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Diagnosing the future at East Riding of Yorkshire Council

When East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) took the decision to migrate to Brightly Confirm™ Enterprise Asset Management Solution from a hosted to cloud-based platform, little did they know that it would have such a positive and powerful impact, opening up new opportunities for further improving operations and introducing best practice processes throughout many of the Council’s departments. The new Confirm OnDemand solution allowed Brightly to undertake a full diagnostic review of Council usage and support their internal teams to achieve even greater efficiencies across the organisation.

Brightly Confirm is an enterprise asset management solution specifically designed to offer a smart, cost-effective way to manage public infrastructure assets, by giving organisations instant data insight to make informed decisions on repair, maintenance, and investment for critical assets against tightly constrained budgets and timescales all within one secure repository.

Situated on the East coast in the North of England, East Riding of Yorkshire covers an area of approximately 930 sq. miles and is home to a population of over 343,200 people spread across 26 wards and 171 parishes. As well as supporting its local residents and business community, the Council is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of 3,533km of roads and related roadside assets including gullies, nearly 40,000 streetlights, parks, trees, hedges and verges.

A long-term user of Confirm, ERYC has been using the digital asset management software in its highways, forestry, and civil engineering departments for over 20 years to keep track of its range of public assets, capturing and storing detailed records of their location, physical condition, valuation, and operational requirements.

At East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Confirm was historically hosted by the Council’s own IT team, with each department using the software in different ways and to differing degrees. Around two years ago, the Council took the decision to upgrade the software and migrate the solution to the ‘OnDemand’ cloud-based version. This move was primarily to ease the burden on the Council’s IT department of maintaining the system by making use of the automated update facilities, thereby freeing up its technical team to concentrate on other projects.

As part of the migration project to the cloud-based solution, with the Council’s permission, Brightly was able to access the Council’s data, and undertake a free and comprehensive diagnostic review of how it was using the software. This included examining legacy processes and operational procedures, such as how data was captured, utilised, processed and stored across all its operational departments.

Daniel Mills, Account Director at Brightly Software explains, “Given the scale of the task, the review took several weeks for us to process all the data and examine how the Council had been using Confirm over the years, before presenting our findings back to the Council. We were then in a position to highlight a wide range of under exploited opportunities that would enable the Council to streamline existing procedures, introduce new enhanced ‘best practices’, and ultimately, help them unlock greater value from its technology investment.’’

As a result of the review findings, ERYC engaged Brightly’s Managed Services, giving it access to the company’s experienced consultants, with both remote and onsite support to help the council’s own team implement an agreed list of initiatives. These include process change, system auditing, review business processes, introducing ‘best practices’, improving user experience and system knowledge through training and encourage greater update of under-utilised facilities. In addition, to ensure projects keep moving ahead and remain on track, a service progress report is published, updated, and reviewed by both parties at regular meetings.

Martin Langler, IT Administrator, Digital, Change & Technology at ERYC, who has worked with the Confirm solution for many years and is currently working with its Managed Services consultants, is particularly enthusiastic about the expert support and new opportunities available to the Council.

Says Martin, “The in-depth review undertaken by Brightly, the new opportunities it has uncovered, and taking on the Managed Services contract which gives us the onsite support we need to help us achieve these opportunities is most beneficial thing we’ve ever done. Prior to signing up to the Managed Services programme, any queries had to be directed to a remote helpdesk. Now, we have access to the best advice pretty much on tap. Our Brightly consultants understand our system, know exactly what we want to achieve and how best we can achieve this, and by working onsite together as part of a cohesive team, we can cover so much ground and get so much work done.’’

Jordon Cross, Systems Engineer at ERYC’s Highways Technical Services plays a key role in working with Brightly’s Managed Services team on implementation and delivery and has witnessed first-hand the many benefits it is bringing to the Council and his own staff members.

“Over the many years we have been using Confirm, inevitably a mismatch had developed in the way different users and different departments were using the solution, so there was definitely room for improvement,” says Cross. “Our asset management solution offers huge potential, so it’s about looking at what we are doing and what we can do better. Now, with our Managed Services contract in place, we have the expert resources to hand, allowing us to tap into their wide-ranging experience to help us deliver improvements and ensure all of our 400 plus users can really maximise use of the technology.”

Jordan is also delighted with the positive impact working alongside such experience and knowledge has had on his own young team. “Not only have they helped us implement so many process improvements, but they have also played a significant role in the overall upskilling and motivation of my team. This is so valuable – not just for the Council but for the team members’ own personal development.”

Ivan McMaster, Highways Technical Services Manager is responsible for overseeing the delivery of Confirm’s Managed Services at ERYC. And while he is delighted with the procedural upgrades, and improvements that are being made, he is also aware of the importance of managing change internally and bringing the Council’s employees with him to truly make the most of what the solution has to offer.

“The team at Brightly is helping us identify and implement best practices, closed-loop circular systems and new approaches to working that ultimately delivers efficiencies in our ways of working. We now have the live tools and working models we need to demonstrate to all Confirm users in the Council, the power of having access to meaningful data and the benefit it brings in helping them make more informed strategic planning and budgeting decisions going forward – which is essential when responsible for both public resources and funding.”

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