How Buenos Aires Can Fix Potholes In Hours

Nick Quin

Maintaining a city of three million requires exceptional management. For Buenos Aires, this was once exacerbated by the city’s aging infrastructure. Poor foundations resulted in regular structural failures, including potholes and flooding. As a result, the city responded to more than 8,000 incidents each month.

Prior to adopting a platform-based solution, the council of Buenos Aires received over 30,000 complaints per month. Each of these complaints was processed by the city’s paper-based bureaucracy. Addressing each complaint through this legacy system could take up a year and a half. That translates to 500 days for fixing a single pothole.

The city could not address these inefficiencies without transforming this paper-based system. To begin this transformation, Buenos Aires turned to consultants to determine the solution: Software which could enable citizens to register complaints in real-time.

The transformation undertaken by Buenos Aires is an excellent example of a city successfully implementing smart city initiatives. Such initiatives will only become more important as our world embraces Industry 4.0. Subsequently, this transformation of the maintenance process in Buenos Aires is worthy of study.

To lay the foundation for this transformation, Buenos Aires established an effective CRM platform. This platform is now the organizational nucleus of their updated maintenance process.

To ensure citizens could easily register complaints on the platform, Buenos Aires implemented a mobile solution: A social media channel where citizens can upload pictures of problems in the city. These complaints are prioritized by a cloud-based social engagement solution and transferred to the CRM platform.

Enabling citizens to quickly register complaints was only the beginning of this transformation. The next step was to shorten the city’s response times. Backed by their cloud-based system, Buenos Aires claimed any complaint could be addressed in under 4 days. This would be almost one hundred times faster than the city’s previous response times.

To meet such a monumental promise, Buenos Aires implemented a technology platform to manage response efforts. The platform enables Buenos Aires to prioritize and organize repairs in response to real-time complaints.

When maintenance crews are deployed to address issues, they can connect with cloud-enabled sensors installed in public spaces. These sensors allow them to process information and provide feedback in real-time. Their interactions feed back to readings from work plans and maintenance schedules. This ensures their deployment schedules remain dynamic rather than static.

This transformation has resulted in simplified, streamlined maintenance across the city. Buenos Aires can also see which issues concern citizens the most, and anticipate future problems based on consistent feedback.

As we enter Industry 4.0, all citizens should benefit from similar smart city solutions. I’m proud to say that SAP is leading this change, and encourage all cities to implement these exciting innovations.

For more on Buenos Aires’ smart city initiatives, see How Buenos Aires Deploys The Internet Of Things To Prevent Disaster.


Nick Quin

About Nick Quin

Nick Quin is Regional Manager, Southern Region for SAP New Zealand based in Wellington. Nick has been involved in the transformation of organisations across Asia Pacific for over 25 years, with a passion for leading & developing teams, who are committed to deliver the business outcomes sought by our customers.