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Okeechobee County, FL Improves Operational Efficiency and Boosts PM Program in One Year with Asset Essentials™

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CLIENT: Okeechobee Board of County Commissioners

GEOGRAPHY: Okeechobee County, FL

VITALS: Population 40,000

CHALLENGES: A prior antiquated system and Excel spreadsheets were hurting efficiency. Time was spent manually inputting information, and tracking was far from detailed.

RESULTS: Now having used Dude Solutions Asset Essentials™ for a year, the team is putting their focus where it counts thanks to automated work orders eliminating manual entry. They’re also able to track and have a full view of their operations and costs.

Okeechobee County may be a relatively small county for Florida, but that doesn’t mean there are any shortage of things to do for Kenny Murphy and his team. As the Facilities Maintenance Manager with a crew of 22, he’s in charge of overseeing 65 locations under the county’s jurisdiction. Included in that is general building maintenance, routine inspections, reactive repairs, custodial work in departmental buildings, mowing and landscaping of all county-maintained areas, as well as county athletic fields.

To keep it all running, Kenny and his team were previously using an outdated work order system, so outdated it wasn’t of this century... literally.

“The program we came off of was extremely archaic, probably from the early ‘90s. You had to put in information manually. No drop-down menus. You couldn’t search for anything. You had to go through all of the numbers until you found what you were looking for. It was a nightmare. It was very ineffective, very inefficient. It was more of a headache than an asset to us,” Kenny says.

Then they tried the Excel method, creating and manually maintaining spreadsheets, but that wasn’t working out either. They began these approaches in hopes of increasing efficiency, but the opposite seemed to be happening.

Then they heard about Dude Solutions Asset Essentials from a peer.

In April 2018, two Dude Solutions product experts traveled to Okeechobee and helped them fully set up Asset Essentials and get their information correctly loaded in the system. They were scheduled to be onsite three days, but the set up was completed in as little as two.

“Since then, it’s been running like clockwork,” Kenny says. “They walked us through it, showed us everything and explained how to operate the system. We took to it pretty quickly and were off to the races. We never looked back. We got to bury that old one and don’t have to deal with it anymore. The day we finished the onsite, we completely shut down our old system.”

And they really haven’t looked back. In the year they’ve been using the solution, they’ve logged 723 work orders, and not a single one has gone overdue. Aside from the dedication of his team, Kenny gives the credit to Asset Essentials for nothing falling through the cracks over the past year.

“In moving to Asset Essentials, we’ve been able to consolidate everything. It’s all in one location and in an easy format. We can find what we need at the click of a button. It’s just easy to operate and gives us a whole lot more flexibility with our work order system.”

The ability to properly track operations and assets has particularly been a huge benefit for Kenny’s team. In addition to the ease of streamlining work orders, his department is now tracking things they never have before and seeing what a difference it can make in their ability to plan ahead.

“We decided, since we have all these options for tracking, that we’d just track everything we possibly can in the off-chance anybody questions it. So we started keeping track of the account numbers everything was charged to, how much it costs to even go get PVC from Home Depot. We were also able to put in the hourly wage of our employees. Since we had the ability to put that in the system, we were able to go in, select the employee who did the work and automatically calculate the hours associated with cost of labor. Now we know exactly how much we’re spending labor-wise, but also how much we’re saving the county compared to if we had to contract the same project out,” Kenny says. “Being able to look at all of our buildings, by building, by department, by type of repair, we really see where we’ve spent our funds and how much we’ve spent, and we can compare it to what we’ve spent in the past. We can see if we’re still in our budget threshold or if we need to try to bump it up.”

Now with work running smoothly and tracking underway, the team has also been able to set up an active preventive maintenance (PM) schedule with pre-set automatic notifications of when preventive work is needed.

“Our AC filters, our fire extinguishers, our emergency lights and battery backups, generators, chillers — we do an inspection on all of them at the beginning of every month. We’ve set up a PM for them that pops up the first day of each month and automatically generates the work order and brings up the inspection sheet. To have the PMs there to remind us of the out-of-sight things every month, it’s a big asset to us.”

When asked what he’d tell another county considering Asset Essentials, Kenny ended with, “I would say it’s amazing and you don’t even understand how much it helps you do your job until you get into it. We had our hesitations at first. Nobody likes change. Everyone gets in their comfort zone. But once we got to see the impact on our operations, there was no turning back or slowing down. It was an immediate change. It shook our whole department up. Now we have capabilities we never had before and it was so easy. Give it a chance. It’s a game changer for your operations. The biggest benefit has been the simplicity and flexibility of the system. Everything is very clearly labeled. It’s very easy to navigate. Everything is click of a button. It’s made it very easy to input information and keep track of all kinds of data, and to go back in and find it is easy. It’s so much more efficient to operate. It pretty much does the hard work for us. It’s invaluable. I can’t tell you how much of an asset it is.”

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