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In nearly 20 years of working with operational departments, I have seen four constants:
I was glad to see a recent discussion in the community that someone was tasked with creating a website for their maintenance and operations department. So let's address the core elements of a great site and see concrete examples:
This does not have to be eloquent, it could simply be an “about” page or a “message from the director” with:
You can include the next three elements of Mission, Vision and Values as simple sentences, or as separate, detailed sections:
Define your goals, ethics, culture, and focus. This should include what you do for your customers, what you do for the organization, and what you do for your employees. You should have a mission statement for your employees, regardless of publicizing it on a webpage.
This is what you wish to achieve or accomplish in the long-term. Your mission helps guide you toward your vision. This is another statement to have for your employees for them to recognize what their efforts support.
These are elements of what your team considers important. What are you committed to? What do you recognize? What do you respect and value?
You do not have to be a guru on this topic, simply think about how people would search for what they need. Let’s take this example that could be on your webpage:
“The Facilities Department uses an online system to track work orders and other maintenance needs. This maintenance service website allows you to submit a maintenance issue and see the status of your previous facility work requests.”
The example above is intended to provide combinations of what people may type. Most website searches and search engines can catch combinations of the words above to help guide website users in the correct direction.
You can have hyperlinks to webpages or email addresses throughout your content. Use basic language that makes sense to your audience.
People do not know (or maybe even care) what your software is called or who built it, so use common phrases with links. Examples: “for technology issues, please submit an IT help desk ticket” or “for more information, contact our Community Use department”.
Often people are visiting your webpage because they need help or have questions, so make it easy for them.
Consider a webpage under your department with FAQs you would like to “deflect” and make searchable on your website. Create content in a question format (for easy website searching) and create answers using the trick above to include links where applicable. FAQs examples:
You can include names, but sometimes it is best to use a generic group email (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) just as you would use a front desk phone number, so if someone retires, that email address is still valid and easy to remember.
If you do put up contact information, be sure you clarify the preferred methods of requesting your services before trying to call or email you. This is intended as a last resort, but is still a professional element to include.
Performing something important people should be aware of? Doing something everyone should be proud of? Need to update an audience about what is happening. This is a great area to do so.
Brag about your team and department. Show off fun statistics, share “did you know” facts, display fancy graphs, and include inspirational photos.
Got a lot of projects happening? Keep it simple by using sites such as Twitter or Facebook. Most smartphones can easily upload new content to social media. Often, social media tools have a "feed" capability your webmaster can use to pull in new entries. A great example of using social media is Abilene Christian University's Campus Management's Twitter account.
People outside of operations “do not know what they do not know”, thus creating a “perception gap”.
Establish a section of your website for "what do we do?", "who does it?", "what are each of our teams' responsibilities?"
You need to quickly direct people toward certain topics that may affect your department, but is not necessarily in your realm of responsibility. Examples:
You have limits to what you do or services you provide. Indicate them.
Have rules for the usage of your areas? Identify them.
Perform chargebacks or billing for certain services? Clarify them.
Examples from Websites
This incorporates some of the best sites we have seen from our clients. We have elements here documented in detail in our blogs at
"About Your Facility, Maintenance or Physical Plant" Page
Introduce your department focuses. Include relevant links and insight into what you manage.
Facility Events and Community Use
Facility Operations is located at 123 Main Street. We are responsible for keeping all systems in good repair; making our sites a safe, comfortable, and attractive place to learn, live, work, and play by quickly addressing repair and routine maintenance needs. If you see an issue, report an issue.
Our teams consist of Capital Projects, Custodial Services, Maintenance and Repair, and Administrative Support. Our carpenters, custodians, electricians, glaziers, Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians, locksmiths, metalworkers, painters, plumbers, planners, estimators, engineers, architects, administrative and management staff are committed to supporting your daily needs.
That's not all we do... energy management, event setup/breakdown services, supply purchasing, surplus equipment, building and grounds improvements, as well as compliance with state and federal regulations are also under our realm of responsibility.
We are an integral part of our community slogan "We Lead". We understand the gravity of what we must do: provide safety, cleanliness, and functionality. Without those elements, your environment is negatively affected. Remember, when you see something, say something.
Did you know?
"Work Request" Page
Provide insight and instructions. Use language your audience will use and periodically check your links to be sure they are correct.
About Work Requests
Facility Operations uses an online maintenance work order system provided by Dude Solutions to allow you to submit a work order submit a work order. If you see an issue, report an issue.
Submitted a work order before? You will use your email address and password to access the Work Order Request Site. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RE-REGISTER! If you have forgotten your password, a Forgot Login link is available.
Never submitted a work order before? You may register for access. You will be officially in the database after your first submission and simply log in as a current user from then on.
After your maintenance work request is submitted, you will receive an email confirmation and your request will be routed for review. If your request falls under our scope of services [insert link here to Services], we will approve and assign the work to our technicians for completion. View our scope of Services [insert link here to Services] or a list of Frequently Asked Questions [insert link here to FAQs] if you have questions.
You will receive email updates when we change the status of your work requests and you may also check your request's status anytime. This can be changed in your Settings tab.
Have questions? We have a help guide on How to Enter a Facilities Work Request in addition to this introductory video:
"Services You Do and Do Not Provide" Page
Clarify what you do vs. what is outside of your scope of responsibility.
Routine services provided by Facilities are considered non-chargeable and requests are submitted through the Work Order Request Portal.
Additional services that are considered chargeable and require a Special Services Request Form (SSRF) be submitted.
The following services are NOT charged to the requesting customer or requesting department and may be considered as "routine" maintenance. To request routine maintenance services, please submit a work order request
The following additional services are normally charged to the requesting customer or requesting department.
Chargeable services require that a signed Special Services Request Form (SSRF) be submitted to Facilities and reviewed before work will begin. The customer or department may be charged for labor, materials and/or contracted expenses required to accommodate the service request.
"Frequently Asked Questions" Page
Use this type of page to help address common issues or questions. This also helps with web searching.
Frequently Asked Questions - Facilities
Below are common questions we received and the answers we often provide. Have a question that would be great to include here? Send it to us at email@example.com.
1. How is a work order request placed?
Work order requests are placed by visiting our Work Order Request Portal, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 555-555-5555.
2. How much notice is necessary for an event set-up?
Events may be submitted by visiting our Facility Use Request Portal. It is important that requests for special events and moving are submitted at least one week prior to the date that the service is needed with the understanding that some events may require more than one week’s notice to allow time for coordination, equipment rental, or contracting of services when required.
3. If the minimum notice is not provided for an event, is there an extra charge for the service?
There is no late fee, but you run the risk of us not being able to support your event due to our workload. There will be a charge applied to cover extra personnel and overtime costs.
4. What do I do if my office is too hot or too cold?
Place a work order by visiting our Work Order Request Portal, email email@example.com or call 555-555-5555.
5. Does Facilities have to be involved in all building alterations?
Yes, Facilities must be involved in all building alterations. Facilities can often do the work requested, or provide advice and estimates from 3rd party contractors when necessary.
6. How do I get the furniture in my office moved by Facilities?
Place a work order request by visiting our Work Order Request Portal, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 555-555-5555. A Special Services Request Form (SSRF) will be required if the move has to occur after hours and/or on the weekend. In this case, you would send an SSRF to Facilities completed with department accounting information. Make sure the SSRF is signed by an authorized fund administrator.
7. Can I contact a contractor to do work if I am paying for it from my department budget?
No. Departments should not contact contractors themselves. Facilities is responsible for providing advice and estimates from outside contractors.
8. How do I get the recycling picked up?
Place a work order request by visiting our Work Order Request Portal, emailing email@example.com or calling 555-555-5555.
9. My office needs painting. What do I do?
Place a work order request by visiting our Work Order Request Portal, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 555-555-5555. If the painting is determined to be necessary maintenance, Facilities will absorb the cost of repainting the office.
If the painting is not determined to be necessary maintenance, a Special Services Request Form (SSRF) must be submitted to Facilities completed with department accounting information. Make sure the SSRF is signed by an authorized fund administrator.
10. How do I request an estimate for a shelf to be built and installed in my office?
Seek shelving/furniture on the approved state contract and coordinate through the Planning Office.
11. When will my work order be completed?
The completion time for each work order request varies due to many factors. If a work order has not been completed in a reasonable amount of time, please call Facilities Help at 555-555-5555 to check on the status of your request.
12. The elevator in my building does not work. What do I do?
Call Facilities Help at 555-555-5555 to report the elevator problem or email email@example.com.
13. The power went off in my office. What should I do?
Call Facilities Help at 555-555-5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report the power failure.
14. My ceiling is leaking. What should I do?
Call Facilities Help at 555-555-5555.
15. How do I arrange to have someone shampoo my carpet?
Place a Work Order Request, email email@example.com or call 555-555-5555. If the carpet cleaning is determined to be necessary maintenance, Facilities will absorb the cost of shampooing the carpet.
If the carpet cleaning is not determined to be necessary maintenance, a Special Services Request Form (SSRF) must be submitted to Facilities, completed with department accounting information. Make sure the SSRF is signed by an authorized fund administrator.
16. I need an office key for a new temporary employee. How do I get another key?
Upon request of an authorized supervisor, temporary employees are issued keys to offices, but not to buildings. Keys may be obtained by contacting Facilities Help by visiting our Work Order Request Portal, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 555-555-5555 and you must include the name of the employee receiving the key(s) and the duration of the key assignment. Be aware that some requests may require a Special Services Request Form (SSRF).
17. I need to have a desk assembled. How do I arrange for this?
Our Procurement Code requires all furniture be purchased through State Contract-approved manufacturers. All such furniture includes freight, delivery, onsite assembly and placement to the Customer’s satisfaction. All State Contract furniture carries a warranty for commercial use. Definitive product and design standards have been established for quality, consistency, flexibility, and sustainability. Contact the Planning Office to be connected with a State approved furniture seller.
18. When do I submit a Special Services Request Form (SSRF)?
Special Services Request Form (SSRF) are to be used for chargeable services (non-routine maintenance tasks).
Non-chargeable services (routine maintenance requests) may be submitted via our Work Order Request Portal, emailed to email@example.com or call 555-555-5555.
Facilities or Physical Plant "Shops/Teams" Page
Your teams work hard, give them the promotional boost they deserve. You may even include photos, videos or fun facts.
Note that many links are the same destination, but phrased differently as people may perform keyword searches on your website for those topics.
Facilities Help Desk
The Facilities Help Desk staff is available to answer questions, assist with work orders, and route calls and emergencies appropriately. The Facilities Help Desk is staffed from Monday - Friday from 7:30 am - 5:30 pm.
The Facilities Help Desk can be reached by phone at 555-555-5555.
Calls placed to this number after normal working hours are automatically routed to Central Services. Our online work order system is available at any time, so if you see an issue, report an issue.
The Carpentry Shop is responsible for performing skilled carpentry work in the alteration, repair and maintenance of the buildings and sites. The carpenters fabricate, alter, repair, install, and maintain doors, door frames, windows, window frames, moldings, ceilings, walls, sheetrock/paneling, porches, furniture, etc., as necessary, to preserve both historically significant and new facilities. The Carpentry Shop is responsible for general maintenance as well as renovations. They also assemble/repair furniture and work with our Glaziers to replace window glass.
Submit an online Carpentry Work Request.
Custodial Services is responsible for the general cleaning of the buildings, as well as, the grounds around those buildings.
The following duties are generally performed by Custodial Services on a daily basis:
The following duties are performed by Custodial Services at least once per week (more often if needed or requested):
The following duties are performed by Custodial Services at least quarterly (more often if needed or requested):
Submit an online Custodial Service Request
The Electrical Shop is responsible for providing electrical maintenance, repairs, and renovation services to our facilities. The electricians perform emergency and routine work on electrical panels, switches, receptacles, light fixtures, electric heat, electric motors, street lighting, and temporary power and lighting for special events on our sites. Electricians also provide electrical support for renovation and construction projects performed by Facilities.
Submit an online Electrical Work Request.
Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
The HVAC Shop is responsible for general upkeep, maintenance, and repairs to mechanical systems in our buildings. The HVAC technicians are skilled in the installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment. They also monitor contract work performed on the buildings' mechanical systems.
Submit an online HVAC Work Request.
The Lock Shop is responsible for maintaining our security and keying systems. Locksmiths implement key/lock changes, make keys, control and issue keys, and repair locks as required.
Lost keys must be reported to Safety so a Lost Key Report can be completed. This report should accompany a Special Services Request Form (SSRF) to Facilities to request a replacement key. The SSRF should have the name of the person who will be assigned the key and the department information as well.
Only permanent employees are issued keys to buildings and offices upon request of an authorized supervisor. Temporary employees may be issued keys to offices.
Submit an online Key or Lock Request.
The Paint Shop is responsible for the proper application of finishes to surfaces on the interior and exterior of our facilities. Painters prepare areas by washing, scraping and sanding to achieve a smooth surface. In addition, painters caulk and spackle, prime as necessary, and apply paint, varnish, or stain to a variety of different surfaces.
Submit an online Painting Request.
The Plumbing Shop is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of general piping throughout our facilities and sites, as well as, maintaining mechanical equipment within various buildings. Plumbers troubleshoot all defects and malfunctions in piping and plumbing systems, initiate repairs, and eliminate defects. In addition, plumbers assemble and install cleanouts, perform preventive maintenance, and cut, thread, and assemble appropriate materials to install piping and plumbing fixtures. Plumbers check the operation of sump pumps on campus at least weekly and the storm drains at least twice per month as part of our Preventive Maintenance program.
Submit an online Plumbing Issue.
The Special Events Services team is responsible for event preparation, moving furniture, and providing facility usage support. These trade specialists deliver, set up, arrange, and remove tables and chairs at various locations per event specifications.
It is important that requests for special events and moving are submitted at least one week prior to the date that the service is needed with the understanding that some events may require more than one week’s notice to allow time for coordination, equipment rental, or contracting of services when required.
Submit an online Facility Use or Special Event Request.
"Emergency Procedures" Page
This area is useful as a separate topic vs. being lost amongst other content. Often safety teams are multi-department, but Facilities/Physical Plant may be the first team considered for contact outside of Security.
Emergencies and Safety Procedures
Any situation which poses an immediate threat to personal health, call 911
Any situation which poses an immediate threat to safety, or major damage to buildings, equipment, or other property should be addressed immediately. To obtain assistance, call 555-555-5555.
For other emergencies such as the odor of gas, electrical burning, or entrapment in an elevator, the Safety Department should be called first at 555-555-5555.
We have a mobile app with our emergency and safety procedures available for your smartphone or tablet. Simply download the app and search for our public plan by using the keyword DSISafety to download a copy to your device for online or offline usage. For a local Phone Directory and more information from preparedness in case of major emergencies or natural disaster, please visit our Emergency Preparedness team's site.
"Contact Us" Page for Facilities, Maintenance, Repair or Physical Plant
Include an additional series of links to route someone to online assistance before they contact you.
If you can use a group email address vs. a personal email address, this helps by providing information that is easy to remember and reduces impacts if someone retires or leaves.
Contact Facility Services
Visit our Work Order Request Portal to submit a new request or view your previous requests.
123 Main Street
City, State/Province, Zip
You do not have to be a webmaster, just use the web to your advantage. Ask your webmaster how you can get the content to them and let them work their magic. Often, they may only need an email of what you want to say and what links you wish to use.
Just because you have one link to a website, does not mean you have to use it once. Often, the same topic will be phrased in different ways, so use that to your advantage and put links in multiple places.
Think about who you are trying to reach, what they would be looking for and how they might phrase questions. If you "look through Mary Jane's eyes", you are already on the path to relieving work on your team, presenting a professional image and helping those you serve at the same time.