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Case study

City of Hamilton improves fleet visibility and resident satisfaction with the help of Verizon Connect.

 
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Verizon Connect has been huge for our citizens to see what we’re doing and be more proactive rather than reactive.
Larry Rover
Director of Information Technology Services

The City of Hamilton, Ohio, is a growing community outside Cincinnati, mixing old and new architecture with a small-city feel. The newly created Department of Infrastructure needed a fleet technology solution to help improve services for their citizens, the Department of Infrastructure needed a fleet technology solution to help improve services for their citizens. Part of their progressive vision was to use Verizon Connect to help improve communication with residents and employees and be more efficient with city resources.

A growing community

The City of Hamilton is attracting younger residents and wants to provide a place where everyone can live, work and play nearby. They provide all utilities to city residents, including electric, water, wastewater, gas and fiber services. That means their fleet of vehicles is large and mixed—400+ plow trucks, street sweepers, pickup trucks and more. To track all of those vehicles and their activities, they needed a flexible technology solution, and they found it with Verizon Connect.

Improved communication for residents and employees

Prior to having Verizon Connect, the City of Hamilton had a different fleet system that was clunky, and pulling data out was slow. Implementing Verizon Connect enabled them to integrate with their Esri GIS mapping tool to create an application that tracks snowplow truck movements and activities. As their Director of IT Services, Larry Rover, explains, “Whether a plow is up or down, or a salt spreader is on or off—we’re checking that through the report wizard and seeing whether a sensor is being triggered.”

The Verizon Connect and Esri integration led to a successful resident-facing snow plowing application. The tool allows citizens to visit their online resident portal to view which streets have been plowed, improving visibility into the city’s fleet activities and helping residents to plan their day during the winter season.

Another critical feature of the system is diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that provide alerts to mechanics if something is wrong with a vehicle. Often, drivers don’t know something is wrong, or they don’t want to bring their vehicle in. The DTCs alert the mechanics to a problem, so they can know how severe the problem is and proactively schedule maintenance. Mechanic Joseph Simmons finds this feature critical to his work: “Makes scheduling a bit easier ... as opposed to just having somebody randomly show up and drop it off and want it done yesterday.”

Better use of city resources

In addition to the snowplowing application and improved vehicle maintenance, they’ve seen decreases in vehicle idling and improved communication around vehicle location. Using geofences, which are digital boundaries around important locations, they can know when vehicles are entering and exiting the garage and how long they’ve been there. Larry says “We’re able to track once that vehicle is turned on, how long it was turned on, when it left and when it came back, how long it was idling, and then when the vehicle turned off.”

Verizon Connect has helped reduce idling across the fleet, because managers can get reporting on idling activity and have a conversation with drivers if it becomes excessive.

“We obviously want our employees to use the vehicles responsibly. Idling time is a big waste of money,” says Craig Koger, Superintendent of Streets, Fleets and Sewers. One of Craig’s other favorite features is vehicle location tracking. “I don’t sit at my desk and watch each vehicle go every day, so I can just come in, run a report, hit the dates that I want to see and it’ll show me where that vehicle has been on each day.”

Jim Williams, Public Works Director, believes Verizon Connect is part of their larger vision for a more accountable, more progressive city. “We can improve our productivity, ensure service to our customers and validate the work that’s being done.” And a community of happy residents is what it’s all about.

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Tags: Field management, Dispatching & Scheduling, Fleet utilization