When looking for a solution to better their data and increase productivity, the city of Rock Falls, Illinois did not want a box solution. A city that has owned its own utilities (Including electric) for over 100 years, they did not want to change what practices were working to fit into someones package. The electric department spearheaded the efforts to implement a field GIS that would allow workers to update, edit, and view data. After looking at data privacy and structure, it was soon realized that ESRI's ArcPad was going to be the best solution.
ArcPad was decided upon for a few key reasons, but the ability to be customized to fit existing workflows made it the perfect solution. Because of offline editing, unique forms, and relationships, the city decided to pursue this unique route.
The city is using Lenovo touch screen tablets running Windows 8.1, allowing them to have easy field functionality. Custom toolbars allow them to filter and sort layers and custom forms allow for data population. The unique forms allowed for the city's electric department to tie all the attributes to the pole layer to replicate existing utility workflows.
Overall, the use of custom ArcPad solutions greatly benefited the city. It allowed them to keep existing workflows while capturing better and current data. Time was spent upfront on custom programming of forms and buttons for ease of use, but keeping it simple is the best way to get the field crews to adapt to it. Complex box solutions might "do it all" but getting buy-in from all users is key to making the overall project a success for years to come.