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Winter 2001/2002
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ArcLogistics Route Helps a Florida Local Government

Miami-Dade County Routes Trucks with Greater Efficiency

Miami-Dade County, Florida, is online with a groundbreaking local government application that is drastically improving how it serves its citizenry--getting trucks to stops faster, easier, and with greater accuracy.

The Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management began using ArcLogistics Route in April 2000 to increase the efficiency of specialized routing. The Solid Waste Division acquired two copies of the software and disposed of previous manual routing methods that involved paper cards, static maps, and employee guesswork and now uses desktop software for fully automating its routes.

  ArcLogistics Route map of specialized routing; click to see enlargement
The Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management began using ArcLogistics Route to increase the efficiency of specialized routing.

"We had a goal to cut the time it takes between a customer call with a request and our fulfilling that request," says Karen Grassi, senior systems analyst, Miami-Dade County, Applications Consulting Services Division. "We were able to meet that goal with the ArcLogistics Route application because we had an automated, efficient method for getting trucks routed quickly and relatively easily. The improvements were dramatic."

Dramatic indeed. Service requests that once took two weeks to fulfill are now completed in just three days. Data that was once managed using paper forms and static maps is now seamlessly integrated.

When the County acquired ArcLogistics Route, it quickly input its own detailed street network data set. After application customization performed by Grassi, the County was quickly up and running.

Complaint and pickup requests are loaded into a Waste Data Collection System, which is stored on an IBM database. A nightly batch process transfers data to a UNIX machine, where the data is standardized to GIS format and then transferred to a Windows NT server. Clerks come in and pick up the data in the morning to route trucks to service sites.

A service development department takes calls all day for illegal dumping, litter, and collection. Approximately four clerks are available to take calls. Good data tracking is now taking place, whereas in the past, data was disparate and not as easily accessible for query.

One of the department's newly developed, efficient methods is dubbed the Go Back program. Citizens leave collection items curbside Mondays and Tuesdays with pickup occurring the following pickup day. Once a year, citizens can request that items such as couches, broken-down refrigerators, and other larger items be collected.

Combined, these programs result in an average of 300 to 600 pickups daily. During regularly scheduled garbage route service, the County field crews identify locations for specialized pickups. Locations are called in by field crews and are logged in by service staff for next-day pickup. A trash crew is then routed using ArcLogistics Route for the Go Back service. Previous methods would take all day to do routing; using ArcLogistics Route, the current service route is processed in less than an hour with service guaranteed in just three days.

Throughout the County

ArcLogistics Route is also used by the Citizen Call Complaint system that manages reports of illegal dumping. Calls are assigned to a code enforcement officer and routed as they come in. Code enforcement inspectors inspect the site and schedule the pickup if it is appropriate. While driving, the inspector speaks into a voice-activated VoCarta system when he sees a violation. He can say, for example, "graffiti 200 feet on left," "vandalized bus stop 10 feet on right," etc. A GPS logs the coordinates, and the data is brought back to headquarters at the end of the day for resolution.

For more information, contact Karen Grassi, Miami-Dade County (tel.: 305-596-8582, e-mail:

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