#Vic LGA Graffiti Team

Graffiti ‘outbreak’ provides GODOIT system with its first major test

You see them springing up on traffic signals and park benches, in skateparks, playgrounds and public toilets: badly-spelled signs of frustration with the COVID lockdowns, and with the Premiers who are widely blamed for instigating them. For Adrian, who leads the Service Provider graffiti removal team, his management app has become a barometer of mounting – and measurable – public anger.

“The number of graffiti tags, stickers and posters that we remove has nearly doubled since the beginning of the year, from 420 in January to 775 in July” says Adrian. “This is certainly the most graffiti I’ve seen since I started this job.”

Fortunately for Adrian, his team recently took possession of an asset management tool – one of several new apps that are helping the service provider crews to streamline their planning and reporting, and give their customers a clear, real-time window into their daily progress.

“The GODOIT system could not have arrived at a better time for us,” says Adrian. “We’re seeing a major outbreak of graffiti, which is growing by the day. Now many parks and playgrounds are closed, everyone’s putting up stickers and tags on footpaths and road signs protesting about vaccinations and the Andrews Government.

“I reckon at least 40-50% of our workload right now is about COVID and the Government’s response.”

Data doesn’t lie

The GODOIT system is a digital solution that helps the service provider teams to plan and manage their daily schedules, while providing their supervisors with the information to monitor and report on their performance. Each morning, the app presents teams with a pool of jobs listed according to their location and priority.

“There’s much more information changing hands at both ends of our jobs now,” explains Kerry, the service providers’ Business Analyst, who’s supporting the national rollout. “Crews have more information available when they start a job, as well as the ability to notify the client of any details or follow-up actions required. These kinds of details were often missed in the past.”

As well as helping teams keep track of their work, the accumulating data lets supervisors monitor KPIs and line up future jobs, gives councils a real-time view of their projects, and gives everyone a reliable dataset for measuring progress. According to Solutions Architect, Soner Bekir, it also saves everyone a heap of time.

“We estimate that the solution is saving our supervisors around 30% of the time they used to spend on assessing and allocating jobs, not to mention all the auditing our customers undertook to check that jobs were being properly done, and the effort that constantly went into reporting” says Soner. “Hopefully, some of these savings will be able to translate into new civic infrastructure and public services.”

A natural testbed

The GODOIT system is currently being rolled out in other LGA’s across Melbourne, the ACT and Queensland. But from Kerrys’ perspective, the graffiti team in Victoria was “an obvious place” to begin.

“Before the GODOIT solution arrived, each member of the graffiti team had to come in to their depot 1-2 hours before they started work every day to plug their phones into the supervisor’s computer and download photos from the day before,” says Kerry. “The team was literally spending four hours a day just recording their jobs – so it was an obvious place to start.”

Glen, who oversees another LGA customers’ parks and open spaces contract, says the system is already proving a boon for scheduling and monitoring jobs among his 100 employees.

“To be able to see where my crews are and what they’re doing at any specific time is a great advantage,” says Glen. “Of course, we’ve had a few teething issues, but it’s great getting reliable data on job progress and completions, which have enabled us to start some important conversations about team productivity. Some of our older members may have not taken to the system entirely naturally – but more people are seeing all the benefits there will be in safety, transparency and efficiency.”

Graphic results

For Adrian, the difference before and after the system is nothing short of spectacular. “We used to keep everything on Excel spreadsheets, and you’d have to take photos manually, and deliver them to your supervisor with a written record of each job,” he says. “Now our guys can just log into an app on their phone, take a photo, and get on with the work.

“The app tells them how they’re tracking with their KPIs, what the weather’s doing, even whether the graffiti is in a hotspot or the work of a repeat offender. Other service provider and council staff, and third-party contractors like cleaners can report new graffiti and put in a request for us to attend. We’ve even supplied photos to the police, when they’re trying to track down repeat offenders.”

Adrian says a quick glance at his dashboard is all he needs to see what his team is doing, what’s outstanding, whether any jobs are running late, or any new requests have come in.

“It used to take me over an hour every evening to download all the photos and reports. Now in 10 or 15 minutes, I’ve checked all the day’s work and allocated all the jobs for the next morning. Best of all, the team don’t have to come and see me out of hours to download their photos and log reports.”

Working off facts

“The GODOIT system gives us all much greater visibility over how well our teams are working, where deadlines are being met or missed, and how productive individual employees are being,” adds Kerry. “From a management perspective, these are vital insights to identify how well we’re meeting clients’ expectations. All this data is helping us work off facts – rather than people’s individual opinions.”

By the time you read this the system will have been rolled out to the LGA’s staff, who will then have a clear channel for monitoring jobs and directing assignments and instructions to our teams.

“The system will give everyone much greater visibility over the work we’re doing,” promises Soner Bekir. “As well as real-time job reports, the app will help everyone plan their work seamlessly – eventually taking account of the weather forecast, public events, road closures, and other foreseeable factors. All the LGA service provider staff are now in the system, together with their skills and certifications, and the equipment in their depots.

“In the future, we’ll also be able to incorporate information from the IoT sensors that are being deployed – which will transmit data from digital sensors that measure everything from bin levels for waste collectors to soil moisture for watering crews.

“The sky is truly the limit for where these kinds of integrated real-time information systems can take us.”