Auckland Council’s Animal Management department is incredibly busy. Its 40 animal management officers (AMOs) are constantly travelling across the large council area in New Zealand’s North Island, dealing with issues such as aggressive dogs or wandering stock. As well as handling thousands of regular jobs, it responds to about 400 cases every month that require a rapid response.
The pressure to perform quickly in a crisis is essential, which is why the council is pleased Geo and Navman are on its side. Daniel Hadfield, who’s the team leader for the council’s dispatch team, says a reliable and easy-to-use mobile workforce management system has been vital to its success.
“We use Geo’s job management software to pass along requests for service to our AMOs out in the field,” Daniel says. “All of our officers are equipped with smartphones as well as our dispatch team. When a request for service comes through, the dispatch team puts all the information into the fields provided in the software, using the council system alongside to match reference numbers.”
Daniel says once a job is assigned, AMOs update their work status and do all of their reporting onsite. “When the AMOs are out on the road, they can be taking photos, taking notes and getting signatures. Everything they need to keep track of is put into the app, which packages it all together.
“Geo’s app allows each AMO’s vehicle to become a mobile office. They can do everything on the smartphone they would back at base. Because we have people hours away, it helps with communicating jobs instantly. Navman helps us with specific locations and arrival times.” This is important in a region that stretches at least 120 kilometres from north to south.
“Geo allows each AMO’s vehicle to become a mobile office. They can do everything on the smartphone they would back at base.”
Prioritising jobs is now easy
Since first using Geo’s software system in November 2014, the council has logged over 100,000 jobs. These are split into two kinds of work – lower-end jobs, such as barking dogs and property inspections, and “critical” or “P1” priority jobs. These require AMOs to attend the scene immediately. Geo’s system has been vital in handling all of these cases efficiently.
“If we get a call about a dog attack, we can enter the details into the app while we’re still on the phone,” Daniel says. “It’is very simple to use, and with the job templates, it’s easy for us to quickly pull the right type of job up. After we enter the details for the job, it automatically sends an alert to the officer’s phone. It’s really their lifeline. They can drop what they’re doing and have all the information there so they can get on their way. The good thing is that we can continue to talk to the customer and put their minds at ease.
“Geo’s software is very simple to use, and with the job templates, it’s easy for us to quickly pull the right type of job up. After we enter the details for the job, it automatically sends an alert to the officer’s phone. It’s really their lifeline.”
“For dispatchers, it’s handy to have a map on the same screen showing where all of the active AMOs are, so it’s easy to find the right officer. It also helps with lower-end jobs because we’re able to sort jobs by location, or oldest to newest, and everything is available on the spot.”
Keeping track of the important things
Daniel says using the app means the team has less paperwork to do, and all case details are available anywhere, at any time. “When we’re prosecuting a case or when files need to go to council, time-stamped and name-stamped notes with pictures are easily put into pdf files.”
Geo’s smart software has allowed council to keep better track of their officers’ health and wellbeing while out in the field, as well as measure their performance and productivity. It’s also provided the council with a single way of handling jobs, standardising their customer experience. Other units within the council’s Licensing and Compliance area are looking at using it, too.
“The app has improved our processes tremendously,” Daniel says. “Our officers have gained at least one hour a day they would otherwise have used filling out paperwork and spending time in the office. When passed a job, officers have everything they need to know on their smartphones. They don’t need to waste the dispatcher’s time repeating information and they are thoroughly prepared when entering a property.”
“Our officers have gained at least one hour a day they would otherwise have used filling out paperwork and spending time in the office.”
Daniel says the Geo team has also been tremendous to deal with. “They’re always happy to help,” he says. “They came out to our premises and introduced the officers to the system near the beginning and have provided continuous support.”