Colas, Portsmouth City Council

Implementation of Maestro to manage the Portsmouth highways management PFI contract.

The problem:

  • Inefficient use of manpower resources.
  • Very manual management processes.
  • Expensive IT solutions.
  • Very poor reporting capabilities and not particularly cost effective.
  • As part of the PFI contract Colas are obliged to undertake detailed inspections of all roads within the PFI contract area to a preset and specified program – there are literally thousands of roads to be inspected, some of them daily. Any defects found during these inspections need to be repaired by Colas work gangs to preset service levels, depending upon the severity of the defect, and the type of defect.

    This could range from a 1 hour response time for an emergency, to a 56 day response time for a low priority task.

    To manage this process each of the four Colas inspectors would spend each morning undertaking their particular inspection patrols and taking notes by hand, then returning to the office in the afternoon to manually input the defect reports into the EXOR management system, along with their estimates for what resources would be needed to repair the defect. The resulting EXOR defect reports would then be printed out, and arranged into a suitable Work Order for one or several of the 15 Colas Work Gangs to perform. The Work Gangs would print off their work schedule, collect the stock, then perform the work. At the end of each day the Work Gang would return to the office, and manually update the EXOR system with what Work Orders had been completed, which were still outstanding, and the stock they had actually used to complete the designated tasks. EXOR then produces reports to inform Portsmouth City Council of completed inspections, fixed defects, time lines, etc.

    As implied by the above description, the process was very manual, extremely inefficient, not particularly accurate, and certainly not timely. It is also very expensive to manage and maintain.

    The Solution

    Maestro has provided Colas with a complete end-to-end solution. Colas Inspectors now report on inspections and defects entirely from the field in real time making significant time savings at an operational level.

    When Colas searched the market for a way to address the problem, they could find no suitable answer – until they found Maestro. Maestro is a mobile workforce management tool that consists of three main elements; the mobile client, the management console, and the main server. It is as happy working with external 3rd party applications such as EXOR, as it is working in a stand alone mode. It is a complete solution that is a real time, two way communications system that is highly efficient, and very cost effective.

    With the implementation of a Maestro system MobileWorks has provided Colas with a complete end-to-end solution meaning their Inspectors never need to come back into the office in an afternoon to report on the inspections they have performed, or to enter any defects they have found while on patrol – they do it in the field, in real time.

    Maestro allows the inspectors to accurately report the position of any defect, it allows them to write a full description of the defect, along with any photographic evidence that may be required. It allows them to estimate the amount and type of resource that will be needed to repair the defect. Inspectors can also write up Notification notices for land owners with overgrown hedges, or issues within their forecourts – all in the field.

    Once the data has reached the server, Maestro will automatically route the defects to the designated parties responsible for repairing the defects. It measures the contracted service levels to ensure the defects are repaired within the defined contract periods, it manages the Work Gang task list to ensure their resource is used as efficiently as possible, it monitors and reports on different budgets, to ensure the costs of managing the contract are properly managed and controlled.