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Brethren Village Retirement Community: Elevating Operations Through Technology

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CLIENT: Dale Weaver, VP of Facilities and Technology Laura Todd, Facilities Coordinator

GEOGRAPHY: Lancaster, PA

VITALS: 

  • CCRC with 1,200 residents  
  • 1.1 million sq. ft. to manage
  • 3 ½ years with TheWorxHub (Use Maintenance, Housekeeping, Landscaping, IT and Security modules)

CHALLENGES: They needed a better way to track daily work, communicate between departments and have data for better decision-making.

RESULTS: Now with a robust operations management system, they can track work, share insights and improve resident service.

FAST STATS (from 2015 to 2017):

  • 14,357 work orders completed in 2017
  • $2,773,581.46 of costs tracked in 2017
  • 97.9% work orders completed in 2017
  • Decreased average days overdue from 12.4 to 9*
  • Reduced average open time per work order by 22%*

At Brethren Village Retirement Community, growth is an ever-present reality, and TheWorxHub has been an important part of sustaining that growth with increased efficiency, transparency and resident-specific information to improve their services.

Laura Todd, Facilities Coordinator, has been on staff for 12 ½ years, several of which have been spent working with the Facilities Team. Before adopting TheWorxHub, the Facilities departments were using a paper-based work order system where Laura would print each work order that would sit on the printer until a technician picked them up.

“It was harder to manage who was doing work, and the work orders would get lost,” Laura says.

While the switch to TheWorxHub brought with it a need to adapt new technology, it was just another hurdle to overcome to get better data on their tasks and be more efficient within their team.

TODAY, THE DEPARTMENTS AT BRETHREN VILLAGE THAT UTILIZE THEWORXHUB INCLUDE:

  • Maintenance and Renovations (19 full-time employees FTEs)
  • Grounds (8 FTEs)
  • Housekeeping and Laundry (36 FTEs)
  • Security (11 FTEs)
  • IT (6 employees)
  • Facilities Management (6 FTEs)

“At this point, we’ve been using TheWorxHub for three and a half years, and everyone is pretty good with it,” Laura says. “Once the team learned how to use the system and how it was organizing their work for them, they liked it. They see it as a benefit.”

Elevating the Team with Technology

The entire Facilities Team uses mobile devices to complete work orders, saving time and increasing their productivity.

Dale, VP of Facilities and Technology, is a firm believer that people come first and that’s why he strives to provide the tools to empower, hold accountable and increase productivity, while focusing on their customers: the residents. For example, that’s why all Maintenance, Renovations and Grounds Team members receive an iPhone 6 Plus with cellular data. Now, his team can remain productive even while roaming between buildings and minimizing the amount of devices they need to carry.

“We want to build up and empower the team,” Dale says, “It’s always: How do we let them make more decisions in the field and make them more responsible for the outcome, the relationship and the resident experience.”

They can also self-assign tickets (especially when they see them come up on one of the TV screens that display TheWorxHub modules in both the Facilities Building and IT Office). This makes Laura’s job of organizing the work easier. 

Laura has an important operations role and is in charge of their community’s utilization of TheWorxHub. Her days consist of adding work requests into the system (as well as scheduled work), assigning work orders, answers questions from residents, pulling reports, organizing data and other operations.

“The guys like the scheduled work orders because they don’t have to remember them,” Dale says. “It’s much easier to do the work and get inspections done on time.”

With Dale’s managers’ time focused on meeting with other departments, budgeting and planning, Dale emphasizes the importance of having one person (like Laura) in charge of the software.

“When we have escalations or calls from staff or residents, [Laura] has at her fingertips all of the information of what happened, like the signature(s) and completion notes,” says Dale. “That cuts down a lot of time because she doesn’t have to track down a technician for an answer.”

Laura says in the past, she didn’t know who picked up the work order and would just have to ask around to see who took care of it or didn’t. “Now, I know right where to go – and that saves a lot of time,” she says.

Dale says TheWorxHub helps them have more transparency into what technicians are doing, and the data from the system even allowed them to hire another painter.

“We were able to see how much time we were spending, and it was cheaper to do in-house,” Dale says. “We use [TheWorxHub] for hiring decisions because we can see how much time we spend on different types of work, including hiring HVAC or electrical trades.”

Applying Relevant Data to Each Department

At Brethren Village, they also use TheWorxHub to track renovations, contractor work and more.

Laura says they assign contractors to their specific work orders within TheWorxHub, then when she gets their invoices, she puts that information on the work order. “It gives us another way of tracking the work getting done, seeing how much we’re spending – and you can include both the contractor and team member there along with other invoices.”

TheWorxHub is the key to Dale and Laura (as well as the managers of each department) structuring facility information and sharing knowledge.

“We’re using the system to get a full picture of how to maintain and how to do renovations, etc.,” Dale says. “It gives us the complete picture of what we’re doing and spending in these areas."

In fact, Laura has a running spreadsheet and Facilities Management dashboard using data from TheWorxHub to track:

  • Utilities - types and costs in relation to yearly budget (also with projected costs)
  • Grounds - categories and man-hours for each
  • Security - types of calls and quantities for each
  • Technologies - resident and corporate work orders by type
  • Laundry - types and weight, fee for service, revenue and projected revenue, staffing numbers
  • Renovations - project analysis report
  • Work orders - types and quantities

After reviewing with Laura, Dale shares a subset of the dashboard, and it is presented to the board every month. A copy of each specific department’s data also goes out monthly to managers.

“[This report] helps them get a snapshot of their department the previous month,” Laura says. “Since they’re caught up in the day to day, it’s a big time saver for them. It lets them view their department in a different way.”

Laura also uses the reporting features in TheWorxHub to easily run a cost time analysis, workload analysis, as well as a report on rejected work orders and reasons why they were rejected per department. These reports are run monthly and sent to Dale and the managers.

Having this easily accessible data has helped Laura answer people’s questions about costs, time, work and more. When Dale asks why a specific renovation or unit turnover costs so much, she can provide context and detail for the work performed. Whenever managers ask a question, Laura analyzes the data to provide an accurate answer. She also creates custom weekly reports for managers.

“Once or twice a week, I’m calling Laura saying, ‘How is it going? Are we staying ahead or behind? What are some key issues?’” Dale says. “It’s a way that I can have a pulse on how we’re doing as a team.”

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