Integrating GIS with Work Orders and Asset Management

Integrating our Elements XS3 software with ESRI’s ArcGIS platform for work orders and asset management is what we do all day every day.  Regardless of which app(s) you’re considering or which approach you’re looking to take, here are three quick things to help you through the process.

1. Keep it simple

Few things in life are worse than the gut wrenching realization that you just purchased a software package that’s way too complicated for your staff to use.  Make sure the interface is flexible enough to accommodate different user roles and job functions.  For example, Elements XS3 utilizes unique “workspaces” tailored to different job functions - the mobile guys see only what they need to see, the inventory guy sees his own thing, the people creating and dispatching Service Orders see what they need to, and so on.

2. Keep it open

There’s a fine line here - you want the software to be flexible, but too flexible can sometimes mean you’re dealing with a blank canvas and configuring the app quickly becomes a daunting task.  The philosophy behind Elements XS3 tends to be more along the lines of “design the system how you want it” as opposed to “do things the way the software thinks you should”.  We provide guidance during implementation process to help get the software configured, but with the powerful Workflow Designer, Workflow Processing Engine, and Dynamic Data tools unique to Elements XS3 customers are able to design their own processes start to finish.

3. Leverage your GIS

Is the software GIS-Centric or GIS-Based or something else? What’s the difference and how should I use my GIS?  Good questions, they top the list of questions we receive every day.

Here’s the bottom line, regardless of terminology:

The ESRI ArcGIS geodatabase should be the single authoritative asset repository for any spatial asset. 

This (typically) means a live connection to your GIS via ArcGIS for Server to avoid copying or synchronizing any feature data.  That’s the way Elements XS3 does it, as do several other apps on the market. 

As for the GIS-Centric vs. GIS-Based terminology - at one point a group of folks created the NAGCS (National Association of GIS-Centric Solutions) to try to clarify what it actually means and certify apps as “GIS-Centric”, but as of this writing the website is “parked free, courtesy of GoDaddy”.

Most important is definitely not the terminology - most important is to make sure the software is built around the people who will actually be using the app - which means a simple interface, flexibility for workflow process control, and a smart GIS integration.

If you'd like to learn more about how we integrate GIS with work orders and asset management, drop us a line.