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How good partnerships impact implementations

January 25, 2021

The Village of Huntley is a growing community on the northwest periphery of Chicago’s suburbs. After substantial population growth over the last few decades, the Village management needed to develop and implement some creative tactics to ensure the quality of life for the residents in the retirement community.

With a knack for change and the ability to adapt and continue their forward-thinking mindset, the Village creatively partnered with consultants and incorporated new technology to support their CIP projects, communication and operations management. Among those partnerships was Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M), whom the Village worked with for many years building their GIS system. Part of this project included a phased transition from a standard GIS system into VUEWorks with the assistance of Data Transfer Solutions (DTS). DTS has been a partner and supporter of R/M technology services since 2009. Staff attributes the success of the VUEWorks implementation to the trifecta relationship between DTS, R/M and the Village.

Many factors impact the success of software implementation. One major component often overlooked is getting “buy-in” from the staff at all levels. In the Village’s case, R/M tributes the success of this project to the public works director and assistant director’s ability to prioritize their staff’s needs by involving them in the preliminary planning processes during the VUEWorks implementation. Having staff attend workshops together to talk through their duties, workflows and naming conventions, established the buy-in the Village needed to make this a successful project. It also instilled trust between staff and management, staff and the consultant, and comradery among each another.

The configurability of VUEWorks software played a major role in the Village’s success, benefitting all parties involved. VUEWorks configurability allows the Village to easily replicate the existing naming conventions and workflows for each department, making the transition a less disruptive experience and more intuitive for staff. The ease of use when configuring the application made it easy for R/M to quickly set up and adjust the application’s structure when needed. Once the application was set up to capture all of the departments’ activities and implemented into staff operations, the public works managers worked with R/M to refine the application’s structure to report on the information they needed.

Fine-tuning the Village’s VUEWorks application is an ongoing process that involves developing new reports, detail forms and dashboards to better capture and display current and historic information for management’s use for analysis and informed decision making. VUEWorks presents many opportunities for the Village. This has led to so many initiatives across departments that they are working with R/M on a five-year technology plan to continue to phase out their goals at a pace manageable for their staff and budget. As R/M continues to assist Huntley down this road, they have witnessed the interest and ownership of the project grow within the Village.

“DTS has been a valuable behind-the-scenes asset. Their quick responsiveness with customer support, documents portal, informational webinars and training opportunities helped ensure a smooth transition into VUEWorks asset management software for our client.”

  • Village of Huntley population 29,305
  • R/M implemented GIS in 2012
  • 2014 – 2017 integrating asset management processes into daily operations
  • 2018 R/M started VUEWorks implementation workshops and site development
  • 2019 Village’s site went live for three of their five departments
  • 2020 R/M continues to support Village site configurations and workflow consulting

Data Transfer Solutions awarded contract to provide Computerized Maintenance Management System software at Port of Long Beach

July 14, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Long Beach, CA: July 14, 2020 – Data Transfer Solutions (DTS), a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, was selected to provide and implement VUEWorks as the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software to the Port of Long Beach, replacing the current system and meeting its future business and technology needs. This contract is within SNCL Engineering Services, the cornerstone of our strategy moving forward to greater growth and profitability.

“Maintaining assets at peak performance is key to growing operations and managing the Port efficiently,” said Allen Ibaugh, President, SNC-Lavalin’s DTS business. “Increasingly, port customers have a need for CMMS software to manage their large, complex facilities. Not only are they facing growing volume demands, but also challenges with sea-level rise from a resiliency perspective. We are excited to support the Port of Long Beach with this progressive step in their asset management strategy.”

Under the contract, DTS will implement VUEWorks as the off-the-shelf system to support detailed planning, scheduling, implementation, monitoring and communication regarding work tasks. VUEWorks allows graphical and tabular benchmarking of work by activity, asset, location, unit price, scheduled vs. actual time and cost. As the Port’s asset management strategy evolves, VUEWorks can be leveraged for work program optimization, risk management and integration with capital project design data.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade. It encompasses 3,200 acres with 31 miles of waterfront, 10 piers, 62 berths and 68 post-Panamax gantry cranes. The Port ranks as the second busiest container port in the U.S., receiving more than 2,000 vessel calls and moving approximately $180 billion in goods annually.

Port of Long Beach, California

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About Data Transfer Solutions
Data Transfer Solutions LLC (DTS) is a leader in asset management and geographic information systems within the North American market. As the creator of VUEWorks®, a comprehensive enterprise asset management software solution, DTS provides state-of-the-art tools and solutions to clients with large, complex infrastructure assets. These solutions help to inventory, manage and optimize physical assets across their life cycle. SNC-Lavalin acquired DTS in 2017, adding to the capabilities of SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins sector and enhancing service offerings in digital asset management for clients.

About SNC-Lavalin
Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is a fully integrated professional services and project management company with offices around the world. SNC-Lavalin connects people, technology and data to help shape and deliver world-leading concepts and projects, while offering comprehensive innovative solutions across the asset lifecycle. Our expertise is wide-ranging — consulting & advisory, intelligent networks & cybersecurity, design & engineering, procurement, project & construction management, operations & maintenance, decommissioning and sustaining capital – and delivered to clients in four strategic sectors: EDPM (engineering, design and project management), Infrastructure, Nuclear and Resources, supported by Capital. People. Drive. Results. www.snclavalin.com

For more information:
Media
Maureen Nayowith
VP, Communications
U.S. & Latin America
+1 303.214.0840
Maureen.Nayowith@atkinsglobal.com

Citizens Unite!

September 29, 2019

Welcome to a request portal for the people.
A community connection can be an invaluable resource, when leveraged properly. Now agencies with a strong community focus have a sleek, mobile platform to share with residents to gain valuable insight into local service and maintenance requests.

Residents can log in with ease, snap a geo-tagged photo of the issue, add a comment or details, submit their request, and receive tracking notifications by email (if desired). Sometimes the best “VUE’s” are those seen from a resident’s perspective.

Engage your community and see what they see with CitizenVUE.

 

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OverIT partners with Data Transfer Solutions (USA)

June 1, 2018

This collaboration will deliver the latest in next-level GIS tools to the growing DTS client base across North America: http://www.overit.it/en/news/overit-partner-di-data-transfer-solutions-usa/

June 1, 2018 – It’s no secret that technology moves fast. That’s why OverIT has partnered with DTS, a leader in asset management, Geographic Information Systems, and transportation planning.

Headquartered in Orlando, DTS specializes in creating solutions to help clients automate their worlds, reduce their workload, and organize their data through customized technology. DTS staff understands technology like no other firm. Through the years they have built an interdisciplinary staff who are experts in their fields and cross trained for responsiveness and adaptability.

By integrating DTS expertise with our Space 1 AR solution, we will bring together the digital geospatial world and 3D virtual holographic images. This space-age technology will allow field workers the ability to complete maintenance work, repairs, and more with the assistance of a virtual assistant; screencaps and step-by-step instructions are displayed alongside their “real” equipment and operations. Kryptonian-like vision allows users to “see” hidden building specs, such as water lines, pipes, and electrical components, normally invisible to the naked eye. All of this means more efficient and accurate work with fewer errors. If you still don’t think the solution will apply to your organization, perhaps it’s time to start thinking outside the box…

Maintenance
GIS
Space 1: An Augmented Reality product, a powerful solution, easily accessible to different kinds of businesses:

  • Applicable to all industries and companies of all sizes
  • A sound and scalable investment with minimum deployment and adoption burden
  • Flexible configuration settings
  • Works offline and syncs without compromising data
  • Powerful integration with DTS’s VUEWorks® and other industry leading third party systems
  • Intuitive: it’s easy to use and manage
  • Multi-device, multi mobile platform: already available on HoloLens, ODG, RealWear, EPSON Moverio, Android and iOS Tablets, and compatible with devices that will be launched on the market in the following months
Virtual Collaboration
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DTS – Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

May 4, 2018

Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Each April, children from across the US tag along with their parents for “freebie” day off from the stresses of daily school life. For one fleeting day, assessment tests and homework take a backseat to a day at work with mom or dad. While not every company embraces this tradition, I am fortunate enough to work for a company that values both family and education.

Creating a “lesson plan” with meaning for varied ages of Pre-K and elementary schoolers can be a challenge, so I draw from my younger years as a preschool teacher and mom of four. This year, we selected an Earth Day theme and incorporated some STEM activities. Each activity helped personalize some of the aspects of Asset Management.

Take our Daughters and Sons to Work DayWe started off the morning with a scavenger hunt for assets around the nearby Town Park. Knowing what a storm drain looks like and does would come into play a bit later on in our day. It’s important to include some outdoor time (especially after a breakfast of juice and donuts!) to get some of the wiggles out before heading back into the office to learn about important things.

Collecting assets is a big part of what the DTS Mobile Asset Collection does. One type of asset collected and managed within VUEWorks are bridges. Sounds like an excuse for an educational video on bridge building… time for some STEM activities! After learning about the different types of bridges, the little engineers put their new knowledge to work with some craft sticks and play-doh.

Triangle Truss bridges proved to be the most sturdy, with the available building supplies. Since our bridges were constructed on a man-made body of “water”, it was important to go over the water cycle, storm water, and how it impacts our environment. A fun water themed snack and a short video from Freddy the Fish led to the creation of our very own ecosystem terrariums.

Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Since horticulture can be a tricky business for little green thumbs, we used succulents, which are famously low-maintenance. A layered foundation of sand, various sizes of rocks, moss, and potting soil recreates a natural drainage system for the minimal watering that is required (about once per month). And because no kids craft is complete without some form of dragon or fairy, we added a few for good measure.

Following lunch with the parents, the kids presented their projects and some of the things we had learned. Then, we settled in for an afternoon showing of Wall-E and some popcorn. While taking our kids to work doesn’t bring in a million-dollar deal, it felt like a million-dollar day. Friends were made, laughs were had, food was enjoyed and knowledge was shared. Kind of a “win-win”, if you ask me!

Thanks to our DTS management team that continues to support the event, and to our awesome staff for sharing their super cool kids!

Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

 
 

Creating a Solid Foundation for Successful Asset Management

April 11, 2018

Bridging the gap to an unwavering Asset Management Solution

Before a bridge is built and trusted for safe passage, it is a pile of raw materials – steel beams, timber, joint materials and stone. Armed with blueprints and a team of skilled craftsmen who network, troubleshoot and build, an architect brings a well-orchestrated plan to fruition. The team’s hard work and dedication yields, in the end, a majestic structure that serves an integral function. An agency’s assets are nothing more, initially, than unrealized potential – raw materials waiting to be built.

Embarking into the world of asset management requires careful thought and planning. When an agency maintains its asset data without an asset management software, it is doing so in a way that is ultimately counterproductive, costing the agency more money in the long run. Recognizing there is a need to make the financial leap and invest in a comprehensive system to manage all assets typically is not an overnight process for most organizations. Whatever assets are being maintained, there are multiple aspects to consider when selecting a solution.

The goal of asset management is really about taking care of what you already have. It’s focused on getting the most out of your assets at the lowest cost to the system. So, how do you get the most out of an asset management system and maximize your return on investment (ROI)? The answer might be easier than you think. To find the answer, we can look to a three-legged stool as the symbolism for true asset management.

A three-legged stool is a useful tool when someone wants something to sit on. Three strong legs connected to a circular seat at the top combine to provide a sturdy surface for one to sit on. However, this same three-legged stool is not as sturdy, nor as useful, if it is missing any one or more of the legs used to support it. Instead, it becomes unstable and easy to tip over because it lacks the structural integrity to stay upright. Asset management as a process is like the three-legged stool; it is strong with all three legs, but not effective without any one leg missing. Each of the three legs on the asset management stool represents something equally important to ensure the stool will not fall over.

Key areas are:

  1. Vision/Goals
  2. Technology Requirements
  3. Resources (Financial and Staffing)

Vision/Goals

Asset management requires clear vision by those in leadership who, in turn, are supported by goals. True asset management cannot be implemented without leadership support. Furthermore, gaining this necessary leadership buy-in and endorsement for an asset management system should follow the agency’s vision, goals and mission statements. Those in leadership should understand that data itself is an asset and should be viewed as such. Data that is protected and governed correctly allows agencies to make better, smarter decisions. So where does the vision begin and how are the goals achieved?

Often, one of the first approaches an agency should take in the quest to implementing a true asset management system is to start at the planning stage by developing an asset management plan. In the asset management plan, agency leadership can identify and document a blueprint for the asset management system. In this plan, the purpose and need, and the identification of asset types, data structure and workflows are documented comprising a roadmap for how best to govern and manage asset data.

By knowing the asset data “as-is” architecture of the agency, the vision and goals can help to identify the path to reach the “to-be” horizon asset management framework. The technology gap that may exist between the “as-is” and to-be” configurations should be noted in the asset management plan and should include the pros and cons for meeting the technology requirements of the desired asset management system.

Technology Requirements

Coinciding with the asset management plan concept is identifying the right technology requirements for which the asset management system will interface. Technology is ever-changing. Choosing the right asset management system, with an information technology (IT) stack that is compatible with the agency’s current IT infrastructure and vision, is of critical importance.

Choosing a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) asset management system like VUEWorks® that is web-based, should spark other questions. Is the program cloud-based access capable or not? Is it reporting capable? What are the vendor’s abilities to implement, train and support the customer? Remember, asset management is primarily about getting the most out of asset data at the lowest cost to the system.

Not all asset management systems are equal. Some interface with GIS, and some do not. Some allow for budget and life-cycle analysis and maintenance of asset data and some do not. Some allow for the ability to manage risk and the consequence of assets failing, and others do not. Some systems allow for managing non-spatial assets, and others do not. Picking an asset management system that meets all the technology requirements as stated in the asset management plan to meet the future needs of the agency is essential.

Resources (Financial and Staffing)

Equally important as part of the asset management plan is the identification of financial budgeting of the asset management system and the staff resources necessary to support it. The selected asset management solution should be expansive, yet simple enough to make it easy for its staff to be able to learn, adapt and maintain asset data once the COTS system is implemented. Likewise, setting up an asset management system without the financial backing for agency staffing and long-term software maintenance and support is counter-productive and sets up for failure before implementation concludes.

Not all asset management systems are equal. VUEWorks is the blueprint that offers customers a complete solution for managing any data asset from a “cradle-to-grave” management perspective. Choosing the right asset management system is one that should involve thorough planning, thought and leadership endorsement for financial and resource backing. Proper asset management planning should include identifying the technology requirements that align with the agency vision and goals of the system, appropriate technology requirements and the adequate financial and staffing resources to support the system.

The system should also be scalable and configurable to meet “as-is” existing departmental and organizational workflows. Just the three-legged stool example, the asset management system is sturdy, sustainable and relevant. Missing any of the three critical elements to asset management success will result in counterproductive outcomes.

On the other hand, careful planning ensures a positive return on investment (ROI), which yields the following outcomes:

  • Improving decisions about need for asset rehabilitation, repair and replacement
  • Meeting the demands of the public and increased safety
  • Allowing life-cycle budgeting capabilities for analyzing “what if” scenarios
  • Meeting regulatory requirements
  • Improving and maintaining asset security
  • Minimizing overall operations and capital improvement costs

Is your organization looking for a fully comprehensive asset management solution that offers a solid return on investment?

Contact Douglas Lynch, GISP for more information on how VUEWorks can help manage your world: dlynch@dtsgis.com.