The City of Pittsfield is pleased to announce the launch of the city’s official mobile resource, the PittSMART (Pittsfield Municipal Assistance & Reporting Technology) App.
The free technology is available for immediate use and provides a platform for residents to access their local government in a single location. The mobile app is part of a comprehensive effort by the City of Pittsfield to enhance resident communications and service delivery. PittSMART is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. PittSMART can also be accessed through the city’s website here: http://cityofpittsfield.org/report/index.php
Scott Connors, the city’s IT Project Manager, said the new platform, also known as a citizen relationship management (CRM) tool, creates a streamlined process for community engagement. The city launched the application in partnership with Accela, an innovative civic software company that provides a platform of cloud-based productivity and civic engagement solutions to governments globally.
“Our citizen reporting application wasn’t meeting our needs, it was outdated and cumbersome. We were looking for a more robust, digital communications system that would simplify how residents submit requests, receive updates and access city information, and we wanted it to be easy and a time-saver for our staff to use as well. We found our answer in the Accela CRM solution,” Connors said. With this new tool, residents can submit, track and view nearby service requests through their smartphone and online. Residents can also use the in-app widgets to find information about city events, public facilities, trash pickup and more.
Here’s how it works: on the backend, city staff redirects and responds to submitted requests through a customized workflow management system. The city also uses the backend system to provide residents real-time status updates and comments on the submitted requests.
The range of possibilities for improved communications and efficiencies was evident during staff training, Connor notes.
“Our training provided the opportunity for a lot of discussion and input from different departments, some with very specialized needs. The Department of Public Services (DPS) wanted to add a vendor to the system to allow them to enter all street light calls, track outages and repairs,” he said. “We created a login for the vendor, assigned them to the specific request types, and on the back-end created custom fields to input their repairs by type so the vendor and the city could see exactly what number of repairs was due to a certain piece of equipment.”
Another specific request came from the city’s water department, who were seeking improved ways to track repair data, Connors said.
“With the technology, we created an internal request for sewer blockages and customized workflow so that, with the click of a mouse, the sewer foreman can now access reports that used to take him days or weeks to receive manually,” he notes. “By leveraging the custom fields in the request type, his crew can complete the form on their iPads while on the scene. When they complete the request, the data is immediately available for reports. The sewer foreman now has the ability to structure his workflow based on the data he receives, which increases the team’s productivity.”
A short instructional video can be viewed here: http://www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/management_information_systems/test.php
For more information about PittSMART, please contact Connors at 413-499-9405.