May 17, 2021
From Integration to Implementation: What exactly does our Asset Management team do?
By: Lillian Minix
Enterprise Asset Management (noun)
en·ter·prise as·set man·age·ment
- A systematic way of integrating an organization’s assets so they are easily accessible and manageable
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The Timmons Group Asset Management team provides a variety of services that support a massive network of public utilities companies and local government agencies. This 20+ person group implements applications that help localities track their solid waste and recycling programs, maintain transportation systems, and manage payment solutions for online billing and business license renewals, to name just a few of the ways they help their clients. Together, these asset management folks run a huge operation that ensures our local governments can do their own jobs correctly and efficiently.
So, what exactly does our asset management team do? We caught up with Ron, Lou, Lauren, and Greg to find out.
Meet Ron Butcher. Ron is the Asset Management Group Leader and a Principal at Timmons Group, working from the Richmond Boulders office. He’s been with the firm for about 10 years, and in his time, he’s seen a massive shift in the asset management industry.
When he first arrived at Timmons Group, Ron was an asset management specialist. As the need for a legitimized asset management team grew both internally and externally, he helped build the team and fostered relationships with new clients.
As group leader, Ron oversees the team’s work and ensure that clients’ unique needs are met throughout the implementation process. For instance, a city client may need help managing their stormwater and sewers, offering online permits, or tracking school buses and fire trucks throughout the city. With implementation services offered by the asset management team, city managers can log into an asset management system and manage work orders, set reminders for routine maintenance, track project costs, build budgets, and efficiently communicate across city departments—all through a single dashboard.
During his time at the firm, Ron has managed three kinds of relationships: 1. with clients (cities, counties, universities, etc.), 2. with members of his team, and 3. with management systems (like Cityworks) that the Timmons Group team implements for clients.
The team primarily offers services through the third-party application Cityworks, an enterprise asset management system that helps manage, track, analyze, and score infrastructure resources. Cityworks is integrated with many tools that other parts of our Geospatial division also use, like Esri’s ArcGIS, so the entire Timmons Group Geospatial division is in sync with its offerings.
“Timmons Group has been a business partner for implementation services with Cityworks for 20 years now,” Ron says. “Since I’ve come on board, we’ve become one of six Platinum business partners across the United States.”
Though every role in the 20+ person team is significant and unique, there’s a fairly simple way to explain the general order of operations for client experience through three other key team members: Lou Garcia, Lauren Sullivan, and Greg Stephenson.
There’s a starting point to every customer interaction. Meet Lou Garcia, the team’s business development manager. Lou works from his home in Baltimore, Maryland. He is often the first contact that many clients have with the Timmons Group asset management folks.
“I’m probably the first person they talk to or see,” Lou says about his role. In an initial interaction with a client, Lou helps them understand their needs and can point them in the direction of which services will help them the most. And, since clients that require asset management assistance are generally supporting a population, there’s a bit of heavy lifting in determining which support tools offer the most benefit to the community being served. Lou says the team offers tools like electronic plan review, document management, citizen interaction, and other enterprise applications that work hand-in-hand with Cityworks implementation.
“The asset management group to me is not just asset management—it’s also about community development tools and strategic partnerships,” Lou says. “We offer a huge variety of tools to really help our clients get the most out of our interactions, and that’s what our team is all about.” When prompted about his favorite part of interacting with clients, Lou says, “I have a real passion for helping our clients in municipalities and utilities get past their pain points. I enjoy helping them realize their ambitions and assisting them in transitioning to this new technology-driven world.”
Lou has been with the team for six years, and though it can be challenging at times, the passion for his role hasn’t faded. “I feel personally blessed that I’m one of those ten percent of people that loves to get up in the morning and work. I really look forward to it,” he says.
Meet Lauren Sullivan. Lauren supports the asset management team as a project manager from her home base in Oregon. She works primarily in the Pacific Northwest region, but she covers clients from all over the West Coast. Lauren’s role is to directly lead the project team in successfully coordinating and deploying a Cityworks implementation, and that includes all the other tools Timmons Group may use along the way as well.
“Our division works specifically to implement asset management and community development software, which is primarily Cityworks, but we also use other products that integrate with Cityworks like OnBase. And now, we use the Timmons Group PLL Portal, which is our own integration tool,” says Lauren.
The Timmons Group PLL Portal gives clients the ability to allow their own customers to submit applications, payments, and permits online. Those permits are then handled by Cityworks as the core system, Lauren says. “Cityworks really is the glue for all the products we offer to our clients. It holds everything together and allows us the freedom to implement different tools when needed.”
“Clients come to us because they want to make their consumers’ lives easier,” Lauren says. “These new online systems have made everyone’s lives much simpler, critically so during the pandemic. For example, the City of Escondido wanted to offer a way for people to apply for business licenses online rather than renew in person. The Timmons Group PLL Portal was the perfect solution for this issue because it was really difficult for people to get anywhere in person a year ago.”
Not only was the Timmons Group PLL Portal a solution for the City to offer services to its customers, once Escondido implemented the portal, City managers were also able to collect metrics for how many people were using the new online system. It’s a win-win in Lauren’s books. “Our work really makes a huge difference in how our clients are doing business. And people know that. I think that’s why clients continue to stick with us, too.”
Speaking of clients sticking with Timmons Group… Meet Greg Stephenson, the asset management team’s business analyst and client support manager. Greg has been with the firm since 2015, though the first few years of his tenure were served in the marketing department as a marketing coordinator. Greg’s customer service experience, coupled with his heightened knowledge of asset management (earned from working on project proposals in the marketing department), landed him on the asset management team full time.
“I’m responsible for making sure that our clients stay happy,” Greg says. After initial contact is made through Lou’s business development strategies and solutions development with Lauren, Greg is the final piece for clients. As the team’s client support guru, Greg’s mission is to help clients efficiently use tools that the team provides. “Their needs inevitably change from when they first start using Cityworks and the PLL Portal, so I want to be sure that the software is evolving as they’re evolving. I help our clients navigate the different ways of reconfiguring our tools to meet their needs.”
One of Greg’s favorite projects was implementation of the Timmons Group PLL Portal for the City of O’Fallon, Illinois. “O’Fallon is an example where we went live with their portal right at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, so the solutions they were offering to their customers were much needed. We were able, and are still able, to guide them through their business needs.”
“The full scale of our role is to help our clients succeed. It’s as simple as that,” Greg says. Well put, Greg.
The Timmons Group Asset Management team is well-rounded beyond these four individuals. The group has a combined tenure at the firm of more than 100 years, and as they add new members, their horizons continue to broaden.
Though the team’s offerings have developed throughout the years, one aspect has always been consistent: the culture of the team itself. When asked about his favorite part of managing the asset management group, Ron replied, “The people. Period.” As this group continues to grow, Ron’s investment in them is paying off. “We have a spectacular team and I would say that it’s by far the best team I’ve ever worked with.”
Interested in working with the Timmons Group geospatial division? Learn more about our current openings at timmons.com/careers.