The public works sector is one the largest industries worldwide – spanning roads, railways, airports to telecommunications and more. The latest research by Mckinsey shows that the world total for public works will expand to $3.3 trillion. With hundreds of new projects underway, one of the key challenges faced by the public works sector is managing equipment and budgets.
The complex work environment of the public works sector poses a few challenges:
- Financial constraints: Due to rising population,state hospitals and welfare centres are overburdened. This puts pressure on the public works department to provide more facilities to the public. Increased demand coupled with budget cuts make it tough to cater to the public needs. These issues need to be addressed at the individual level to encourage improved asset management for public works.
- Outdated databases: the public works sector is victim to information overload. Every department tackles thousands of requests each day but often without a proper platform to document data. A reliable cloud-based database enables streamlined documentation and ensure none of the vital information gets missed.
- Slow transition to technology: The use of information technology is not just limited to automating tasks. It includes finding common grounds between different projects and reducing redundant actions to gain efficiency. To start off, public managers need to standardize procedures for improved outcomes.
What Does a Public Works Software Offer?
Restricted budgets leave no room for inefficiencies in the public works sector – yet it remains one of the key challenges. To address operational challenges, managers should opt for a public works software to automate tasks. With new insights on public asset management, a cloud-based system can streamline workflows and boost productivity.
Beneficial for public works directors, field operators and administrators, the software enables access to real time information. Reliable data is highly useful for facilitating operational planning and responsiveness. Let’s learn more about how a public works software can be set up to attain cost effective asset management strategies:
Track Inventory Procurement
Unnecessary stock items can tie up cash which could have been allocated elsewhere. Some common examples are construction supplies or equipment parts leftover from a previous project. A public works software enables you to monitor inventory usage through automatic tracking. Every stock item has a threshold level after which a procurement request can be generated. This is useful as it prevents extra inventory from piling up.
Based on your previous consumption patterns, you can also draw up reports to predict future usage. Doing so is extremely important when dealing with tight budgets in the public sector. Such reports are based on real time data and eliminate inventory items that are obsolete and no longer in use. You may even end up changing vendors after a cost benefit analysis for stock procurement.
Implement Barcode Tracking
Designed to overcome the shortcomings of old procedures, public works software offers advanced barcode asset tracking. Asset labels enable smooth check-ins and checkouts. This means every time a field operator checks out equipment it will be recorded against his credentials. Having detailed asset information in the system also lets you verify custodianship in case a project runs longer than expected.
In highly mobile sectors like public works construction, there is a higher chance of small items going missing. Inability to record missing items in your records can cause discrepancies in financial statements in the long run. With barcode enabled asset tracking, you can retire equipment even when it is checked out. Such practices ensure your asset database remains accurate throughout the year. Tracking assets in real time cuts down on extra labor costs and maximizes capital value for the public sector.
Practice Preventive Maintenance
Untimely equipment breakdowns can halt high budget projects and incur costly repairs. To avoid such circumstances, public works managers must implement preventive maintenance. Doing so can lower the occasional service sessions and reduce equipment downtime overall. This is highly effective for public works departments that are constantly dealing with hundreds of staff workers on a daily basis. A public works software enables staff to check-in equipment for preventive maintenance on a recurring basis. This way all special equipment is examined by technical experts for probable defects before operations.
In case a machine is scheduled for prolonged maintenance, you can even mark it unavailable in the software. This acts as an indication for backup support. As soon as an asset is checked out for service, staff can request an alternative. Organized preventive maintenance ensures workflows flow smoothly without any disruptions. This improves efficiency and productivity in the public works departments.
Read more : Maintenance Work Order Best Practices
Manage User Roles
A common cause of disrupted workflows is a lack of streamlined user management. Even if you have all assets labelled and recorded in the system, you still need to ensure the team knows how to use them. In the public works sector, employees have clear cut job descriptions and this should be reflected in the company software. A public works software system lets you define user roles for every department. For instance, consider a public works team is working on a school project. For seamless workflows, you can customize the team’s access to the relevant assets. This way only field operators and administrators only check-in and checkout the required items giving you control and insight over the equipment.
Apart from this, public work managers can also monitor progress on different projects by running performance reports all the year round. When users have clearly defined roles, they are more likely to achieve their targets within deadlines.
Optimize Operations With a Public Works Software
The public works department usually has multiple different projects running at a time. To streamline such complex workflows, the government institutions can opt for a public works software program. The software automates daily tasks and improves the accuracy of the asset database. This way barcode labelled equipment is easier to track and verify once distributed to field workers for various projects.
The public works software also enables you to run customized reports to improve resource and asset management. By the end of every quarter, public works managers can pull up asset and inventory stats and analyze the overall performance. Such a mechanism also lets you compare the cost and benefits of different types of capital over time. For instance, detailed insights about inventory procurement enables better stock handling. In such a way, constant self analysis allows the public works department to opt for cost effective management techniques.