Cradle Mountain Tasmania

Building smarter dispatch processes

In Case Study by David Lestani

At a glance

  • TasWater's dispatch process for emergency works relied on a slow and frustrating series of phone calls.
  • Integrating Maximo and Esri, Clarita's solution mapped the location and faults and work crews for quick identification of the best team to dispatch.
  • Work is now dispatched directly from the Network Operations Centre, freeing coordinators to get off the phone and into the field.

TasWaterResponsible for providing water and sewerage services to homes and businesses across Tasmania, TasWater directs a workforce of 900 people including 127 crews who address around 3,000 work orders every day.

Formed through the amalgamation of three separate regional water corporations, TasWater’s maintenance operations were extremely disjointed, relying on 26 coordinators around the state acting as intermediaries between field crews and the Call Centre. As a result, key resources became desk-bound simply in order to receive and assign reactive works notifications by telephone, to the detriment of safety oversight, technical mentoring and process efficiency.

By redesigning the dispatch process to better utilise the capabilities of their asset management and GIS tools, TasWater have achieved organisation-wide productivity targets, whilst also improving daily attendance and incident response performance.

The Challenge

At an estimated 68,400 km2, Tasmania may be Australia's smallest state in terms of total area, but locating the maintenance crew best positioned to go fix a burst water main armed with nothing more than a telephone and the day's planned works schedule is still a daunting task.

For TasWater, the dispatch process relied on coordinators phoning around crews in their region to assign work order and adjust the daily schedule in response to each fault reported through the public call centre. It was slow, frustrating, and tied valuable resources up in busy-work at the expense of quality and safety oversight in the field.

The Solution

TasWater GIS DashboardWith a toolset including IBM Maximo and Esri ArcGIS, Clarita worked with TasWater to redesign the dispatch process. The solution delivered TasWater's first Maximo Start Centre. The start centre was designed to provide a quick and interactive view of the information that Dispatchers and Coordinators regularly use, such as Planned Events; Current Assignments; Unassigned P1, P2 and Sewer. They can then click on the work orders listed to get the details and manage assignments.

Mapping integration with Esri ArcGIS delivered a GIS dashboard that provides a visual representation and location context to current work order data. Delivering on the GIS component of the solution was an excellent example of Clarita's various practice groups working together to add value in solving asset management process challenges. Our team researched and provided strategic advice on the best possible method for achieving TasWater's mapping vision, and then worked with the business to implement their solution of choice.

Our maintenance teams now have the ability to see what work has been assigned to them for their daily routines, which assists with planning activities to ensure that their travel time is reduced and their time on tools is increased.Tony Willmott - Value Creation Program Manager

The Outcomes

Customer calls are now directed to the new dispatch team within the Network Operations Centre. With direct access to location, current work and work priority data, Dispatchers can assign work orders directly to the next available crew in the area. Coordinators are back in the field mentoring crews and overseeing safety standards.

Read the Case Study

Read more about TasWater's new approach to dispatching work orders in Clarita's latest case study.