How the City of Fort Worth reduced data processing time by 33%
With Casey Nettles, Environmental Supervisor at the City of Fort Worth (TX)
Like many others, the City of Fort Worth had an established FOG Program as part of the water protection division for many years.
However, a growing population and an increase in the number of Food Service Establishments (FSEs) meant that the day-to-day operation of their program had increased the burden on staff and become less effective.
Growing pains - a sense that FOG Management could be better
At the beginning of 2020, the City of Fort Worth was facing a problem; the solution they had previously used to manage the city’s FOG program was reaching end-of-life down, meaning it would no longer be available to them.
Although this presented an immediate challenge, they also acknowledged that their needs had outgrown the solution’s capabilities and that they had become increasingly reliant on proprietary software like a Microsoft Access database for completing tasks that the FOG solution simply wasn’t capable of.
As a result, they had found themselves becoming bogged down in data processing tasks, logging the same information into both systems manually. The limitations of both solutions meant that efforts to automate the data transfer between the two had proved unsuccessful.
Environmental Manager, Casey Nettles explains that they were doing ‘triplicate work’.
The growing pains of the city’s compliance program didn’t end there.
As the city’s infrastructure and population expanded, so too had the volume of data that needed to be analyzed and reported to the state authorities. It had become a challenge to export data from their database, isolate relevant statistics, and report on it to state authorities.
For Casey, it meant that she was finding herself trying to play the role of data analyst too often and neglecting her main function – proactively managing the city’s FOG program.
This combination of their existing legacy FOG solution going offline, and the ever-increasing workload as a result of the separate database meant that the time for a new solution was right.
The search for a new, more suitable solution began.
As they set about their search for a new FOG Compliance Solution, their goals were clear:
- Establish one system for managing the entire FOG Program
- Reduce the burden of monthly reporting
- Gain full oversight of the program and better access to utilize data
The Solution - a purpose-built FOG Program Software
Within their goals Fort Worth had broader ambitions for how they would achieve them – automation, better workflows, and a database that aligns with the needs of their program.
SwiftComply’s FOG software provided the perfect fit for a program that needed a centralized database that makes these niche operations much easier and more efficient to manage.
Combining the functions of their previous two standalone solutions in one user-friendly solution eliminated hours wasted by copying and transferring data.
The team at Fort Worth estimates that by transitioning to SwiftComply, they have reduced the amount of time spent processing data on different systems by 33%. Centralizing everything on one system means the team is now aligned and working from one unified solution and dataset.
While data capture and processing was one area where they had struggled, making use of that data, later on, had also become a tedious task of exporting spreadsheets, sifting through them, and trying to make the data presentable for monthly reports.
That ability to gain a quick, comprehensive oversight of her entire program was initially one of Fort Worth’s primary goals.
As the program evolved with the city over time, new restaurants were established, older ones changed name and ownership, and this visibility became evermore critical to successful monitoring.
A custom dashboard now makes life easier and provides the reassurance Casey sought. The benefits are being seen by everyone on the team and beyond – even directors and state officials;
The team at Fort Worth has seen tangible results from their implementation of SwiftComply FOG Management Software. These include:
- A reduction of 33% in the time required to process test reports with one centralized database
- 95% reduction in time spent exporting data and compiling reports from unintegrated, obsolete databases
- 100% more oversight and visibility of FSEs operating in the city, enabling a more proactive approach to inspections and community engagement.