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PlayhouseSquare Improves Time Management and Accountability

By Kate Donnelly
Apr 01, 2013

Maintenance, Case Studies, Facilities Management

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PlayhouseSquare, in Cleveland, Ohio, consists of 615,000 square feet of theatre space and 1,000,000 square feet of commercial real estate property, it is the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York.  The not-for-profit performing arts center attracts over one million guests per year to its 1,000+ annual events.  Carl Dettlebach, Facilities Manager, tells us how MaintenanceEdge has improved time management and problem solving skills.

Here is their story:

I was a previous SchoolDude user in my old position at a university, and when I came to PlayhouseSquare I saw they were using a system of paper and Excel to keep track of the maintenance department’s work. FacilityDude’s MaintenanceEdge was the obvious choice for a work order system because of the positive experience I had with SchoolDude. After we decided to purchase, the implementation was simple and we were up and running almost instantly. MaintenanceEdge is very user friendly and I made sure to be thorough with training. The support is somethingI utilize a lot; it is so easy to pick up the phone and call if I have a question or need training. It’s great!

MaintenanceEdge is part of everything we do and now I can see where we’re allocating our time. The labor hour division among crafts is a time management feedback tool. This tells me where our finite number of man-hours (regular hours) are being allocated. If we are taking too long to respond to repair work orders it will usually show up in a month when we’ve had an excessive amount of events and man-hours were absorbed by event support vs. plumbing, lighting, etc. This provides the documentation we need and informs the budgeting process to ensure adequate staff levels are maintained. It also helps me better understand what skill sets or specialties I need to staff for. Being able to track and quantify work is so important for a maintenance department, all of the information we have collected with MaintenanceEdge helps us better understand and justify our staff and budget needs.

I utilize the project feature in MaintenanceEdge a great deal. We recently had a seat restoration project for one of our ten theatres. There were 1,000 seats that had to be removed from the theatre to be painted, reupholstered, and renovated. With MaintenanceEdge, each different phase of the project had its ownassociated work orders, so the project stayed very organized. In comparison to previous projects, this one had less conflict and fewer delays in the schedule because the lines of communication were open. Having a central location where all of the information about the project could be found was beneficial for everyone involved. Since we have everything from the project documented, we know what the various phases were and the costs associated. In the event we do another theatre, all that information is going to come in handy.
It paints a picture how a process or project will look going forward.

People need to know how important it is to have a system that reinforces communication, time management and problem solving. I can’t emphasize enough the accountability we have achieved, which has resulted in an increase in productivity. Early in implementation and even now, a maintenance or housekeeping discussion is not complete without, “I’ll write a work order…” and “We can track this in MaintenanceEdge…” As a result, house managers have provided a great deal of positive feedback concerning the response time to work requests, and the overall cleanliness of the facility. All maintenance departments need a system like this, and I recommend FacilityDude.

PlayhouseSquare Pie Chart

The chart above shows the percentage break down of labor hours spent on each craft for PlayhouseSquare in 2012. (Total of 1,963 hours)

To download a .pdf of the case study, please click the link below.


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