Asset management software testing in Sarnia starting soon,

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A citywide software system switch should help make asset management easier once its live, Sarnia’s engineering and operations general manager says.

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The city’s recent core asset management plan, which lists things like roads, bridges and underground pipe networks, as well as their cost and condition, was put together using Excel spreadsheets, said David Jackson.

“There’s a fair bit of manual updating every time we do an update,” he said.

Cityworks, a computerized maintenance management system that tracks information across all of the city’s more than 100,000 individual assets from park benches to bridges, is in the process of being rolled out across the corporation, he said.

“For the maintenance management side of it, we’re just about to go into the user testing phase right now with half of our operational areas.”

Expectations are it’ll be rolled out and go live across those areas over the next year, he said.

“It’ll simplify those updates for us,” Jackson said.

A $1.1-million ESRI Canada Ltd. contract was awarded two years ago, for licensing and making the eventual software switch to the Cityworks system, including asset management, property land use, bylaw complaints and building inspections, Jackson said, calling it a massive information technology initiative.

The total bill includes $458,000 for the three years of licensing.

“It’s been a major project that has touched almost every department in the city, so we’re really excited to get to the stage now where it should be going live soon,” Jackson said.

Implementing the system also allows the city to eliminate other disparate software, Excel and paper-based systems across different departments, he said.

“So the cost difference from an annual perspective is not that significant, once we’re able to … consolidate onto this one,” he said.

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