Return to Previous Page
My mission here at the “Dude” as a Senior Client Success Advocate is to help clients be successful with our solutions and make a difference in their lives every day. It is challenging to see what our clients must overcome, but rewarding to see how they tackle these obstacles! The relationships I have built experiencing this over the past few years have been priceless. My main area of expertise is energy management, but I love working with all of SchoolDude’s solutions to understand how they help our clients save time, money and resources. My philosophy is that we have to work smart to be successful. Success is not owned, it’s rented, and rent is due every day.
Find Paul on Google+
What are you going to do today to help ensure a better tomorrow?
Let’s get the year started in the right direction. Here is a
list of simple tips in each of our solutions that can help you do a better job
of improving accountability, justifying resources, and understanding where you
are spending and using your time. Time is money and we have to have a good
handle on both. Our decision makers and our community want to know what is
going on and how these resources are being used. Doing these things in your
SchoolDude solutions will give you better information and data that can help
bolster what you are doing everyday and make a difference when running reports
justifying it all.
Purpose Codes: You can enter your own Purpose Codes. Add a
Purpose Code of Reactive Maintenance or Corrective Maintenance. Now, have your
staff add these to every Work Order from July 1 forward. Requests coming in
from the MySchoolBuilding Page? Take it one step further. Turn on the Purpose
Code Field, set Reactive/Corrective as the default (and only choice) then make
that field required. This can be done using the MySchoolBuilding Setup Wizard
under the Account Setup tab. Requesters put the info in for you and you will
have better reporting.
Crafts: Turn on the Crafts you need for your PMs. Make sure
these Crafts are turned on in MaintenanceDirect as well. Otherwise, your PM
Work Orders will have a blank Craft. You can add the Craft to the Schedule in
Step 14. While you're in there, go ahead and put in the estimated hours. If you
are tracking Labor Hours in MaintenanceDirect, you can report on your estimated
versus actual hours. Time is money.
Invoicing: It costs to have events take place in your
schools from both internal and external groups. If you are charging for events,
that is great! You should be recovering around $13.00/student/year, which is
the national average for K-12. ($10.00 for Higher Education) This may fluctuate
based on where you are in the country, but these are good measuring sticks. The
simple way to do this is to create effective Charge Types. The Charge Type
Description (Auditorium Usage Fee as an example) is what is chosen for the
invoice and can be reported on. The Charge Type Classification is what kind of
Charge it is, (Room Rental Fee) and is more generic. The key to successful
invoicing is also post Payments versus what has been invoiced and then running
a Payment Detail Report to show how much has been recovered versus invoiced.
Tip: Even if you
are not currently charging for facility usage, create Charge Types and start
creating invoices with dollar amounts on them. You can show your decision
makers what you are donating back to the community and may change some minds on
the notion of Cost Recovery. The New Fiscal Year is a perfect place to start to
get in this mindset.
Two great best practices for InventoryDirect: First, make
sure when you are issuing inventory to fill in a Location, a User, and a valid
Work Order ID (if applicable). This way, you can build accountability by being
able to see where and who your inventory is being issued to and can see trends
for it. Second, be sure to conduct a physical hand count to determine what you
actually have on hand at the end of the Fiscal Year. You can then reconcile the
inventory you are tracking in InventoryDirect so that your numbers are
accurate. This will allow you to start the new fiscal year off headed in the
Pretty simple tactics here, be sure that Drivers’ hourly
rates are up to date and entered for each one. Also, the same can be said for
your Vehicles’ cost per mile. Both are very helpful in determining how much it
costs to take field trips, along with any purchases that are made before,
during, or after each trip.
Cost Estimates should be included on each Need that is being
tracked in the system. If $0.00 is entered for your Capital Needs, it is
difficult to tell what Needs should be focused on for the coming Fiscal Year.
Your budget along with the anticipated cost helps determine the importance of
each Need and whether it will be part of the new Fiscal Year, or whether it can
be deferred. Either way, you can make your case by looking at the Opportunity
Cost Factor report to illustrate how much it will cost to tackle your most
important need now versus what it will cost if you put it off for later.
There are two areas that can be quite helpful when trying to
have accurate and meaningful data when running reports. First, be sure that
every Building has accurate Square Footage. This will help when running Cost,
Use, or KBTU per square foot reports. Second, look at your Bill Accounts. If
you have a lot that you are tracking then the naming convention is important.
You can use the following as an example to make them “At a Glance” which will
be helpful for data entry and reporting. Put the School Name first as an
acronym, then the Account Number, and finally the Utility Type as an
abbreviation. (Example: ABCHS 0123456789 E Example with the Meter Number: ABCHS
0123456789-23768 E) You can also put the Building abbreviation
behind the account number if you like. The point is to make something that is
unique for that bill account so that it can be found easily or distinguished
We are always trying to make sure we are getting the most
out of our software. In ITAMDirect you can use the software usage report to
determine if buying or renewing a software suite license is necessary. The report
pulls the usage data from the OS, can be run on specific applications, and
reports the category of usage as: daily, weekly, monthly, occasionally, never.
To access the report from the Home Page follow these steps:
-Click Software under the Information and Analysis
-Click “Print Software Usage Report” under the shortcut
links at the top of the page
And there you have it. A few quick tips in each
main product that will help you get off to a great start for the new Fiscal
Year and will also pay dividends when running reports during the year or at the
end. The data you get out is only as good as the data you put in and it is
never too late to start. The new Fiscal Year is always a good time to make a
change and try something new. Hopefully, it will help you have a better
understanding of your data and show just how well you are doing. These tips
might just prove to make a difference in your next meeting with the higher ups.
Fielding Harloe and Tim Mundy contributed to this blog.