Board hears software proposal
Software supplier Brian Smith pitched a proposal to the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen recently via webinar.
He described how his product could be used by city employees and utility employees to record work orders, send orders, and track progress on any project without leaving a paper trail.
Mayor Kelvin Buck said the product would make it possible for office workers to communicate to the field and for supervisors to create work orders. Employees in the field can take pictures of the job and record when the job is completed. Communication is in real time.
Another feature of the software is that reports can be shared easily.
The program is compatible with Apple and Android devices.
The annual subscription is $8,100 the first year and $6,500 for renewal annually.
Buck said the webinar was provided because of the distance it would take for the representative to travel to make a live presentation.
He said he has discussed the package with employees.
“It’s like going from a flip phone to a Smart Phone,” Buck said.
Alderman Tim Liddy approved of the technology but said he is not sure the staff is ready for it.
“I don’t get a lot out of these remote presentations,” added.
Buck said video conferencing is something “that we do in this day and time.”
Alderman Christy Owens, who said she is “low tech,” said she gets a lot of training via webinars because it saves costs (to travel).
“I think the employees in the field would like fewer calls,” said Owens, adding that text messaging is a kind of technology so many people are using at work.
Alderman Bernita Fountain Lowe said at the last meeting she attended she learned that businesses are moving to work orders like this.
“I think it is something moving forward that will be needed,” alderman Mark Miller said.
Larry Miller, supervisor of Streets, Buildings and Grounds, spoke favorably of the technology.
“I think what this city needs is for us to be brought into the 21st Century,” he said. “We still keep track on paper but if the technology is there, everyone (the departments) can look at it and citizens could look at it, if you allow it. We are ready for the technology.”
Liddy said the employees doing the work may not know how to use the technology.
“It’s a great idea,” he said, “but people may not be able to use it.”
“It’s about training,” Miller said. “Everybody knows how to work that phone.”
“Are we really ready for people to see how long it takes to do things?” Owens asked.
Miller likened it to an instant messaging problem where messages pop up a lot but the solution may not be there.
Buck said police department files and reports are now made on laptop.
“So why can’t somebody in the utility department file reports?” he asked. “Technology is not something to be our enemy, but it’s not free.”
The mayor received no motion from the board concerning the software.
Chief Kenny Holbrook requested the approval of position and salary adjustments for seven employees. He said the positions and salary adjustments were to move people up into vacant positions and to compensate employees for new responsibilities. The board approved the requests.
Afterward, Holbrook asked to enter into a contract with Perez Architectural Firm to conduct a detailed assent and viability study of the existing and former gymnasium building on MI College campus for reuse as a fire station facility.
“It is to determine if the bones of the building are adaptable for our use,” he said. “Rust College would decide whether to save it or level it.”
The city would get the use of the building for $1 and a 100-year lease, he said.
Holbrook said the steel in the building – the bones – would save $1 million-plus in cost of construction of a new facility.