TEA Winner 2021: Benton County, Oregon
- Industry: County
- Location: Benton County, OR
- Employees: 500
- Population: 90,000
- Tyler Client Since: 2016
- Tyler Products Used: Munis, Tyler EAM, Tyler Content Manager, Tyler Cashiering, Data and Insights
- Website: www.co.benton.or.us
For managing public works assets, Benton County, Oregon, was using a dated, third-party database that could not connect to its modern enterprise resource planning solution, Munis®. The asset database, which wasn’t designed for comprehensive asset management, lacked audit capabilities and workflow management. The information that was available was unreliable. It was difficult to extract data in a usable format, and data input required double entry into the third-party system and Munis.
“It was hard to use, and it was hard to get information out of,” says George Looney, Benton County’s public works finance manager. “It was a standalone program, so we had to do double entry with all of our payroll and all of our accounts payable. It just wasn’t working, and it had no GIS integration. We were keeping multiple sets of data in two different programs.”
Benton County decided to seek a comprehensive asset management solution that would integrate with the county’s financial system to improve operations.
Recognizing the value of an integrated solution, Benton County chose Tyler’s enterprise asset management solution, Tyler EAM.
“We have been using Munis financials since July of 2016,” says Looney. “We wanted something that integrated with our financial systems, and we knew Munis. So the natural step was to go straight to Tyler EAM.”
Despite the challenges of implementation during COVID-19, Benton County was able to go live with Tyler EAM in December of 2020. Looney says the combination of Munis and Tyler EAM has enabled Benton County to:
- Eliminate duplicate data entry
- Improve internal billing
- House work orders for multiple departments on the same platform
- Optimize GIS use, providing valuable information about asset location
- Simplify security, reducing multiple logins
- Provide interface uniformity, reducing training time
In addition, Benton County has found Tyler EAM allows flexibility for use in multiple departments, including roads, engineering/survey, facilities, and parks.
“One of the things I liked the most about this solution is the flexibility,” says Looney. “We’re able to customize the program to fit what the department needs are.”
Benton County’s adoption of Tyler EAM has streamlined core operations and improved financial oversight and reporting. The switch has enabled more accurate budgeting and cost tracking of assets. The county can now easily access insights into the true cost of assets, including maintenance information, which has improved internal and external billing processes. The county is saving about four hours a week on accounts payable tasks and five hours a month on internal billing operations.
Each department is seeing improvements, including:
- Roads: Data tracking is simplified, and maps can be used in creating work orders.
- Engineering/survey: Large projects can now be tracked in different phases, which allows a better cost overview.
- Facilities: Costs and labor usage can be tracked by activity for the first time, enabling identification of what activities are better done in-house versus being contracted out.
- Parks: Costs are being tracked for each park, which will help with future budgeting.
Overall, Looney says the Tyler EAM and Munis combination will provide a more accurate financial overview of assets.
“We’ll also have the ability to do more accurate budgeting,” says Looney.
We’re going to have much better tracking of costs to assets. We’ll be able to look at what assets are costing us, what type of maintenance we’ve been doing on a much, much better basis than we had before.
Public Works Finance Manager, Benton County, OR