We owe it to our residents to invest in ways to do business more efficiently and effectively — and become easier to do business with.
That is why we are proud to unveil SM Works, a new communication platform that serves as a gateway to information about South Milwaukee, quickly connecting residents and others with city services and the people who provide them.
- You can access SM Works via an app available for download now on the Apple Store and Google Play.
- You can also access it online here (linked from the left column of the front page of the City of South Milwaukee website).
I especially encourage you to download the app, if you own a smartphone.
So, what does SM Works do?
The biggest early win for residents is the tool’s complaint reporting capabilities. The platform (especially through the app) allows residents to more easily share issues and concerns with the city, and to view, comment on, and vote to fix problems submitted by their neighbors.
The reporting feature allows users to submit a complaint with a few clicks, from snapping a photo of the problem (a pothole, for instance), confirming the GPS location on their phone, and adding a comment before hitting “submit.” They can then track the progress of their complaint, as city workers address it.
Citizens can also create their own “watch areas” to receive notifications about issues reported around town, enabling them to follow the progress of all service requests, not just the ones they report.
The app also provides a one-click access to other city information and other resources. For example, it provides contact information, access to the municipal code and “frequently asked questions,” and a link to the city’s events and Facebook pages.
The app also allows to push information to those who sign up, something that could be especially useful in times of emergency, and in communicating issues like road construction updates and promoting events.
This is also a win inside City Hall.
SM Works provides staff and elected officials a more streamlined and efficient workflow in handling and tracking complaints and other issues raised by residents. Gone are the days of Post-it Notes, voicemails, emails and spreadsheets to track and respond to complaints — an often hodge-podge process that can delay response time and occasionally see complaints fall through the cracks. They will be replaced by an automated system that allows departments to instantaneously connect on issues to ensure the right people are responding to issues at the right time, and there is appropriate follow-up and resolution.
In other words, this should improve our customer service.
The system also gives us real-time data to track issue trends, helping us make more informed decisions in addressing problems big and small across the city.
SM Works is part of the SeeClickFix platform, which is used by more than 300 communities across the country to “build stronger communities through transparency, collaboration, and efficiency,” according to its website. “We provide simple yet powerful request and work management technology for local governments.”
I’m proud to say South Milwaukee is now one of them.