Ontario’s population, now growing at 6% annually, is putting a strain on aging public infrastructure, much of which was designed and built over 45 years ago. As communities grow, we are building new assets in these communities. New roads, parklands, sewers, and such, need to be added to city plans and managed with and around existing infrastructure. With climate change and extreme weather events, the maintenance, repair and replacement schedules can accelerate—calling for dynamic and smart management of public assets. To put things in perspective, the 2013 flooding of the City of Toronto took $60 million out of city coffers, and insurance claims have grown close to $1 billion.
Management of existing public infrastructure, of indexing new assets to old databases, and running efficient maintenance programs, are only being realized through the use of smart technology in recent years. The interest in spatial locations of assets is not new, but applications, workflows, and methods in collecting and analyzing data are developing at a rapid rate with the onslaught of new technology. What’s even more exciting is the ability to seamlessly integrate GIS with enterprise asset management systems to create on-demand, customizable business workflows that are unique to a corporation or departments within a corporation.
407 ETR is a transportation company with a clear vision to improve its asset management. It is the world’s first electronically operated toll highway, spanning over 108 kilometers. 407 ETR’s Highway Operations team is utilizing a geospatial field management software solution on company-issued laptops for on-the-fly communications to its back office support team and EAM. Its application connects field staff with office IT staff without the need for anyone to have a background in GIS. 407 ETR’s field asset management solution includes a central database to hold asset information that can be updated in real-time from all departments, and feeds data directly into its EAM so that staff can exploit the data for intelligence.
One of the earlier projects 407 ETR conducted with this geospatial asset management solution is an inspection of all its signs along the highway. Deployed in just four and a half months, 407 ETR’s application allowed the organization to complete the sign inspection in 5 weeks! This is a huge contrast to the previous year’s completion of 4 months. Learn more about how the 407 ETR achieved this success. 407 ETR outlines the steps it took to consolidate disparate software systems, attain true integration with EAM and accelerate its business in asset management.