How East Bay Municipal Utility District Saves Time and Money with Customized Motor Pool Management
East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) provides high quality drinking water for approximately 1.4 million people across Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Their award-winning wastewater treatment also protects San Francisco Bay and serves over 685,000 customers.
EBMUD’s mission is simple: to manage natural resources entrusted to them, to provide reliable, high quality water and wastewater services for the people of East Bay and to preserve the environment for generations to come.
Systems Support Analyst Daniel Galan works alongside the EBMUD fleet team to ensure that the district’s mission is being met.
For over four years, Galan has been supporting the EBMUD team with their FleetFocus software system.
“Whenever the fleet team have questions, they call me,” said Galan, “If there are new features of the software that they’re not familiar with, I’ll teach them whatever I know.”
Due to his close proximity to fleet management questions, Galan recognized a problem with their operations, and helped search for and implement a powerful solution.
For years, EBMUD operated two motor pool lots without an automated system in place. For one motor pool, they had a physical punch clock, so if a motor pool user needed to check out a pool vehicle, they would fill out the top of the card and punch in the check-out time.
For the other motor pool, there was an online form for checking out a pool vehicle. After the form was filled out, it was emailed to an administrator, who kept track of vehicle reservations in a Microsoft Outlook calendar.
Because this process was so manual, pool vehicles could only be reserved in four or eight hour intervals, even if the vehicle was only needed for a short period of time.
“Someone could take a pool vehicle to one of our other facilities for a half hour, but the vehicle would be blocked off for hours,” said Galan, “It was completely inefficient and manual labor intensive.”
In order to improve manual processes and increase motor pool efficiency, EBMUD decided to invest in AssetWorks KeyValet motor pool management software. The AssetWorks KeyValet system is a comprehensive motor pool solution designed to manage all aspects of running a motor pool, including reservations, vehicle check-out, billing and maintenance.
A big draw for EBMUD was KeyValet’s automation. KeyValet is completely integrated with AssetWorks FleetFocus fleet management software system, so EBMUD employees and motor pool users stay up-to-date on vehicle availability with limited wait times.
“That’s the main reason we went with KeyValet,” said Galan, “We needed something automated that would be more real-time so that we could have higher availability of vehicles.”
In Oakland, California, where EBMUD is based, parking is an expensive commodity. The organization needed a custom solution to maximize their existing pool vehicles and lots.
In order to conserve lot space, the organization double parks its pool vehicles, meaning vehicles may block other vehicles in the lot. Because of this practice, motor pool users needed to be able to choose which vehicle they wanted to reserve.
In typical motor pool management systems, the system does not allow users to select a specific vehicle from the pool. Instead, it assigns a vehicles based on availability or mileage. Due to its unique parking structure, EBMUD needed their motor pool management system to allow for custom vehicle selection.
“AssetWorks was able to customize that for us,” said Galan.
AssetWorks understood EBMUD’s current pain points with parking and immediately began creating a solution to solve them.
On this software customization, AssetWorks Project Manager Susie Wade said, “In areas where parking is limited or expensive, the ability to have a smaller parking area to park pool vehicles and still be able to dispatch them without a human having to move them around is a big deal.”
Despite the new motor pool system, EBMUD did not require much additional staff training on the new operations.
“We sent an email to the whole district and put together a video tutorial,” said Galan, “But the system was pretty straightforward.”
When implementing a new software system, some resistance is common, but, in EBMUD’s case, the reaction from employees and motor pool users was positive.
“All of the feedback I’ve gotten has been positive,” continued Galan, “Especially because vehicles become available as soon as the vehicle is returned. Before, you’d send an email request and have to wait however long it took for the administrator to respond. Now, it’s all automated so the response with vehicle availability is immediate.”
KeyValet’s automated technology helps EBMUD improve motor pool operations through time-savings and real-time updates. For a district whose ultimate goal is providing high-quality water for the citizens of East Bay, timing is everything.