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In 2005 I was hired by SchoolDude as a Client Adviser. Growing up in the tech support and implementation side of the business, I gained a unique appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing facility operations professionals at schools. In 2009 the Dude created a Success Management team, where I was fortunate to lead a small team responsible for engaging clients, assessing their opportunities, and helping to maximize their investment. In 2012 started wearing two big hats - Community Engagement Manager and Chief Data Dude. Today I'm very excited to be managing our Client Support team. My passion lies in leading this team of legendary support professionals, connecting peers in SchoolDude Nation, creating a valuable Community experience, and telling stories with data that inspire success in Facility Operations.
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#1- Implement a “request portal”
SchoolDude has the MySchoolBuilding page for your end users’ portal for your “customers” to submit and see updates of their requests online. Of course, there are always exceptions when something is a true emergency (e.g., something is on fire). However, requiring online requesting will free up your team to respond quicker and better to those "on fire" issues that do arise.
Concerned about a tsunami of requests? Our studies show a small, temporary bump, nothing more. In fact, there will likely be something that gets submitted that you would have resolved a long time ago…if someone had actually told you vs. expecting you to know everything happening everywhere.
Concerned about negative requests staff? Guess what? They’re already saying it, so you might as well hear it and do something about it. But you’ll find just as many positive comments made also. One of the most common words we’ve seen in analyzing work order data is “thank you”. In fact, 87% of clients surveyed said they saw a significant increase customer satisfaction after requiring requests to be submitted on the MySchoolBuilding page, and 66% said it helped them maximize efficiency.
#2- Implement #1 in the “easy way”
What’s one of the most common questions both we and our clients hear? “What’s the account number to submit a work request?”. It may be a hard number to remember, but an easy fix to perform. Make sure the correct MySchoolBuilding page link and help movies are available on your institution’s website. We can help build links that will direct new customers to the correct request tab (Maintenance, IT, Facility Use Request, Inventory, or Field Trip). SchoolDude has video tutorials specifically for requesters and “embed codes” if your website guru prefers to have them embedded to your website. A preview of some tips are available at http://www.schooldude.com/community/discover/blogs/cid/9798/keep-it-easy-for-your-requesters
#3- Remove potential bottleneck processes
If most requests are rubber stamped by your Site Administrators, take them out of the approval process and route the craft requests directly to directly to trade foremen/leaders or a dispatcher. Individual requests that require approval can be manually routed and work order reports can be automatically sent to Site Administrators on a recurring frequency to keep them informed and in the loop.
#4- Power of 3
Raise awareness of what your team does because very few outside of your department have a good understanding. Circulate top three reports and your KPI dashboard to public areas (web site, bulletin boards, break rooms, etc...). Maybe tie that in with 3 fun facts or “did you know” bullets. It will help set expectations with faculty and students for cycle times and overall work load your team handles. Not sure what reports to use? Check out our Success Library for “Recommended Reports”.
#5- Set it and forget it
Setting a recurring work schedule vs. using your memory that is, not to forget to do the job. There are several jobs your staff is doing on a consistent basis throughout the year, some of it may be undocumented. Set up PM Schedules for any work that can be planned or scheduled. Start with safety checks, required inspections and routine tasks and expand from there. Maybe even automate work around the little things such as flagpole inspections, getting ready for graduations or weekly event setups.
These are best practice suggestions we hear from your peers. We have the experience and tools to help you implement these changes. Contact us to get started today!