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Asset management in one shape or form consumes much of our time as a GIS company.

  • Presenting field based staff with an interactive map and simple tools, on their smartphone or tablet, to help them find assets (water valves, pipes, building etc) in the field and inspect or repair.
  • Providing office staff the ability to manage these remote workers and their work load using the same integrated system: a GIS system.

GIS as a central system for asset management is a huge time saver. But historically asset management systems tied into a GIS have been both complex and expensive. Thankfully that is changing. Today there is more choice. And that is helping smaller organizations. One relatively new option is Workforce for ArcGIS. And we at WebMapSolutions are impressed. Much thought has gone into developing Workforce. It has helped set the stage for many different asset management workflows. But what is Workforce for ArcGIS?

Simplifying Asset Management with GIS

Fundamentally Workforce for ArcGIS is a work order generation app. It is tied into an ArcGIS Online subscription.  A simple web based wizard walks GIS admins through the set up. The image below shows a typical Workforce assignment:

There are 7 key elements to an assignment:

  1. Type – that is the category of work required eg. valve inspection
  2. Location – What is the location of the task. That can be an address or location of an asset.
  3. Who – Which staff member is to be assigned the task
  4. Priority – From none to critical
  5. Date – Completion data and time
  6. ID – This ties into other systems (more in this in a moment)
  7. Description – Instructions on the work to be completed
  8. Attachments – Task related documents eg. schematics, circuit diagrams etc.

Workforce simplifies the job of a GIS admin by generating a series of web maps and feature layers automatically. These give Responders and Workers respectively separate views of the system. Responders generate and monitor assignments (see below):

While workers install the Workforce mobile app which provides a list of assignments allocated to them:

In simple terms that is workforce. It is built on top of the ArcGIS platform, and designed to make work order (assignment) creation, sharing, updating and monitoring easy. Now that is obviously not the end of the story. There are other key parts to asset management. These include:

  1. Inspections – Reporting back on the work done.
  2. Asset editing – Updating the GIS with new/altered/deleted asset information eg. correcting information about a water valve.
  3. Routing – Guiding mobile staff from one inspection to the next.
  4. Dashboards – Summarizing the data reported from workforce.

Tied into the current Workforce mobile app are links to other ArcGIS mobile apps: Survey123, Collector and Navigator. The ID field in the assignment form (see diagram above) allows assignments to be tied into other asset management systems.

Workforce for ArcGIS is a nice simple work order application. Whether tied into existing ArcGIS apps, other systems or custom solutions we are impressed with the many possibilities to help organizations better manage assets.

Want to know more about Workforce for ArcGIS? Contact us on 801.733.0723.

Read our free white paper ‘ArcGIS Deployment Guide’, which provides a road map for getting started and moving forward with ArcGIS Online.

Author: Matt Sheehan

Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter:

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