California District Switches from Desktop System to Web-Based System
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CLIENT: California District Switches from Desktop System to Web-Based System
GEOGRAPHY: Hawthorne, California
VITALS: 9,000 students
CHALLENGES: Using an inefficient desktop system for maintenance, accounting and warehousing
RESULTS: Time savings with an efficient system, along with real-time data and reporting
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: Improved communication between departments
Hawthorne School District’s Maintenance and IT Departments justify switch to Superintendent
When Louis Velez took over as Director of Facilities, Maintenance & Operations, Hawthorne School District was using the desktop system Escape Technology for its maintenance, accounting and warehousing. “The system worked, but it was not customer-oriented,” said Louis.
With a desktop system, Louis had to constantly check for new work order requests on his office computer. “I was a slave to the system. In order for my staff to get the work orders that day, I had to print the requests and have it in their mailboxes by 6 AM before they arrived and were in the field. I could never catch up,” Louis said. Additionally, the routing rules required Principal approval of each request, which led to increased completion times and double-assignment of work orders. Despite some reporting capabilities, the data in the reports were inaccurate because paper work orders were not closed out in real-time.
“I knew a web-based system would allow me to work smarter, not harder,” Louis said. Other districts using SchoolDude prompted him and his IT Director to evaluate SchoolDude. “The fact SchoolDude is web-based was the most attractive aspect.” After selecting SchoolDude, Louis now assigns work orders from anywhere – meetings, lunch or home. His team also has iPads, which allows them to receive new work orders any time of day. No more checking mailboxes.
For approval to purchase SchoolDude, Louis had to justify the cost to the Superintendent and the IT department. “The Superintendent was focused on community involvement, especially getting the public interested in using the district’s gymnasiums. SchoolDude’s event management solution was a big selling point for her,” said Louis. “Our IT Department was using an inefficient district-wide Google Doc for help tickets. SchoolDude’s IT help desk ticket system could route faculty requests directly to site technicians.” Louis was able to justify SchoolDude due to its district-wide impact on maintenance, IT and community use.
The biggest benefit Louis has seen with SchoolDude has been time savings thanks to the web-based system and automatic status updates to Principals. Phone calls to Louis asking for the status of requests has dramatically decreased. The Maintenance Department has seen a decrease in incomplete work orders since adding SchoolDude. “We currently have only 69 work orders in progress, including many for summer projects. In past years, we had over 400 incomplete work orders,” said Louis.
Inter-departmental communication has improved. “With faculty submitting IT requests directly online, we no longer have IT requests come in as maintenance work orders. If one does, we can easily re-assign it to the IT department,” Louis said.
The web-based system allows technicians to update work order information in real-time, which will make reporting data reliable and up-to-date. The benefits of having a web-based system goes beyond the district’s walls. “I can even add our Pest Control Contractors as users in SchoolDude. I can assign them work orders and have a clear record of the work order and resolution,” said Louis.
Louis’ tip for other districts: “If you’re using a desktop system, switch immediately. A web-based, automated system is the way to go. No matter how big or small you are, it fits to your needs. SchoolDude has created such freedom for me. I no longer worry about taking vacations. As long as you have a Smartphone, you can work from anywhere. It’s made my life a lot easier.”