19,000-Student District Moves to One Comprehensive System for More Efficient Process
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CLIENT: Donna G. Iiams, CTSBS, Facility Scheduling Coordinator
GEOGRAPHY: Allen, TX
CHALLENGES: Using different systems for maintenance, help desk ticketing and facility scheduling
RESULTS: Moving to one system allows them to save time and recover facility use costs more quickly
When Allen ISD realized they needed a comprehensive software program to move all their departments to the same solution, they started by hiring Donna Iiams. Donna had previously used automated cloud solutions in both the Business and Maintenance departments at other Texas districts. Allen ISD was using disparate systems for maintenance management, help desk ticketing and facility scheduling. “In my interview with the CFO and other executives at Allen, I told them Dude Solutions was the way to go if they want all their processes under one umbrella,” Donna said. “My previous experience with Dude Solutions helped me get hired at Allen ISD.”
Previously, Allen ISD was using WebTMA for work order management. The team found it problematic because it was difficult to use. “It was designed for engineers,” Donna said. “It required completing many steps in the system to simply process a work order.” The district wasn’t using WebTMA for reporting because of inaccurate data. Donna knew when she started with the district, reports would be important for the Superintendent and wanted to start fresh with clean data.
The district moved forward with The Dude immediately after Donna started, adding Work & Asset Management. The department implemented our maintenance solution slowly, initially beginning with just a few campuses and food services. They decided to have one point of contact at each campus to input requests from faculty and staff.
The Facilities Department has had a positive response since implementing the software. “It’s so straightforward with The Dude. The technicians just have to input the ‘5 Ws’ (who, what, when, where, why) to process a work order. There are so many less steps involved now,” Donna said. The Executive Director of Facilities likes the reports he can get from Dude Solutions. “Our Director looks at reports showing how many man-hours were spent on various tasks, so he knows which groups are doing well and which groups need to improve,” she said.
For facility scheduling and community use of the district’s facilities, Allen ISD was using Scheduler Plus. Donna used the district’s old system to coordinate events when she first started. “It was very antiquated. The system logged users out after five minutes of inactivity without saving their work, which caused a lot of headaches. Because of this, reservation numbers would be blank, raising questions with auditors,” Donna said. Scheduler Plus also lacked invoicing capabilities and the ability to generate fee schedules. “I had to do a lot of manual work to create invoices and run reports on fees invoiced. It often took me days to reconcile timesheets with Custodians for events on Scheduler Plus,” she added.
The district added Dude Solutions Event Management software when it added the Work & Asset solutions. The biggest benefits for Donna’s team have been time savings, reporting and cost recovery. “The system’s autonotifications of room changes, cancellations, etc. to requesters save me so much time,” Donna said. The system also notifies service providers, such as custodians if event set-up is needed and HVAC staff for temperature controls of facilities. “In our old system, event requesters had to email me for the reservation, custodians and HVAC all separately,” said Donna.
Donna uses reports regularly out of theEvent Management software to inform various groups of the week’s events. “I send the entire district the events scheduled for the week and send to each school separately. I also send automatically scheduled reports to security, HVAC and custodians,” Donna said. Automatically scheduling and emailing reports to everyone involved has cut down on phone calls and questions.
The cost recovery process has drastically improved since adding our software. Donna saves time and the district brings in money more quickly. “Timesheet reconciliation for events that used to take me days now takes 15 minutes. Community groups have commented that they receive their invoices much more quickly and they are more accurate,” said Donna. As a result, the district receives payment more quickly. “I provide a cost report regularly to my Executive Director, and he loves that we have no outstanding dues related to events, thanks to the more efficient invoicing and cost recovery process,” Donna added.
“I have used Dude Solutions at several districts, and it has always been outstanding customer service. Allen ISD plans to bring on additional Dude Solutions products in the future,” Donna said. The district plans to add our facility automation solution to automate scheduling systems, such as HVAC and lighting, for events in order to save energy and additional time.
“If you need something simple to use that will make your life easier and reduce hours spent on mundane paperwork, The Dude is the way to go.”