Implementing software can be a challenge for any organization. Data entry. Security. Integrations. Training. It’s enough to make your head spin. Now, imagine “going live” during a natural disaster, like a fire, flood, or hurricane. That’s the challenge the Town of Bluffton, SC Public Works Department conquered head on, earning praise from town leadership, a feature in the APWA Reporter, and a Cartegraph High-Performance Government Award.
Bluffton had originally outlined a 3-month software implementation plan with the Cartegraph team. Hurricane Irma, however, had a different agenda. Coastal South Carolina recently recovered from Hurricane Matthew, which had struck just a year prior. From that experience, Bluffton learned the importance of keeping accurate, up-to-date records on labor and equipment used for FEMA clean up work and reporting.
Hours before Hurricane Irma fell upon the small community, crews hit the ground running with Cartegraph’s work and asset management software. The night of the storm, employees huddled around an Apple TV, watching how to install and use the mobile software on their iOS and Android devices. During the demonstration, crews learned everything from inventorying infrastructure assets and tracking equipment to creating new tasks and documenting their labor hours—all critical information required for FEMA reimbursement reporting.
"Learning a new technology product in the middle of a critical incident requires great focus and organization. However, the data it yielded was definitely worth the effort.
Town leaders and staff deployed this software in the midst of Irma to better track and document the human resources and equipment needed to manage and recover from this tropical storm. As a result, the town has the data to make even better decisions in the future.”Lisa Sulka
Mayor of Bluffton, SC
Using the new system, the Bluffton Public Works Department logged more than 200 hours of cleanup work—filing for FEMA reimbursement as they accomplished each task. Thanks to crew adaptability and determination, the Town saved an additional 3 days—or $5,000—in post-storm data entry labor costs.