CASE STUDY

City of Vaughan

Ontario, Canada

Increase of ~25% in accurate compliance reporting

The City of Vaughan is in southern Ontario, Canada with an approximate population of 341,000 residents. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, home to over 19,000 businesses who employ approximately 227,000 individuals. Vaughan is also home to two major tourist attractions with the nationally recognized amusement park Canada’s Wonderland and Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre. From 2017 to 19, Wonderland welcomed an average of 3.84M visitors per year, and Vaughan Mills about 13.5M. It’s a very busy city that experiences heavy traffic, especially during summer months.

THE RESULT

The City of Vaughan noticed instant improvements in efficiency, service levels, budget and road safety when using IRIS’ Automated Road Patrol. According to the city, that staff had varying technical abilities, so it was essential to implement a solution that’s easy to navigate to encourage adoption and usability.

By automating the road patrol processes with  RIS, it improved operational efficiency and compliance reporting. “We saw an approximate increase of 25 percent in accurate compliance reporting,” says the City of Vaughan.

Road patrol is a catalyst to repair standards. Patrols are now scheduled in alignment to MMS requirements, especially during the winter months when patrolling is required for three times per day; non winter, only once. The patrol itself also improved dramatically as the artificial intelligence (AI) can identify potholes, damaged signs and more, through one pass. Reruns were not required and is usually a case of user error when performing a manual patrol.

“We can identify multiple and individual potholes. We can precisely count the potholes versus just identifying them as a group. This allows us to realize correct costs and time to repair the potholes since we have an accurate numerical amount. This technology offers more accurate reporting.”

“We can identify multiple and individual potholes. We can precisely count the potholes versus just identifying them as a group. This allows us to realize correct costs and time to repair the potholes since we have an accurate numerical amount. This technology offers more accurate reporting.”

The city can capture all necessary information, images and data for compliance reporting and public claims. As irisGO captures deficiencies, work orders are automatically generated, alerting them that there were more deficiencies than assumed and helping them repair them, responsively. This helped them reach a 100 percent compliance realization. Most importantly, it strengthened the safety of their daily motorists. Integrating into the CRM was critical in this process. It helped the team reduce service calls about roads or roadway assets allowing them to reprioritize staff cycles to other tasks. It also gives accurate record of road deficiency repairs and when they were completed if staff or residents would like to know. Lastly, it organically fits into the existing workflow, avoiding any operational interruption.

IRIS adhered to the City of Vaughan’s corporate privacy, data management, security, and general IT policies. It made internal compliance and integration easier. The City of Vaughan streamlined processes, embraced more accurate reporting and record keeping, and reduced operational cycles by approximately 50 percent.

THE CHALLENGE

The City of Vaughan confronted challenges on multiple fronts:

Compliance reporting: The city complies to the Minimum Maintenance Standard (MMS) which specifies how many times per month the city patrols a particular class of road. The city struggled to consistently reach 100 percent compliance and realized less than 80 percent in some months. The legacy systems were not intuitive and responsive as required, which made it difficult to attain compliance targets.

Repairs and patrol standardization: Reporting was primarily manual which translated to inconsistent deficiency detection and data collection, such as images of the deficiency. There was no system to coordinate or schedule road repairs or to populate reports on repair status for updates and completion details. Additionally, the city could not optimize their patrol routes and align it to patrol targets defined by their class of road.

Claims documentation: The storage of road patrol records was inconsistence and could be in either hard or soft copy. Also, the hardcopy records were manually archived and at various locations, making it difficult to locate work orders and other documents to resolve claims. They needed a more reliable and centralized system.

Administrative redundancies: Administrative clerks would manage two separate systems and processes: a road patrol system and a work order process. They were not consolidated and created additional work for the team. Processes needed to consolidate to a singular workflow.

Centralized and customizable dashboard: The city required an easy to-use system with the ability to consolidate records into a centralized repository to easily find information, images, and timestamps for compliance reporting.

System integration: The city requires a provider that adheres to the City of Vaughan’s corporate privacy, data management and security, and general IT policies. Importantly, it’s challenging to find a provider to offer a solution that integrates with a city’s current system.

THE GOAL

The City of Vaughan mandate is released in the Service Excellence Strategic Plan, with each term of city council. The plan identifies the priorities for the organization for each four-year term. The Road Patrol Manager program addresses specifics in five primary strategic priorities:

Citizen experience: ...ensure citizens receive the best experience: commitment to citizen service; transform services through technology.

Operational performance: ...leverage data-driven decision making; promote continuous improvement by supporting competencies and practices in innovation and process efficiencies.

Transportation and mobility: ...improve the municipal road network and maintain a good state of repair.

Active, safe, and diverse communities: ...ensure the safety and well-being of citizens (who use road and sidewalk infrastructure).

Good governance: ...effectively pursue service excellence, the City will hold the public’s trust through inclusive, transparent, and accountable decision making, responsible financial management and superior service delivery.

Based on these priorities, it was important that the road management solution provider qualify for these strategic goals set by the city council.

THE DEPLOYMENT

During the first stage, the city installed irisGO cameras two trucks at a time, until they completed all six, which had no complications due to IRIS’ easy-to install hardware. Following the installation, IRIS integrated their solution into the city’s CRM automate the generation of service requests for deficiencies identified during a road patrol. The integration allows for two-way communication as the CRM notifies the IRIS solution once they complete a service request, synchronizing the two systems for that request.

After the solution deployment, the staff took part in a Train the Trainer tutorial. The staff learn how to log into the irisCity, navigate the user-friendly dashboard, interpret data, view archived patrols, and tweak what’s necessary to power the solution to its full capabilities. Integrating to the CRM automatically connects resident service requests to the scheduled service requests for said defect, which is already found by IRIS. It saves the team time and allows them to promptly respond to resident requests—a critical part to the city.

The transition from earlier patrol software to irisGO was seamless and easy, according to the City of Vaughan. They experienced no downtime, and just a couple of adjustments over time.

“The IRIS team was forthcoming, assisting the city to ensure rollout was completed, smoothly.”

- City of Vaughan

What's next?

The City of Vaughan is considering other defect detection opportunities.

With IRIS’ Automated Road Patrol, the city geolocated traffic calming assets and performed a condition assessment. Soon after, IRIS won a Request for Proposal (RFP) for pavement marking inspection and digitization. The city used the IRIS solution to take an inventory of these assets and identify those that showed deficiencies and required repainting.

Another trial in progress is sidewalk inspection by using IRIS’ Automated Road Patrol. The irisGO camera passes over sidewalks detecting deficiencies to improve pedestrian mobility and safety, while reducing redundant spending. To take it further, the solution is under consideration by the city’s Parks Operations department for the detection of deficiencies in park areas, such as fence-post heaving, playground mulch depth, park benches, and more. The City of Vaughan and IRIS are applying the solution’s versatility to various departments across the municipality, supplying impactful data for positive results.

Learn more about iris and contact us at irisradgroup.com