Wednesday, December 05, 2012

AVL: Making Do With Less in Bethlehem

Over the last three years, in the face of a looming pension crisis, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan has reduced the size of his workforce by 69 people over the past three years. Yet they're getting more done. How is this possible?

I'm sure there are several answers, but one of them is a system called Automatic Vehicle Location, or AVL.

Here's how that works. The City installed tracking devices in each of its vehicles, and has installed software enabling it to track all of them on a dynamic real time map, as well as reviewing operations over the past thirty days.

Once that was installed, road crews immediately become more efficient.

Pre AVL, a street sweeper did 20 miles per day. Now it's 28. Pre AVL, a city truck could mount 17 Christmas trees per day. Now, it's 30. Pre AVL, a leaf collector did 18 miles per day. Now it's 22.

This is a product of Callahan's Continuous Improvement (CI) innovation, in which City employees brainstorm and come up with ideas that improve efficiency.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

How are they doing wih all the city vehicles the Department heads get to drive everywhere. Tracking those babies?

Bernie O'Hare said...

ALL city vehicles are being tracked, but I neglected to ask Callahan about Department heads and city-owned vehicles. I will ask him when I next speak to him.

Anonymous said...

OH BOY! Here come the Callahan campaign press releases.

Anonymous said...

Really? They are saving money and really doing more by tracking vehicles? How much does it cost to tract the vehicles vs. the money they think they are saving? Hardware, software costs? Maintenance of the hardware/software? Time for someone to look at the computer screen, run reports? Time for someone to evaluate the reports? Sounds to me that this may cost more than what its worth unless the City simply is using it to babysit it's staff. Shouldn't this be the job of an existing supervisor?

Anonymous said...

Sort of an oxymoron, big brother watching big brother?

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:49, I believe the entire cost of this package was $100,000. The increased efficiencies probably paid for it in one week. I forgot to mention snow-plowing. They are saving money and really are doing more by tracking vehicles.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"OH BOY! Here come the Callahan campaign press releases."

Glenn Reibman, now I know why you have narcolepsy and spent most of your 8 years sleeping at the courthouse. You need to be sleep at 2:30 AM instead of making trollish comments. How n earth will you stay awake at your patronage toll bridge job?

Anonymous said...

@6:49 my understanding is that those GPS tracking systems are usually done through a company that monitors the devices and supplies and repairs(aka replaces) them. The city probably did not hire someone to do that, but instead pays a private company to do that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, it is tied into the City's systems and is monitored in house.

Uncle Remus said...

The truth is that this move finally made the useless cry baby union pukes work for a living instead of hiding out. Good move, JC.

The city could save a lot of money if people were not allowed to take their vehicles home every night. For example what does it cost the city in insurance, fuel and maintenance for the streets bureau head to drive back and forth from bush kill at least five days a week? Is he making personal stops on the way home?

What about the parks head dude? To Quakertown and back. What does that cost?

Really don't want to hear the worn out excuse that"they have to respond to emergencies". I guess a civilian vehicle is incapable of responding.

Why aren't the comptroller and weak kneed council asking these questions? They want to cut the budget? This item is a good place to start.

Uncle Remus said...

BO,

All vehicles are not tracked.

Anon6:49, you are assuming that those supposedly in charge actually know how to supervise .

Anonymous said...

O'Hare is in love so don't expect complete and accurate reports.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I stand corrected. I was told the "entire fleet" and assumed it meant every vehicle.

Uncle Remus said...

I believe it is only the parks and public works vehicles.

Anonymous said...

When you are looking dreamy eyed at the guy telling you, who would not hear what they want to hear.

More sleeze ans sneaky behavior disguised as public service from Johnny Casino.