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And Where We Would Be Without Them

Can you imagine working in an office with no light? What about working out in a gym without proper air conditioning or living in a community where your plumbing never worked correctly? 

If you’re like me, you might already be breaking out in a slight cold sweat thinking about being in uncomfortable or even unsafe situations like these. 

But this week, with World FM Day, we’re considering what our world be like without maintenance and operations professionals, as well as celebrating the amazing impact they have! 

Where would we be without these unsung heroes that come to our rescue, often unnoticed and unrecognized, on a daily basis? It’s hard to imagine, but we ask that you consider it, along with the incredible maintenance and operations achievements of a few of our clients. 

Chris Ryan: YMCA of Delaware

It’s 6 AM, and although you’re full of yawns, it’s time to start your morning workout at your local gym. You walk in and immediately have to avoid a giant puddle of water on the floor. Phew, that was close. Then, when you start using the elliptical, you hear some weird cracking noises and get off just in time before a pedal falls off. That could have been bad! 

So, what if you had gotten injured in one of those situations? Or what if you didn’t have a person to ask to fix those things?  

Without the hard work of Chris Ryan, Group Vice President, Buildings and Properties, and his team, YMCA of Delaware would be spending millions more on operations cost every year and members would not have as good of an experience because of it. And that’s not just extra money. It could mean the difference between hiring more maintenance technicians or upgrading facilities for a better community experience for all. 

Chris is also looking out for the environment — he’s reduced their energy use by 26 percent over the past 10 years. His work, paired with our energy software, helped lowered their gas and electric use as well. Not to mention the fact that the maintenance team has been able to complete three times the work than they used to, including critical preventive maintenance practices (to prevent equipment breakdowns like ellipticals falling apart). 

Saving money, saving energy, creating a better YMCA experience — we salute you, Chris! 

Read more of YMCA of Delaware’s story 

Dale Weaver & Laura Todd: Brethren Village Retirement Community

Your great aunt lives in a retirement community and every time you go to visit her, you get a list of complaints from them about how her sink isn’t draining right (which is leading to some interesting smells and flies), her door doesn’t lock properly and she almost tripped on some carpet that’s coming up in her apartment.  

What if she fell and broke something tripping on that carpet? What if you didn’t have anyone to call to fix her sink and door and carpet? 

Brethren Village is a growing retirement community, like many others, except they keep their residents happy by responding quickly and fully to complaints and work orders. 

In fact, Dale Weaver, VP of Facilities and Technology, and Laura Todd, Facilities Coordinator, have put processes and software in place to reduce the average open time per work order by 22 percent. That means they’re getting to work faster, and residents can tell. 

They’ve even purchased iPhones with cellular data for all technicians so they can capture their work whether they’re on Wi-Fi or not.  

“We want to build up and empower the team. It’s always: How do we let them make more decisions in the field and make them more responsible for the outcome, the relationship and the resident experience,” Dale says. 

Empowering employees, serving residents faster, creating a better community — Dale and Laura, we salute you! 

Learn more about Dale and Laura’s story and roles

Terry Taylor: Gresham Barlow School District 

After you drop off your kids for school, you spend your drive back to work or home thinking about all that they will do that day: learning, playing, laughing with friends. You probably don’t spend your time thinking about whether their restrooms work properly, their classroom technology is functioning or if there’s mold in the ceiling tiles. 

Can you imagine dropping them off in an unsafe or unsanitary environment? Or the school and teachers not having what they need to teach and your child to learn and pass the necessary milestones and tests? 

“Every student prepared for success” is Gresham Barlow School District’s mantra — and Terry Taylor, Director of Facilities, helps make sure that they can fulfill that promise. 

With 1.7 million sq. ft. and 20 sites, it’s critical that the district’s various maintenance teams know what work needs to be done, how to fix issues quickly and how to communicate what’s been done. Terry helped them find an easier way to do all of that with software, as well as amp up their preventive maintenance program to prevent issues in classrooms in the first place. 

And with better energy management, their school has even won ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award and kept an average ENERGY STAR score of 97 — which is extra impressive since the average age of their schools is 51 years old. They also involve students in helping to turn off lights and reduce unused energy. 

Improving learning environments, getting kids to save energy, winning awards — Terry and team, we salute you! 

See more of Terry & Gresham Barlow’s story 

This week and every week, we share our gratitude for all that maintenance and operations professionals do to make our world a better place. 

Interested in learning more?

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