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Home arrow Articles arrow Software arrow System Integration Key to Hamburg’s Waste Management Future     

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System Integration Key to Hamburg’s Waste Management Future PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Baumann (ESRI)   
19 April 2004
With a population approaching 2 million that produces nearly 2 billion pounds of waste annually, Hamburg, Germany’s legion of sanitation workers and administrators must maintain strict schedules and deadlines to sustain the demanding hygienic standards that the city’s residents have come to expect.

Long gone are the days of crews simply moving through neighborhoods to collect and empty trash-laden containers into trucks for transport to nearby incinerators.  The sheer enormity of the job dictates that well organized, well managed teams perform the necessary duties and
adhere to the stringent schedules to collect, transport, and dispose of the mountains of trash generated each and every day in Hamburg, as well as complete the other responsibilities of the Department of Sanitation, such as billing and route planning.

Originally acquiring its GIS in the late 1990s for mapping projects, the department soon realized that because of its versatility, GIS could be used as the integrating platform for both its existing account management and logistical planning applications.  So, in 2000 the department began the development of its Betriebliche Leistungssteuerung und Gebührenabrechnung (BELUGA) or "Operational Efficiency, Control, and Billing System.”  The goal of the BELUGA project is to create a system for the integrated processing of commercial, technical, and logistic data.

This integrated system, which includes SAP, GIS, and route planning software, is being designed by ÖKODATA, a software developer in Germany.

The BELUGA system includes mySAP Utilities for Waste Management from SAP, which is used to manage all work order data and billing processes, Combitour by IVU traffic technologies for logistic planning and fleet management, and ESRI’s GIS software, including ArcSDE, ArcView, and MapObjects, for geographic database management and analysis.

The GIS provides the integrating platform for BELUGA, incorporating both MySAP’s business process administration and Combitour’s route management applications, which allows a seamless managed process from route planning, through collection services, to payment processing.

A primary reason for integrating the three systems is to eliminate the department’s current time consuming and laborious manual planning and route optimization procedures.  BELUGA supports the comparison and optimization of various route possibilities, allowing Hamburg’s Department of Sanitation to better serve the needs of its customers while, at the same time, increasing efficiency to it’s full potential.

The interfaces between the three systems regulate the data exchange between SAP-IS-Waste and GIS/Route Planning.  BELUGA manages a variety of queries and data transfers.  Single queries from SAP generate a prompt response from the GIS to the operator.  Update
Services is the automated delivery of newly acquired or changed work orders from the SAP system to the route planning system.  A mass data transfer of all work order data from SAP to the GIS takes place upon the commencement of a data purge originating from the transfer process.

The GIS provides dynamic search capabilities of work order locations and related asset information that are managed by SAP.  For example, bulky waste work orders are received by the department’s Call Center and entered directly into the SAP system.  Since the Call Center
handles more than 700 pick-up orders per day, the daily routes are centrally planned for the entire City of Hamburg.  When a customer calls the center, he is given possible pick-up dates and times, depending on his location.  This pick-up information is provided by the Capacity Preview, a feature integrated into the SAP system.  As soon as the Capacity Preview is called up, a GIS interface is automatically activated in the background, displaying a map of the customer’s
residential area.  This allows the Call Center operator to view the location while still on the telephone with the customer.  The program also checks for any restrictions for the given address, such as closed streets on specific days and whether or not the street is passable for a normal bulky pick-up vehicle.  The work order data is then transferred from the SAP to the Combitour system for route planning.  After the completion of the route, the data goes back to SAP for the
creation of work orders for management and billing purposes.

The Hamburg Department of Sanitation is also responsible for cleaning the city’s sidewalks.  The costs involved are charged to those businesses fronting the sidewalks, which requires that the sidewalk segment data stored in the GIS be sent to the SAP system.  There,
occupants liable for clean up costs are determined and the charges are calculated based on the registered street-front measurements.  To accomplish this, the GIS includes landscape information form Hamburg’s digital Assessor maps, walkway and sidewalk data from the Surveyor’s department, property information from the Department of Transportation, and information from the Hamburg Automated Real Estate Registry.

Concludes Frank Reiß, project leader for the Hamburg Department of Sanitation’s Geoinformation und Tourenplanung, “Since implementing the BELUGA system, our planning process is much more efficient and the GIS interface to SAP makes our accounting procedures both easier and more understandable.”

About the Author

Jim Baumann writes about international GIS-related topics for ESRI.  He has written articles on various aspects of the computer graphics industry and information technology for more than 15 years. This article has been contributed for publication specifically on GISuser.com and thus, reproduction or retransmission of any kind is not permitted without the express written consent of Mr. Baumann.

Jim Baumann
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Thanks to Mr. Baumann and

Last Updated ( 19 April 2004 )
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