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This customer story focuses on Mubesko Africa, a consulting practice that assists government councils with fixed-asset management in South Africa, where asset registers are required by law. Mubesko Africa verifies assets by determining their condition and certain other attributes. These assets range from all types of infrastructure to movable assets such as computers and office furniture and vehicles. Mubesko Africa also assists their clients with maintenance tracking of the teams on the ground, recording what kind of repair work is being done by their maintenance staff. All of these tasks, of course, take place out in the field and sometimes in areas where there is no internet connection.

The Problem

“The challenge we had with some of our clients was that the methodologies and standard operating procedures we assisted them with was mostly paper based, which obviously has its limitations and is quite a cumbersome process,” said Louis Pienaar, Senior Manager of Infrastructure Asset Management. “We set out to see how we could assist them to improve these processes.”

Previously, technicians would bring a laptop into the field and fill out reports in their cars, which created a different set of limitations. “The officials who would verify movable assets would have walked around with laptops, manually typing data into Excel or other software,” Louis said. “That’s how basic it was.”

Mubesko user in the field

Searching for a Solution

The firm wanted to make the switch to a mobile app that would work on both iOS and Android devices and that included a spatial element. “That was critical,” Louis said. “For a technician to be able to go out in the field and verify assets, he needs to be guided to its location.”

Another requirement was that it needed to be able to take photos and automatically link them to the correct data set. “In the past we would have had a computer or a laptop, a camera, and a GPS device, and you’d collect that on all three and then link them together afterwards,” Louis continued. “That was quite a cumbersome process that caused various mistakes.”

"We save a lot of time not having to go back and do data entry on the desktop after a long day in the field. And along with time-saving is cost-saving."

“The solution also needed to be to simple to operate, as many of the technicians are not particularly computer savvy. “We investigated a few technologies out there,” Louis said. “Some of them have brilliant systems, but you need big budgets and highly skilled people to setup and operate them. So that’s where Fulcrum was quite handy. It’s very easy once you get the hang of it.”

Results & Benefits

With Fulcrum, Mubesko Africa is now saving time — and money. “We save a lot of time not having to go back and do data entry on the desktop after a long day in the field. And along with time-saving is cost-saving,” Louis said. “Also, our data accuracy and consistency has improved a lot.”

Mubesko user in the office

The other big benefit Louis sees is in quality control. “After our technicians have synchronised the data from some of the remote areas in South Africa, we are able to log in to Fulcrum’s web data viewer and immediately you can see what work the teams have been doing and make sure they’re doing it right,” he said. “On the fly, you can give the guy a phone call and say ‘I’ve seen you collected information in a certain way — I’d rather you do the data collection in a different way.’”

Visit our Government Apps gallery to see how other municipalities are using Fulcrum to improve their workflows.