Georgia Tech Athletics Gets a Win with Asset EssentialsTM
CLIENT: Jim Kenyon, Associate Director of Facilities, Operations and Events for Georgia Tech Athletics Department
GEOGRAPHY: Atlanta, GA
CHALLENGES: With multiple stadiums, fields, and athletic facilities to manage and only a small crew of maintenance technicians, the department needed a reliable tool that could handle such a large operation. They had also been relying on a paper-and-pencil approach, which was proving to hurt efficiency.
RESULTS: Now with increased efficiency and visibility into their operations, Georgia Tech Athletics is working faster and more strategically, and they’re gaining the data their administration looks for when making budget and staff decisions.
As one can imagine, Georgia Tech Athletics is no small operation. They’ve got fields for football, baseball and track. Courts for tennis and volleyball. Practice facilities. Golf facilities. Department facilities. Without a sturdy system in place, it could easily be a maintenance nightmare.
That’s why when Jim Kenyon, Associate Director of Facilities, Operations and Events, joined the department, his first task was to find and implement a maintenance system that could keep their small maintenance team (just 10 day-to-day technicians) running smoothly. One of the first issues Jim spotted was that the department was mostly using a paper-and-pencil approach when it came to work orders and documenting completed work. That proved itself to be a problem pretty quickly.
“If somebody fills out a work order or piece of paper and hands it back, obviously that paper can just disappear. Tracking things is a problem. That was a point of frustration among the department before Asset Essentials,” says Jim. “Plus, it’s difficult to create a preventive maintenance plan that way. But, the one major thing – and my two supervisors are big on this – the way we’re using Asset Essentials really helps with our customer service to other departments. They — they being people in our compliance department, people in our marketing department — can see that we’re getting things completed, and they’re really appreciative of being able to receive updates on work orders they submit.”
Because he’d used Dude Solutions’ software in a previous role, Jim knew Asset Essentials™ would be the right fit to help complete operations faster while increasing performance. Their implementation process was originally expected to take six weeks, but they got up and running in just three.
When asked how implementation went, Jim says, “It was great. The team was responsive in working with us on it and really made sure we got things right. This was a big cultural change for us. We didn’t want to rush it. We had to get it right getting off the ground. It’s operating the exact way we wanted it to. It’s definitely the right fit for what we wanted.”
What exactly did they want? In a word: efficiency.
“The major goal was to improve our efficiency, and I think that’s been accomplished. There’s definitely an increase in productivity. We’re getting things done quicker. That also ties into customer service. It’s [Asset Essentials] given us the ability to operate better as a department. We’re not sending two guys to a job that we see only requires one. I can say with certainty that’s been recognized by the rest of the departments,” he says. “And for our maintenance technicians, they now can categorize and prioritize things, so they can efficiently plan out their day with the tasks they need to tackle. Another goal was trying to visually be able to see the frequency of work orders we’re getting that relate to certain operations – electricity, carpentry, custodial, things like that. That’s something that helps us structure our third-party needs.”
One way the software helps them increase productivity is by providing visibility into technicians’ strengths. For instance, if one person consistently gets a certain kind of task done the quickest with great results, it doesn’t make sense to assign a different tech to those jobs that are outside of their sweet spot.
“Maybe one guy’s a great painter and one’s good at carpentry. We can assign work orders by skillset and give them jobs they not only enjoy doing but are best at doing,” says Jim.
Using Asset Essentials to handle the department’s M&O needs has not only helped Jim and the technicians, it’s also provided clarity and better communication for supervisors. With that added transparency, supervisors are better able to provide the maintenance team with what they need to be successful.
“They definitely want to see the breakdowns of types of work orders being submitted. That will show them whether or not we need to increase our coverage in certain areas. The second thing is time. If we can give our supervisors this data, and they can go to their supervisors with the data on how long it takes to complete different things. That could cause our administration to say we need more people on deck.”
In addition to improving efficiency and transparency with the administration, Jim had another requirement for the software they ultimately chose: whoever they worked with had to be able to go at the department’s pace. With such a large operation to manage and a range in technology comfort level amongst the technicians, Jim needed a system that he could not only tweak to fit their team’s needs, but also a provider who would allow them to take things slowly and build as they were ready.