Gaining the Competitive Edge

To measure the success of operations activities, the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, contracted with technology and business-management consultant EMA Inc. to incorporate the “balanced scorecard” strategy into a Web-based dashboard that pulls performance data from the city's core business systems and data repositories, such as IBM's Maximo asset management system, and provide derived performance metrics. Other IBM technologies that support the dashboard include the DB2-400 database and AS400 server, which serve as the platform for the city's utility billing system and provide raw data for several dashboard metrics. Goals are color-coded by perspective: Customer is blue, financial is green, process is yellow, and sustainability is orange.

The Corpus Christi Water Department establishes lofty “stretch” targets and continually strives to improve. All metrics shown are based on work orders. When actual results are better than the target, the numbers are green; below-target numbers are red.

Clicking on the “metric” Clicking the “metric” shown on the balanced score card displays details on how the metric is calculated.

Step 1: Download the work-order data for all reported backups during a defined period of time to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet document. Each customer has a distinct location code that indicates the street address.

Step 2: Using Excel commands, create a pivot table to isolate customers with the most frequently reported problems.

Step 3: Create a worksheet in Excel; this becomes a prioritized list of addresses for maintenance and repair. Review history and discuss repairs with the foreman to ensure data is complete.

The red dots indicate work performed in response to resident complaints about sewer backups during three extremely dry months. Areas with a disproportionate number of reported problems during periods of no rain are thus “problem locations” that can be targeted for more frequent maintenance.

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