Las Cruces, NM, Brings Mobile 311 to Residents
Number of Employees: 1,630
Client Since: 2007
Until mid-2018, the city of Las Cruces was handling its citizen service requests using a process that was almost entirely manual. When residents encountered a non-emergency issue, like a pot hole or graffiti in a public park, they could report the issue via the city’s website or mobile app. There, residents submitted an online form, which then triggered an email to a city staff member.
One city employee was responsible for reading each email, identifying the issue type, routing it to the appropriate department, and contacting the submitter to explain how the city was addressing the issue — a manual and time-consuming task.
This process was problematic for several reasons. According to Todd Selle, business analyst for the city of Las Cruces, “the website system didn’t allow us to track the incidents or measure response times. We had no visibility into open requests, no systematic way of notifying residents of the status of their reported issues, and no integration with the system we used to manage workflow, Munis.”
Not only were the city’s employees unhappy with the process, residents of Las Cruces were also getting frustrated and raised their concerns to the mayor and city councilors. It became clear that the city needed to transform its processes and workflow around non-emergency requests.
With approval from executive management, the city selected Tyler 311™, a key reason being that Tyler 311 integrates with Munis® for work order management. The integration helps the city to better manage its workload making it possible for citizen requests to convert to new or existing work orders in one connected system.
To get started with Tyler 311, a cross-functional team assembled to familiarize themselves with the application and determine how to best implement the solution. Tyler’s implementation team partnered with the city on system setup and training. “We spent significant time defining our incident types and workflow. It’s worth the upfront investment of time because those settings form the foundation of a successful service request process,” said Selle.
The city also leveraged Tyler 311’s API to enhance its mobile strategy. “We wanted to make it even easier for citizens to request services. So instead of just going to our website, we connected Tyler 311 into the Las Cruces mobile app, which we designed in-house and have been encouraging residents to use,” says Selle. The city was the first to use the Tyler 311 API to connect to its own mobile app and describes the process as being straightforward.
Knowing that Tyler 311 integrates with Munis and has an API connector for added integration options were important factors in our decision-making process.
Business Systems Analyst
With Tyler 311, the city’s processes for non-emergency requests have improved dramatically for city staff and residents alike. Citizen requests in Tyler 311 can be tagged to automatically convert into a Munis work order or be added to an existing work order or cancelled. Communications with residents can now be documented in the application and can be reviewed in the future to analyze how issues are being resolved.
Departments are engaged to resolve residents’ concerns in a timely manner and reporting is readily available. The city now has metrics to evaluate and benchmark appropriate response times for each incident type and can isolate the incident types that are underutilized. In addition to seeing an increase in the number of issues reported, the city has also gained visibility into who is reporting.
Residents can report issues, in real time, from their mobile devices and receive updates on the city’s progress toward addressing their requests. According to Selle, “in the seven months since the city went live, we’ve seen citizen engagement increase fourfold. We’re now fielding about 260 requests per month, up from 60, because it’s easier for residents to report their concerns. The increase in requests hasn’t been a problem for us because it’s easier for us to manage them.”