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Hutchinson Correctional Facility Justifies Staff and Improves Efficiency with Maintenance Management System

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CLIENT: Rod Lowe, Maintenance Manager

GEOGRAPHY: Hutchinson, Kansas

VITALS: 3 facilities; 600,000+ square feet; 35 technicians

CHALLENGES: Work order intake was disorganized, requests fell through the cracks and reports were cumbersome

RESULTS: Requests are better tracked and more easily assigned; reports require only a few clicks

Hutchinson Correctional Facility consists of three facilities: a minimum, medium and maximum security. Due to budget constraints, their maintenance staff has now been reduced to a team of 35 to take care of the property. Maintenance Manager Rod Lowe had his hands full trying to coordinate the intake of requests and communication with his team. Requestors would email, call or leave a phone message for the secretary, who would then type up a work order and send it to the shop. Requestors would provide incomplete information about the problem, so time was spent trying to identify who had put in the request and gather missing data. A lot of time was wasted because of inefficiencies in the process and work orders were easily lost or overlooked. Lowe had a hard time ensuring technicians received work orders, and he also had no way to check up on a daily basis to see what was still ongoing and what had been completed. He was constantly asking his team for updates.

The group heard about FacilityDude and decided it was a perfect fit for their needs. They’ve seen improvements in efficiency from being able to track what work comes in, who reported the issue and what is being done on it. Lowe explains, “With MaintenanceEdge™, I can look in the system and see where we are on all our jobs. I think the technicians are more comfortable with this because I don’t have to ask them all the time about what they’re doing, which might come off as micromanaging. Also, our completion rates have improved from about 55% to 80%. No more paper work orders getting lost, and technicians can’t tell me that they didn’t receive a request because they know I can see what is going on daily.”

Using Cost Data to Justify Resources

Lowe can easily track how much money is being spent on a daily basis for various areas. He is able to break down spending by employees, craft, area, and preventive versus corrective maintenance. Lowe explains: “Throughout corrections nationwide, budget is an issue for everybody. We have to continually justify the resources that maintenance needs because it’s easy for them to focus on the guards but not the maintenance team. Now, we can document everything we do and how much it costs, which lets us show that maybe we don’t have enough people to get everything done. My boss and the warden have noticed that we have a lot of work that’s not getting done but not because we’re not working hard, it’s because we have a higher workload than staff available. This is one of the biggest benefits of a program like MaintenanceEdge: to show the need for personnel.”

Reports used to be a labor-intensive task, taking their secretary a week per month to pull a report for their main office. She would have to check through all records for the month and generate numbers on their completion rates on work orders and preventive maintenance tasks. With MaintenanceEdge, she can prepare this report with just a few clicks, but the nice thing is that she doesn’t have to now. Lowe’s boss has access to MaintenanceEdge and can log in to the system to see what the team’s workload looks like and set up any reports he wants to see on a regular basis.

Lowe appreciates the emergency alert feature in MaintenanceEdge, which lets him know if they have an especially high priority work orders, such as one to do with security. If he logs in and sees the flashing icon on his screen, he knows to check out that request immediately.

Keeping in Communication

Automatic email notifications have been popular with everyone at Hutchinson Correctional Facility. They tell the supervisors when something has been requested and when the job is marked complete. Notifications also help the requestors see the status of their request: They can see that it’s been received, assigned, completed and then closed out. “We’ve gotten great feedback,” Lowe says. “The email notifications not only help me do my job, but they help everyone else understand what’s going on.”

Another benefit is that the attorney for the facility has access to MaintenanceEdge so that in the event of a lawsuit, they can readily pull the needed documentation themselves. “We haven’t had to deal with anything since we’ve started using MaintenanceEdge, but I know the system will really make that process easier when we do have one,” Lowe says.

“Working in maintenance in corrections is a different world than anything else. Every day is an adventure, and you never know what’s going to happen. MaintenanceEdge helps us make sure that we get done everything that we need to, and it’s made us so efficient, it’s like having an extra person on staff,” Lowe says.

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