Many local governments in areas that get regular snowfall maintain a fleet of snow plows. In the winter season, speed and efficiency of snow plow fleet are of a great importance – especially in highly urbanized cities. We bring you a case study showing how to make a snow fleet management system more efficient with a simple software solution, featuring a story coming from the City of Zagreb.
City of Zagreb is the capital of Croatia. As the climate of Zagreb is moderate continental with hot summers and cold winters, during winter season, snowfall is a common occurrence. This causes various traffic difficulties. That is why it was important for the City of Zagreb to have a solution for effective management of their snow plow trucks fleet.
What were the challenges?
City of Zagreb wanted to replace an outdated fleet management workflow that was slowing the decision making process during snow emergencies because they didn’t have an overview of the situation on the streets and the cleaning progress in real time. The decision making process was complicated by the fact that City of Zagreb officials needed to manage multiple subcontractors from one account. They wanted to have a possibility of having a full control of vehicles and their expenses on a daily basis. This data should be available on a map accessible by multiple users, both in the office and in the field, using different devices. Considering the fact that mapping data consists of larger datasets and contains a lot of information, the challenge was to have a fast solution with an optimal loading speed. City of Zagreb needed to make their snow emergency response faster, better and more efficient.
At the same time, they wanted to improve their daily workflow and reporting process, and be able to create custom reports with accurate data updated in real time.
What was the solution?
In a need of a more ‘up to date’ approach, City of Zagreb adopted and deployed GIS Cloud tools for their winter fleet management. Cloud based GIS turned out to be a necessity for a successful coordination between multiple users, contractors, and on multiple devices in a real time. Also, cloud GIS made their reaction time faster and workflow more efficient because they were able to track and monitor the progress of snow removal process while making decisions on site.
In order to use their existing data, an integration between Map Editor and Fleet and Workforce Management apps was achieved.
As a powerful mapping tool, Map Editor enabled publishing of existing data, editing and labeling, as well as managing and sorting the data in corresponding folders. The idea was to divide a given area (city of Zagreb) in multiple tasks, where each task represents a group of streets. Their mapping effort would then be connected to the GIS Cloud Fleet and Workforce Management solution, giving the each unit their assigned task.
An overview of vehicle consumption is possible in Fleet and Workforce Management app so this way City of Zagreb has a full control of managing different types of costs (i.e. salt and other means for defrosting). This enables cost assessments for future, giving them information on what can be reduced and for which subcontractor in particular.
With GIS Cloud Fleet and Workforce Management Solution, real time coordination between drivers and dispatchers was accomplished, having an overview of driver’s locations at any time. This real time solution, enabled a faster response time and more effective decision making in critical situations. With customization options, set of various reports could be made like mileage, fuel consumption, speed limitation etc.
As a novelty, a system for early ice detection was incorporated, where multiple sensors are tracking different criteria like air and pavement temperature, humidity etc. Once a given threshold is crossed, this integrated system in Fleet and Workforce Management app will notify the dispatcher, giving him the necessary information for effective decision making.
GIS Cloud Fleet and Workforce Management Solution was ideal for City of Zagreb, as it accelerated the outdated workflow by using and customizing existing GIS Cloud applications. Real time vehicle tracking was enabled by using fast and responsive maps and by making the decision process inter-operable. With decreased response time, severe winter conditions became much more manageable.
To sum it up, these were the results:
- Integration between Map Editor and Fleet and Workforce Management (overlap between fleet and their own data)
- Vehicle Tracking in real time (monitoring of the status and path that certain vehicle has passed)
- Report about every vehicle regarding the beginning and ending of the drive, time, miles, fuel consumption, speed limitation, status of the vehicle
- Real time collaboration between the driver and the dispatcher
- System for early detection of ice on the pavements (17 sensors over the city reports current status of the pavements regarding the temperature of pavement and air, humidity of the pavements and the freezing point which depends on rainfall, fog and salinity of pavement)