NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Nacogdoches Public Works Department has found a way to save time and money on the service it provides to its customers.
Mapping apps are providing "real-time" efficiency.
You may need an extra dumpster pickup or there's an annoying pothole on your street. The last thing a resident wants to do is wait days for a work order to be processed before workers can tend to the problem.
"We needed something that was real time," said Cary Walker, the City of Nacogdoches public works director.
Computerized work order and tracking applications used to manage upwards of 10,000 containers a week and 140 miles of streets are now in place.
"It's all electronically filed. All the trucks can see it real time, in their cabs," Walker said. "All the street crews, when they complete something, they've got another work order they can grab just right there and go right to work."
Walker can glance at a computer screen to see the accomplishments of the day.
"As they complete a work order it turns it green and then it goes away at midnight, so they don't have worry about sorting through work orders," Walker said. "This is more efficient. It makes for better customer service."
Canned software programs are available. Walker bypassed the couple hundred-thousand-dollar price tag. He is utilizing Tred Riggs, the city's engineering computer mapping guru.
"Well, something I've been wanting to do from the get-go is to develop the applications," Riggs said. "Public works got on board in developing their applications for them. And now, the fire department wants to be able to inspect their fire hydrants and fire pre-plans with it."
Riggs' own engineering department is benefiting. Surveying the city landfill elevation used to take several days and several workers to complete. Now, it's a one-man job that takes just a few hours to complete.
"Also, we can look at our sanitary sewer information," Riggs said.
The public works operation is featured in Arcnews, a trade journal that circulates mapping knowledge around the world.
"If you got to pick any journal to be recognized in, that would be the journal," Riggs said.
Riggs is answering "how-to" questions from cities all over. It's the price you pay for a lot of ingenuity.
An application for the 8,000 residential sanitation pickups in Nacogdoches is underway. On down the road, is an app for residents to alert public works of a need.