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Size matters

NSG Exemplar Award: Winner – ‘Best Business Integration’ 2007: Devon County Council.

In light of decreasing budgets, Devon County Council has undertaken a massive project to accurately manage every asset associated with the highway in order to maximise their road maintenance performance. The overall objective was to introduce high levels of automation in order to reduce human error, data duplication and unnecessary administration and improve data sharing, interdepartmental communication and service delivery efficiencies.

The creation of an Asset Management System comprising of individual, integrated work modules driven by the County’s Local Street Gazetteer was a highly ambitious project for one of the country’s largest counties.

Outcomes

Size matters! With 12,820 kilometres of streets, made up of 30,000 unique streets and 90,000 street units, Devon has the largest Highways Authority road network in the country. On top of this, the county is home to 4,700 kilometres of Public Rights of Way, 13 million square metres of roadside grass and 72,000 street lights, all of which must be managed and maintained to exacting standards regardless of increasing budgetary constraints.

In order to maximise investment in the highway, in terms of time, money and resources, to maintain and build on existing standards of service and maintenance, Devon used its Asset Management System. The system is comprised of many individual programmes for applications such as Accident Management, Public Rights of Way and Inventory Management, which are all linked through the common use of the LSG. In total it is estimated the system contains more than 4 million individual asset records.

The integrated use of the LSG within Devon’s Asset Management System is facilitating a truly joined up approach to the management, maintenance and continuous improvement of the road network and associated assets. These systems currently work together to provide a streamlined service from CRM to the Asset Management Suite. However Devon is heading towards an advanced strategic overview, for example, routine maintenance programmes will be scheduled to reduce unnecessary disruption through the consideration of other works on the highway, such as verge cutting or post accident investigations. Also unusual levels of reported faults or incidents will be analysed using all available information rather than being considered in isolation.

Additional benefit is achieved through the integration of the LSG with systems that do not fall under the Asset Management System banner, such as Land Charges Records to assist the eight District Councils with the consideration of Planning Applications, land and property transactions and Devon’s centralised Customer Service Centre.

Key benefits

  • Creation of a comprehensive street gazetteer for the largest local authority road network in the country has facilitated the capture, management and application of information relating to more than 4 million associated assets and features.
  • Devon’s Asset Management System has enabled joined up government through improved access to shared information and integrated back office systems, reducing the administrative burden, improving operational efficiency and delivering benefits to residents.
  • The use of the LSG is critical to the integration of individual elements of the system, placing all information in its wider, real world context, to enable Devon to transform the management of the road network and wider service delivery.
  • A Gershon time and motion report has identified savings of £100,000 per annum based on the integration of street data within Devon’s centralised Customer Service Centre. Additional savings can be estimated by projecting this amount across all service delivery areas.
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