Monroe County with a population little over 150,000 people is located in southeastern Michigan between Detroit and Toledo. Established in 1817 and named after the then-President James Monroe, its road systems are served by the Monroe County Road Commission (MCRC). In addition, to serving the needs of the county’s roads, MCRC is contracted by the state of Michigan to service the state highways within the county’s boundaries.
The MCRC receives funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation for the purchase of its snow removal equipment. It is also responsible for treating and clearing snow on the state roads. In exchange for funding, MCRC had to provide proof to the state of such treatment.
Manpower & Time costs
MCRC used paper-based snow route tracking sheets. Maintaining these paper records and ensuring their accuracy in a consistent manner was difficult particularly in the midst of a resource-consuming snow event. The paper-based systems were cumbersome and made reporting in a timely manner difficult.
Visibility and Responsiveness
Manual paper-based tracking systems also made it difficult to provide citizens, county or state officials visibility into the status of snow clearance activities. This, in turn, caused much disaffection on the part of stakeholders and the MCRC’s hard-pressed employees during severe snow events.
3SG Plus customized PRIMEPlow, their snowplow management solution to address MCRC requirements. A hosted version of PRIMEPlow that leveraged the MCRC’s existing investment in an automatic vehicle location (AVL) technology was customized for MCRC.
3SG Plus designed an internal site for MCRC staff that helps them measure progress and track resource usage during a snow event. The solution, which builds on the location data streams generated by the existing AVL hardware on snowplows, enables staff to make operational decisions in real-time. The internal site, allows MCRC to generate a variety of reports that not only meet the needs of various stakeholders but enable continuous improvement of snow removal operations by comparing historical metrics.
3SG Plus also developed a public-facing portal for MCRC. The site, available on any web browser shows recent treatment and allows state and county officials to see which state roads have been treated and when the treatment occurred.
Access to real-time information on MCRC’s snow plows and a map-based view of this was a major benefit. PRIMEPlow allows MCRC to quickly monitor and measure the success of snow removal activities during an active snow event. This leads to better communication and coordination within the organization during a snow event.
Reporting on snow removal activities, during and after snow events was made much easier with PRIMEPlow and it also provided for better transparency with State of Michigan Department of Transportation. The reporting also allowed MCRC’s internal users to compare metrics between events to help them improve snow removal operations over time.
By building on MCRC’s existing automatic vehicle location (AVL) solution, 3SG Plus’ PRIMEPlow snow management solution helped them improve their return-on-investment on their prior technology investments.