Communities are often faced with large strategic and operational projects as well as emergency response activities. Cityworks OpX provides a streamlined experience that assists with the management of operational work activities, and associated data; as well as the execution and reporting of infrastructure projects and emergency activities.
Local governments and utility organizations can optimize their project data and workflows and take full advantage of OpX by combining the app’s various components, including OpX Projects, OpX Contracts, and OpX Budgets. This enables organizations to:
- Enhance project and contract details—helping them make better decisions in a shorter time frame.
- Optimize financials—allowing them to gain a streamlined view of financial standing between estimated and actual costs, with the added ability to associate revenue from permits, and improving baseline budgets for activities.
- Utilize location intelligence—enabling them to visualize and locate assets related to specific projects and contracts, allowing them to better strategize and coordinate.
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Various Functionalities of OpX
Depending on what needs to be tracked, users can configure projects to organize and group activities, track costs, manage project documents as attachments, and easily capture project updates or notes via comments.
In the event that some or all of the projected work activities are carried out through one or multiple contracts, OpX allows various contracts to be created and easily related back to the project. In addition, contracts’ estimated and actual costs are fed into the project’s financial values and breakdowns, keeping stakeholders informed throughout the various phases of the project.
Activity-based budgets can also be created to forecast things such as how many work activities are expected to be completed in a fiscal year, as well as the anticipated costs per activity (per day and year). For example, OpX can be used to project the number of traffic signs that are expected to be replaced or the amount of hydrants that will be flushed, etc. Additionally, these various work activities can be tracked and split up by districts, community areas, and specific work orders.
Extending OpX to Inspection Activities & Case Management
Most OpX Project users are familiar with tagging work orders or service requests to aggregate costs and organize activities. OpX Projects now extends this functionality to Cityworks AMS inspections and Cityworks PLL cases, via the “Project” and “Project Name” fields, respectively. For PLL users, the “Project Code” field remains the same, however, the “Project Name” field works with OpX, making it easier to aggregate fees as revenue and group project activities.
Financial Tracking and Reporting
Cityworks has long been utilized to track projects, operational activities, and even emergency incidents and events. It has aided in aggregating the actual costs but has not always been as functional when accounting for estimated expenses and contract costs.
With OpX Projects, financial values are broken down by equipment, labor, and materials, allowing estimated costs to be calculated, whether the data is taken from a default template, added to a work order after creation, or from contracts. Permitting fees from PLL cases are also accounted for as revenue rather than expenditures.
Project and Contract Assets
Previously, rendering assets associated with a specific project or contract would have required custom reports or linking searches to GIS assets. The new OpX functionality makes tracking assets easier as staff can now display which are being worked on as part of a project or contract. Project assets consist of any assets related to a work order or inspection or may be added from the map without an associated activity. Contract assets, on the other hand, are those associated to a contract via a line item transaction or work order. For both project and contract assets, multiple asset types can be displayed and highlighted on the map by selecting the desired assets from the panel.
Line Item and Contracts
Many organizations outsource work through contracts that are oftentimes processed outside of Cityworks or processed by using contractor costs in equipment, labor, and material (ELM). Both of these methods can be time-consuming and can result in unorganized workflows.
Few are aware of Cityworks’ contract management capabilities within OpX. Organizations are able to leverage OpX Contracts to load, update, and manage contract line items and transactions, as well as manage contractor activities and set and adjust unit prices. For example, if a facilities contract is issued for a repair or an inspection, users can select a specific line item from the contract to charge. If carpet replacement was contracted by square footage, the user has the ability to select the corresponding line item, enter the number of square feet, and use that to deduct from the contracted quantity. Eventually, this would allow the user to calculate the cost using the contracted unit price.
Additionally, If an organization has a contract that includes more than one line item, they can take advantage of the bulk import template to upload new or update existing line items.
The ability to calculate budgets for routine operations and ascertain where and how much to charge the associated stakeholders for services rendered is an important aspect of community management.
OpX Budgets incorporates and improves on prior functionality from the Performance Budgeting app, allowing users to support multiple budgets per work order template—given a fiscal year—as long as different budgets are set by community area.
Using the estimated costs per work order’s default template, along with the anticipated number of work activities, a baseline budget can be created. Organizations can even calculate estimates for items like crew size, work days, and can even start to plan work percentage projections by month. With Cityworks Respond 4.1, the actual costs can be tracked on every work order by assigning the necessary budget.
Cityworks OpX and the various components found within the application can prove to be instrumental in the management of your operational projects, whether they be contracted activities or the development of a baseline budget. The functionalities of OpX are only becoming more expansive as it is being tailored to further support you and your community’s operations.
By Dinorah Sanchez, Cityworks Subject Matter Expert