Organisations face unprecedented change and challenges from natural and artificial conditions. The conventional methods of managing assets are no longer viable, and asset leaders must swiftly revamp their structures and capabilities to meet future
demands. This paper delves into the hurdles faced by the City of Gold Coast during their asset revaluation, the advantages of transitioning to a customised unit rate development and analytical tool, and their innovation journey for an $8 million portfolio across six asset categories.
By embracing future-fit technology, businesses can simplify their processes, enhance efficiency, adhere to regulations and standards, and surpass their customers’ evolving needs.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE’S EDGE
Today’s exponential pace of technology innovation means the City of Gold Coast
(CoGC) faced one of the most exciting periods of positive change in 2022. To capture
the vast opportunities for growth, Edwin Salazar pioneered dramatic changes in how
the City Assets branch revaluated its stormwater drainage network – and what the
CoGC could accomplish for their customers.
For 15 years, the CoGC manually conducted asset revaluation using spreadsheets,
a process that was labour-intensive, time-consuming, and prone to errors. Edwin
Salazar recognised the need for a more efficient and accurate asset revaluation
process and led a transition journey to repurposing an existing estimating
INFLEXIBILITY SPREADSHEET RISKS
CoGC’s Flood Mitigation and Drainage (FMD) asset management team struggled with an inflexible
and complex designed spreadsheet calculator, which was developed by one person.
When that person left, the team was left without support or training, causing significant problems when modifications were required. The tool’s lack of intuitiveness also made
it challenging for experienced estimators to learn.
CoGC’s previous asset revaluation method was risky, with security concerns and a time-consuming error detection process. Large data sets and a lack of change controls created fundamental errors that took days to correct, and benchmarking was difficult due to
the inability to report cost elements and causes of variances.
THE MOMENT OF CRYSTALLISATION
CoGC switched from their old asset revaluation methodology to a customised revaluation tool due to several critical factors that led to a crystallisation moment for change.
One of the main factors was the sheer size and complexity of the project, which made the old
methodology risky and unsustainable. The customised tool’s ability to benchmark data from multiple sources and focus more effectively on cost elements also played a significant role in the decision. Additionally, the automation of the revaluation process through the revaluation tool streamlined the process, saving time and resources for CoGC.
POWERING BUSINESS GROWTH WITH CUSTOMISED REVALUATION SOFTWARE
Repurposing the existing tool was a game-changer for CoGC, streamlining and
automating their asset revaluation processes. The revaluation tool received high
recommendations from CoGC’s Specific and Estimating team and proved to be the
best solution for their needs. The software’s benchmarked data ensured accuracy and consistency in cost estimation, while the interface allowed greater focus on cost element levels. The tool’s automation reduced time and resources, as noted by CoGC’s Asset
Management Engineer. It was a natural choice with a proven track record in
addressing asset revaluation challenges. With the newly developed revaluation tool,
CoGC has an efficient, accurate, and automated process for years to come.
FROM SPREADSHEET TO SUCCESS THE PROCESS JOURNEY
Regular meetings between the developer of the existing estimating software and the
CoGC’s FMD revaluation team, along with other consultants and members of the City
Finance team, helped ensure a smooth transition to the newly developed system.
The relationship between the two organisations proved crucial to successful
implementation. With almost weekly meetings and tailored solutions, Edwin invested significant time and effort in helping the software company understand the architecture the City
required. By leveraging the software company’s capabilities and building a strong
partnership, the CoGC was able to streamline the revaluation process and achieve
better outcomes for the city.
INNOVATION PAY OFF THE RESULTS
The implementation of the newly developed tool has led to significant improvements
for the FMD Revaluation team at CoGC. The platform has streamlined the revaluation
process, resulting in a smoother and more efficient operation. The benefits of the
customised tool are numerous and include:
- The team was able to enter Unit Rates much earlier than in previous
revaluations, saving between 3-6 months in time. Going forward, this time
saving is expected to increase even more.
- The improved efficiencies and time savings allowed the Asset Revaluation
Team to conduct the revaluation and annual indexation within the target
timeframes, which was previously impossible.
- The new process required fewer human resources to conduct the revaluation,
freeing up resources to work on other important projects, and enabling the
CoGC to provide greater value to ratepayers.
- The Benchmark platform has improved process controls, decreasing the risk of
errors. As a result, the CoGC can perform less rigorous reviews and be
confident there will be fewer errors, saving significant time.
- The CoGC can now easily drill down to the unit rate level with the Benchmark
platform, providing improved visibility and enabling more informed decisionmaking. This has also provided greater transparency to stakeholders.
Overall, the implementation of the new revaluation tool has resulted in a gamechanging improvement for the FMD Revaluation team. With its proven track record
and ability to address the key challenges of the asset revaluation process, the newly
developed tool was the natural choice for CoGC to ensure an efficient, accurate, and
automated process for years to come.
UNLOCKING THE BENEFITS
The City’s revaluation tool revolutionised CoGC’s asset revaluation process, providing many benefits that significantly improved accuracy and efficiency.
By implementing the City’s new platform, CoGC’s Finance and City Asset teams experienced greater consistency, traceability, and reporting, enabling them to quantify the impact of changes quickly and easily in work practices. The software developers also provided CoGC with a true partner, offering expert training and expertise, making for a far easier onboarding and
implementation experience. The platform’s flexibility allowed for a consistent
approach to estimating, while adapting to CoGC’s unique requirements. This ultimately freed up resources to work on other important projects and provided
greater value to ratepayers.
CONCLUSION LOOKING AHEAD
The FMD Revaluation team is poised to revolutionise the way revaluation processes are handled. With their upcoming plans to fully automate the revaluation process and implement interactive, real-time reports, they can respond to auditor’s queries during audits with lightning-fast analysis reports. This is a game-changing development that will enable the team to stay ahead of
the curve and maintain their competitive edge. But it does not stop there. The newly developed
revaluation tool is now adopted across other groups within the council. With increased use of dashboards and the ability to test renewal projections, the CoGC can benefit in ways that were previously unimaginable. Having a single source of truth for data stored within the revaluation software database will be a tremendous advantage, allowing greater efficiency and accuracy in
decision-making. The potential benefits of these developments cannot be
overstated. Edwin Salazar is leading the way in cutting-edge technology and innovative approaches to data analysis. By fully embracing the power of automation
and real-time reporting, they are positioning themselves for success in an increasingly competitive landscape. And by working together to develop new and exciting
ways of testing renewal projections, they are opening a world of possibilities for the entire CoGC. This is a momentous occasion, and one that is sure to have far-reaching impacts for years to come.