Avatech Solutions enables Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) to revolutionize data management capabilities

Hampton Roads Sanitation District recently upgraded its data management software, improving all departments' ability to get to and handle city documents.

A formidable challenge: managing and sharing a multitude of disparate documents

July 29, 2003 -- With multiple wastewater treatment facilities spread throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and over 500 miles of interconnecting pipeline, the monitoring, maintenance and upgrading of ongoing operations is a challenge for HRSD.

All operations and facilities have supporting records, maps and drawings that require periodic revision. In addition to the sheer volume of records and documentation, there are many physical maps and drawings of irregular sizes and shapes that involve specialized storage and filing.

Any of these documents may be needed internally for ongoing operations or externally for consultants, inspectors, regulators or other outside agencies and organizations. Locating, producing and sharing diverse pieces of information on demand from many different sources created a considerable challenge for HRSD.

Migration made easy

The Avatech consulting team ensured a smooth migration by ensuring users would be able to easily adopt the new technology. They determined how to best migrate and customize the data and worked to ensure compatibility.

The migration from AutoManager WorkFlow data to Cyco AutoManager Meridian was completed live once the team was sure the system worked with the dataset on-site. Avatech rolled out client parts to various users, managers and field personnel, and provided data access at remote treatment sites. Avatech then trained staff and provided ongoing technical support.

"We were trying to mirror a lot of our old filing systems in the new records management system but make it acceptable to our users," commented Bruce Husselbee, HRSD's Engineering Department project manager. "Avatech was able to structure a system that was user friendly and resulted in a final product that our folks were happy with."

Web-based application reduces response time

Transmitting data over the web eliminated the logistical difficulties involved in physically retrieving, handling and distributing documents.

Husselbee explained, "At least 250 of our employees need access to records management information internally. Externally, we currently provide data to four consulting engineering firms that do regular work for us. With Cyco AutoManager Meridian, our ability to share information and to do it in a timely manner has increased exponentially, facilitating maintenance and improvement projects."

"During a recent inspection of one of our facilities, an inspector made the comment that viewing drawings of the building at a later date would be helpful to the inspection. Our plant manager was able to go online and pull up the drawings for viewing in a matter of minutes - something that may have previously taken days to produce - leaving the inspector slack-jawed and overwhelmed by our ability to respond to his request so quickly," concluded Husselbee.

HRSD's staff were at times overwhelmed by the retrieval and handling of over 18,000 documents so these were consolidated and centralized into a single, central, manageable database. "With Avatech's help we were able to consolidate every record drawing and every map of all of our pipelines into a powerful database stored on our server. Requests for documents that would take days to fulfill can now be done in a matter of minutes or hours," commented Husselbee.

Efficiencies create long term stability

Prior to implementing its new document management system, HRSD was considering adding staff to handle the volume of work created by its previous system. The efficiency of their new system as well as its reduction in labor intensity enabled HRSD to circumvent this prospect entirely.

Says Husselbee, "Our core staff consists of a supervisor and three technicians and that has been the same group for at least ten years. I estimate that the workload has doubled over that period of time and yet we are able to manage the work volume with the same staff. The records management system is directly responsible for allowing us to closely control our staffing, creating enhanced stability and controlling labor costs."

About Avatech

Avatech Solutions, Inc. (OTCBB: AVSO.OB) is a provider of design automation and PLM solutions for the manufacturing, building design, and engineering markets.

To learn more about how this type of software solution may benefit your
organization, call the Avatech Customer Care Centre at 1-888-446-2436 or
visit http://www.avatechsolutions.com. For information on Cyco
AutoManager Meridian please visit
http://www.avatechsolutions.com/products/software/cyco/am_meridian.asp

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