Manually tracking assets was an inefficient system that affected the entire way we managed grants. Now, our assets are centralized and everyone is connected. Our whole process has transformed, and works smoothly.
- Dina Colarossi, City of Dallas
Keeping the City of Dallas secure with MobileAsset
The City of Dallas’ Department of Intergovernmental Services is serious about assets. Not only are city assets expensive, most are used to keep Dallas residents safe and secure. The Department of Intergovernmental Services manages and oversees the purchase of Homeland Security equipment for several operational units throughout the city, including the Bomb Squad, Urban Search and Rescue team, SWAT, the DPD Intelligence Unit, the Water Department, and Information Technology. Collectively, these units own and operate approximately 4,500 assets, including armored vehicles, laptops, handheld police radios, mobile GPS systems, specialized equipment, and helicopter parts. Grant-funded assets are valued at over $15 million.
For years, the Department of Intergovernmental Services used a decentralized approach to tracking assets. Each unit receiving equipment was responsible for maintaining asset records, maintenance records, and tracking which employees had checked items in and out. However, when it was time to do grant-required inventory checks, the manual process proved to be less than ideal.
“Every two years, each unit was required to inventory all their grant-funded items and send them to us so we could compile asset reports. We found that we were spending more time trying to fill in the gaps to make sure all equipment had been inventoried than actually analyzing the reports,” said Dina Colarossi, Fund Analyst for Dallas’ Department of Intergovernmental Services. The issue was magnified during yearly audits. Each unit had to compile reports as quickly as possible but, due to the inefficient system, the process could take over two weeks.
After several time-intensive audits, the Department of Intergovernmental Services determined it was necessary to upgrade to an automated asset tracking system.
On a Mission
Dallas’s Urban Search and Rescue Logistics Lieutenant, Ray Thomason, had been using Wasp Mobile Asset for several years to track the unit’s assets and ensure that nothing went missing during a deployment. “Lieutenant Thomason found the Wasp solution to be a valuable tool to track his unit’s assets. He proposed adopting an automated asset tracking system from Wasp to track the department’s grant funded assets,” explained Colarossi.
After assessing its needs and researching potential systems, the Department of Intergovernmental Services ultimately selected and deployed Wasp MobileAsset – Professional software, as well as barcode label printers and mobile computers to scan assets. Every grant-funded asset, from handheld radios to armored vehicles and mobile command centers, was given a barcode.
Unified and Organized
The Department of Intergovernmental Services has been using Wasp MobileAsset for a little under three years. “Since deploying Wasp’s solution, there has been a huge change in the way we track our assets,” stated Colarossi. “Having a centralized database with all our assets means we no longer have to compare inventory lists to purchasing records to make sure we are catching every item. It also helps to ensure there is continuity as people are promoted or move on to other assignments.”
“The Department of Intergovernmental Services’ asset tracking program has been so successful that other departments often ask to use our Wasp system so they can track their assets. The other departments have seen how successful we have been and want to make their program run just as efficiently.”
Colarossi and her team have found the greatest benefit of Wasp MobileAsset to be the ease of creating reports, especially when faced with an audit, and the department has experienced an extreme time savings in man hours. “Before MobileAsset, producing a complete asset report for an audit would have taken two weeks, now it takes between one or two days. Since we are also able to attach documents to the items in Wasp, we now have any records the auditors might ask for at our fingertips.”
“Manually tracking assets was an inefficient system that affected the entire way we managed grants,” said Colarossi. “Now, our assets are centralized and everyone is connected. Our whole process has transformed, and works smoothly.”
With MobileAsset, the City of Dallas:
- Ensures that mission critical equipment used by departments like
SWAT and Homeland Security is properly maintained and ready for use
- Easily completes annual audits for grant funding compliance in just
- Saves time, money and unnecessary asset spending
The Department of Intergovernmental Services’ asset tracking program has been so successful that others often ask to use our Wasp system to track their assets. The other departments have seen how successful we have been and want to make their program run just as efficiently.
- Dina Colarossi, City of Dallas