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Overview

With no prior system in place, an asset management solution was required in order to efficiently manage the essential service assets in remote Aboriginal communities.

Easy customisation

One source of the truth and greater transparency over operations

Reduction of manual processes

Web-based / mobile deployment enabling efficiency with remote assets

Objective

With no prior system in place, an asset management solution was required in order to efficiently manage the essential service assets in remote Aboriginal communities.

Solution

Infor Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

Organisation

The Western Australian Government’s Department of Housing delivers safe, reliable drinking water, electricity and sewerage services to around 90 remote communities throughout the state via the Remote Area Essential Services Program (RAESP). Parsons Brinckerhoff is a global consulting firm assisting public and private clients to plan, develop, design, construct, operate and maintain hundreds of critical infrastructure projects around the world. They are responsible for managing the program on behalf of the Department.

A number of essential service assets (power, water and waste water) act as key component’s in the Western Australian Government’s Department of Housing Remote Area Essential Services Program (RAESP). With three regional service providers carrying out maintenance and monitoring to keep the program’s assets operating efficiently, the Department of Housing recognised that an EAM system would simplify the job management process. This had previously been managed using Microsoft Excel and an Access database.

Parsons Brinckerhoff manages the program and Andrew Nyholm, Operations Manager for the RAESP, said several products were considered, but Infor’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) offering was deemed the best fit for the Department’s requirements.

“Infor EAM was chosen because it was clearly a really good product that would meet all our needs and it was so flexible, which was important as it’s a fairly unique programme. It’s a well established system with loads of built-in functionality,” he said.

“The fact EAM was web-based was also really important, so essentially there was no deployment on external computers it was all just via the web, and you can retrieve data easily. “Plus the system was quick and easy to set-up and the software allows you to customise without the need for add-ons. We wanted to use particular terminology i.e. community instead of location, and with a few clicks of a button the fields can be changed to suit us,” he said.

The EAM system will manage a variety of water, power and sewer assets in remote communities, which the WA Department of Housing is responsible for operating and maintaining.

The Department was happy with the implementation process and Andrew said the immediate benefits are already clear.

“We had a tight timeline to implement EAM and we managed to meet that deadline which was excellent. We’re already experiencing the benefits, so it’s definitely meeting expectation.

“The fact that we’re essentially managing three different organisations, some 3,000kms apart, means it’s so useful to have one web-based application that’s sitting there for everyone to have access to; it essentially creates one source of truth. The other major benefit is transparency. Previously we only had one Access database on our server, so everyone had to come to us to get information, whereas now they can login and see for themselves.

“I think in the long run it will also definitely produce some cost savings, especially as we develop the product, but at this stage it’s more about providing extra benefits then saving costs,” he said.

When it came to selecting a support partner, Andrew found Sapphire after an internet search for asset management resellers in Australia.

“Sapphire not only sold the product we had selected, but their demo was really impressive. They prepared beforehand with some of our own data and within an hour they created a mini system right in front of our eyes that met our needs. That required obvious knowledge and skill.

“The team are very nice people to deal with and have worked really closely with us, doing their absolute best to help us achieve what we needed to for our client. This made us feel they were equally committed to making the project a success,” he said. Sapphire also integrated the system with one of the regional service provider’s own asset management systems, allowing them to import data directly into the government’s EAM programme without having to duplicate data entry.

The Western Australian Government Department of Housing are equally happy with the system. In fact the software proved such a success the decision was made to roll out EAM’s mobility module as a phase two.

“We haven’t yet started using mobile in the field, but I’ve been testing it and it looks like a great system,” Andrew said.

“It’s definitely going to save a lot of time in terms of data handling, and it’s certainly an area where the regional service providers will save money as they won’t have to manage jobs on paper and then retype it into the system – they can just populate EAM while in the field. “Mobility is just the first step, we are very keen to do more and will look at things such as project management and improved reporting as we continue to develop the system,” he concluded.

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