The YMCA of Middle Tennessee, in Nashville, TN, consists of 24 traditional centers and 4 other centers with 13 maintenance technicians. They were looking for a new system that was easy to use, efficient, and web-based. Ryan Alford, Vice President of Property, had a chance to tell us how MaintenanceEdge helped them save time, hire new staff, and communicate better as an association.
Here is their story:
Our system before FacilityDude wasn’t web-based, which didn’t make sense for us because we have hundreds of computers here at our association. We had to go around to each computer and install the program if we wanted to use it in different locations and we were very limited by that. When we were looking for a new system, we wanted to make sure a requestor would see one page, hit request, and be done. Our goal was to have a 20 or 30 second time frame when putting in a request and MaintenanceEdge met that. The requestor page is what really sold us.
It doesn’t matter how many systems you put into place, or how often you tell your staff to use a system, if it isn’t easy, it won’t work. When implementing a system, you have to have a plan. You need somebody to be the captain of the ship to really get people to start using it. I formulated a plan to transition systems and because FacilityDude is so easy, we were up and running quickly. After we purchased, we had a 60 day grace period to get people to start using the system. During those 60 days we trained people on the system, but still took requests via email and entered them in to MaintenanceEdge. When those 60 days were up, if you wanted something done, you had to go into MaintenanceEdge and put in a work order. Otherwise you were out of luck.
The maintenance technicians took to the system well, some better than others-- but that is to be expected. The main issue was keeping our technicians updated when they were in the field. We tried different options, and we liked iPads the best-- now we use them heavily with the Work Order Wireless module in MaintenanceEdge. I may go to five centers in one day, and if the property manager isn’t there when I see a problem, I can enter a work order for him there on the spot. It’s like two clicks and I’m done. One thing with Work Order Wireless we really like is attaching pictures to the work orders. I can say there is a problem in the wellness area, but the next guy may not know specifically where. I just snap a picture, attach it, and it takes the guesswork out of the whole process.
My biggest goal with getting a new system was to make sure nothing would ever be forgotten. With an association as large as ours that’s not an easy thing to do, you need a solid plan for communication. When a work order gets put in, it doesn’t mean it’s getting done in the next 15 minutes. It means we know it has a number, it’s there, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s not getting lost in an inbox or under a stack of papers; it’s where it’s supposed to be. I tell my team to put in a work order for every little thing, just so we don’t forget it. We might not need to get to it until next winter, but give it a work order anyways. It is so easy to forget something, but with MaintenanceEdge, nothing gets forgotten, lost, or overlooked. When we started FacilityDude, we constantly had 160 major association outstanding work orders, and 6 months later we were down to just 10, that’s a 94% reduction in outstanding work orders.
The communication aspect of MaintenanceEdge is huge, everyone can see the pulse of their location, what is going on, and why. When we don’t attach a picture to a work order, we are sure to put very detailed notes. We don’t have to remember to call people to tell them when something is finally fixed, or to that parts are on order, it’s physically impossible to do that with the size of our staff. That’s why we love that anyone can log in, check on their status, and when the task is complete, an email will send letting them know something is finished.
We also use the Planned Maintenance module in MaintenanceEdge a lot. We use it for big things like our HVAC units and things as little as changing air filters. Most importantly we use Planned Maintenance for life safety. Each center has about 15 life safety checks a month whether it is fire extinguishers, or eye wash stations, it adds up to be about 300 or 400 PM requests a month for the association. We only have to set up a PM once in the system, and we can always count on getting our reminders. It goes right back to the major point of things never getting overlooked. Even if the PM is as simple as: find it, make sure it works properly, done; it is still important that we do these things to keep our members safe and reduce risk.
Another great feature using FacilityDude are the detailed reports that are easy to pull. A while after having MaintenanceEdge, we started to notice how many pool related work order requests were coming in, and how long they were staying open. We were clueless as to why they were piling up. Well, it turns out we had one pool maintenance technician at the time. With the reporting function inside of MaintenanceEdge, we were able to print out the proper information to show the board of directors when they asked why we needed more staff for pool maintenance. In the end, it helped us hire a new pool maintenance technician. It is also going to justify more staff in the future. We know this can happen 100%, because when we started FacilityDude, we constantly had 160 major association outstanding work orders, and 6 months later we were down to just 10, thats a 94% reduction in outstanding work orders.
I would definitely recommend FacilityDude to anyone, we now have all of their products and they’re great. The time savings are apparent; we believe that we have achieved at least 15-20% savings. FacilityDude gives us the tools to communicate with our centers in a way that we couldn’t before, and that we can’t without it. It’s easy to use and knowing that work orders, big or small, aren’t going to be forgotten with MaintenanceEdge is exactly what we need to keep our members and staff happy.
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