in which they are located. Similarly, Divisions, from a maintenance management perspective, roll-up to the ALDOT Maintenance Bureau, with its central office being located in Montgomery. That’s a lot of personnel to train! Following the typical approach for state level implementation, they decided to “Train the Trainers” who would train others.
CitiTech Systems developed the training program and conducted training for the trainers. Brian McBrayer, the ALDOT RoadMAP Program Manager who had been involved in every aspect of implementation, was also on hand to help instruct and provide information on ALDOT-specific processes. Bentley Systems and Dye Management personnel were on hand, as well, lending expertise. ALDOT identified personnel in each Division who would be the “power users” for their group. Some students were seeing RoadMAP for the first time.
Representatives from CitiTech, Bentley, and Dye Management were also present for User Acceptance Testing, which occurred the week following the training session and used the newly-trained trainers to help test functionality to ensure it met all requirements before the roll-out to the Divisions and Districts began.
ALDOT began with a goal of improving their maintenance management processes. Did they accomplish that goal?
End results of RoadMAP implementation statewide include the ability to link asset LOS to cost, without having to change existing processes. They can now create an annual work plan based on target LOS, and adjust it using LOS Analysis and Budget Analysis. They can also perform “what-if” analyses based on budget constraints, personnel changes, material cost trends, and equipment purchases. They are now able to justify current and planned (future) expenditures. Using RoadMAP, the desired LOS is defined; the annual maintenance programs are designed to provide that LOS, and the resulting conditions of maintenance assets are assessed to determine if the desired outcomes were achieved. This assessment of desired versus actual outcome is then used as the basis for refining the maintenance program for the following year.
Over time ALDOT will be able to refine their Work Plans based on actual accomplishments, spot cost trends, and apply best practices across the board, resulting in “A Better Road Ahead.”
Let’s welcome ALDOT to the CMS family.
Coming Soon: Signs Plus
A new optional module designed to help you meet the new requirements for sign retroreflectivity. It contains MUTCD codes and tracks signs’ retroreflectivity to help you identify which meet standards and which need replacement.
The Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) is requiring enhanced sign management beginning January 2012 and it will affect how city, county, state and federal agencies maintain signs on public roads. Signs Plus was developed to expand basic sign management and meet the six methods FHWA approved to measure sign retro-reflectivity. For more information on the new FHWA retro-reflectivity standard, visit http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/night_visib/retrotoolkit/index.htm.
Signs Plus is due for release in January 2012 and will be available in Versions 8 and above.