Lysekil is one of the latest municipalities to choose Infracontrol Online for streamlining their technical administration and improving the service to their citizens. The service was launched in May of this year and added Lysekil to the Infracontrol Community, which now consists of 170 public sector operations and more than 15 000 registered users. The possibility to easily collect fault reports, opinions and technical alarms is one of the reasons more and more organizations choose to utilize the cloud service.
Christian Wrangmo (Technical Manager) and Johan Edén (IT Development Manager) at Lysekil municipality share their thoughts behind choosing Infracontrol Online and the municipality’s experience so far. One of the advantages has been a more coherent handling of issues and a better service to the citizens:
– We have multiple organizational units responsible for different parts of the public environment, says Christian Wrangmo. The port authority is responsible for the docks, whereas the Streets & Parks Department is responsible for streets, parks, and green areas. The municipal Water & Sanitation Department performs the maintenance of green areas. With Infracontrol Online we get holistic case management where we don’t need to redirect the customer. No matter what the fault report is regarding it is sent to the people we decided should be responsible for the issue, and the citizen gets a sense of it all being connected.
Better service to citizens and visitors
The municipality of Lysekil, with around 14 000 citizens and a large number of visitors each summer, has a fantastic location on Sweden´s west coast, with a free panoramic view towards the sea and a varied coastal landscape with fjords, forests and cliffs. The main city Lysekil is well known, as well as smaller fishing towns like Fiskebäckskil and Grundsund.
– With many engaged citizens and a large number of visitors it is important for us to make sure that people can reach the municipality, says Christian Wragmo.
He continues to explain that the municipality needed a better way to handle fault reports and comments.
– The most important reason for choosing Infracontrol was that the system met all our demands for a new case management system. Together with the fact that the system is well established among many other municipalities, we felt very confident in our decision.
The system was launched in May this year, and the experiences so far have been great, says Christain Wrangmo:
– The service has so far exceeded our expectations. The implementation has gone better than expected, and Infracontrols team has been easy to work with. The system is very intuitive, and the staff learned the basics after just a few hours of training.
Lots of users in many different departments
At the moment, there are about 60 users who work with Infracontrol Online, says Christian Wrangmo:
-The most common users are the Technical Department which is in charge of streets and traffic, public lighting and green areas. We are also using the service for buildings, where i.e. school staff submit fault reports and comments, which the janitors then handle.
One of the contractors who use the service is LEVA in Lysekil, a municipality-owned company that maintains streets and parks for the municipality. There are also a few private companies in the system.
– One of the most important user groups is, of course, our customer service who are registering issues.
A big advantage of Infracontrol Online is that the service can easily be expanded and adapted over time. It is easy to add more areas and departments that can benefit from the increased availability and more effective workflow.
Better accessibility for the citizens
One of the most important reasons for implementing Infracontrol Online is to increase the accessibility for the citizens. So, what do they think of the app and the possibility of sending fault reports and opinions, and what do they think of the response from the municipality?
– We have only been up and running for a little over two months, so no major investigations have been done yet. But from what I have heard, both citizens and visitors have welcomed the service, says Johan Edén.
He explains that they plan to include a feedback form when an issue is closed so the municipality can receive ideas on what can be improved. But the most important thing is to inform the citizens that there is a new possibility to submit fault reports and opinions.
– We have focused mostly on social media (Instagram and Facebook) so far, but we are planning on how to market the service further. I have seen some good examples from other municipalities that are using the service, and we can utilise many good ideas.
Johan says they strategically have held off on launching big campaigns until the staff has become familiar with the system. This is to ensure that they keep the quality of communication to a high standard when the number of issues rises.
Software-as-a-service for fault reports and alarms
Infracontrol Online was launched in 2003 and has been running continuously since then. Many utilize the service, says David Gustafsson, who is a business developer at Infracontrol:
– We now have more than 170 customers within public organizations using the service, and we see a steadily increased demand. We gather all our customers in the “Infracontrol Community”, where ideas and experiences can be shared. It also helps us to improve the service further.
Most of the Infracontrol Community members use the service for handling fault reports. Still, an important reason for choosing Infracontrol Online is the possibility to connect technical installations, says David:
– The technical installations in the community’s infrastructure are delivered by many contractors and include various technical systems of varying age, function, and architecture. The responsibility for handling issues is divided into various operators such as maintenance staff, contractors, and control centres.
The information is stored in one place by having one service for handling fault reports from citizens and alarms from technical installations. This means that the municipality has complete control of things that are no longer working properly.
Infracontrol Online handles more than 50 000 issues per month and has 15 000 registered users, including managers, operational staff, and contractors.
Not to mention all the millions of citizens who can report faults and opinions, says David Gustavsson.
Many possibilities for future development
One important part of the development of Infracontrol Online is all the good ideas and suggestions from the users. Johan and his colleagues have many ideas of how the service can be improved and developed further:
– We have discussed the possibility of connecting the streetlight serial numbers to issues. We also have IoT (Internet of Things), which is very exciting. This means we can use technology and data to develop our efforts further to become a smarter municipality. I imagine the possibility of using sensors and other connected devices to reduce our waste, increase our efficiency, and simplify and improve the daily lives of our citizens.
He sees many possibilities to expand the use of the functions already available in Infracontrol Online. One example is to use the different functionalities of the maps connected to issues. Some things might however need further development in the system:
– One idea would be to have the system automatically redirect issues to the closest available handler if the first choice is on vacation. We have met some challenges due to the redistribution of roles.
Infracontrol Online is developed in close communication with all users, and two major releases are launched each year, along with minor updates.
Good advice for other municipalities
Johan wants to give some advice to other municipalities looking to improve their organization:
– Make a proper investigation of the processes and workflows related to incoming issues. A well-thought-out structure is the system’s base, making implementation easier.
He says relevant employees should be invited to share their thoughts and ideas to increase involvement during the implementation phase. This, in turn, leads to better conditions for a successful implementation.
– A good idea is to create a group of strategically important staff and people with a lot of know-how. Regarding workflow changes, it is important to include the staff working with the service early in the implementation process.