Pima County, Ariz.
To improve customer service, increase efficiency and reduce the concomitant costs of conducting building and utility inspections, Pima County Development Services in mid-2013 hit upon the idea of implementing a computer-based auto-routing system similar to that used by FedEx, UPS and other fleet-reliant service companies. This system has been wildly successful in achieving its primary goals – to provide clients with a more accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA) and reduce travel time and miles driven by inspectors. Working with County Graphic Information Services (GIS), Development Services designed the system using ArcGIS Vehicle Routing Problem Solver software that automatically distributes the County’s average 100 inspections each day between five inspectors in the most efficient routes possible while also equalizing the workload. What’s more, Development Services developed a complementary remote video inspection system using Skype and a calendaring app that minimizes the effects of pre-determined “stop order” and ETAs that could otherwise limit the flexibility of auto routing. Now, clients may schedule a remote inspection with only a few-minutes notice. Inspections are performed by office staff while the contractor or homeowner acts as cameraperson. Both systems are unique to Pima County and their development and implementation occurred entirely in-house. Key performance metrics for both remote inspection volume and auto-routing efficiency have improved monthly over the last 14 months. Remote inspections now account for 13% of total inspection volume. The latest analysis of auto-routing has shown a 26% reduction in miles driven and 18% reduction in drive time and workload variation among inspectors averages 14%, well below the 20% target maximum. An unexpected benefit— improved inspector consistency. Inspectors often review each other’s work because the routing software may not send the same inspector to the same job site.
Mr. Mark Evans