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Parkland School Division Increases Efficiency, Energy Savings and Departmental Communication

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CLIENT: Parkland School Division No. 70 – Administrative Assistant, Bonnie Read

GEOGRAPHY: Alberta, Canada

VITALS: 9,600 students

CHALLENGES: A Canadian school division’s facility operations department was relying on pen and paper for work orders and couldn’t fully implement preventive maintenance or energy savings efforts

RESULTS: Dude Solutions helped Parkland School Division transition away from pen and paper, increase energy savings and improve communication across multiple operations areas

Canadian district implements Dude Solutions software to improve operations, efficiency and energy conservation efforts

Parkland School Division’s Facilities Department, providing support for over 9,600 students while opening new school buildings, needed an automated process to manage work orders and preventive maintenance. Prior to implementing software by Dude Solutions, the schools were relying on handwritten and call-in work orders. Overall, it wasn’t an efficient system.

The Maintenance Director and his Administrative Assistant, Bonnie Read, had both worked with other CMMS programs in the past at other school districts. When the director came to Parkland School Division, he knew they had to make a change to improve efficiency. They elected to go with Dude Solutions for maintenance management, and have since added on The Dude’s event management and energy management solutions.

Bonnie began by fine-tuning the corrective work order process before implementing a sustainable preventive maintenance (PM) program. To develop robust PM schedules, she met with multiple trades to develop a priority list. “We used Dude Solutions’ standard PM templates along with some we created ourselves,” Bonnie explained. “The provided templates helped us not have to re-invent the wheel.”

Now, the district sends automated work orders to various trades and custodians to perform planned maintenance. Such work orders include monthly site inspections, fire extinguisher checks, vehicle maintenance and quarterly filter changes.

“We do a lot less on demand or reactive work orders now; nearly 50% of our work orders are consistently preventive maintenance,” Bonnie said. “PMs will also be ready for our new building at the start of school.”

With a PM program in place, their equipment now runs more efficiently, resulting in lower energy costs. Additionally, the team performs less reactive and emergency maintenance on equipment, such as HVAC, thanks to routine inspections that catch issues early on. And, should a problem arise, a technician is now quickly dispatched regardless of what time of day it is. Dude Solutions Safety Management, ensures that such emergencies are handled immediately.

“Our HVAC staff gets emergency work order notifications before it can even go out through our Building Automation System (BAS),” said Bonnie. “The team can respond in the middle of the night to make sure the boiler for example is back up and running before school starts in the morning. In the cold winters in Canada, this is critical to ensure our schools can open on time and students are comfortable.”

Energy conservation is important to Parkland School Division, and both students and the community take ownership for their energy consumption. As a result, Dude Solutions Energy Management has been invaluable to Bonnie and her technicians. With the solution, Parkland is able to monitor their monthly bills, easily identify mistakes or issues, and track conservation efforts, such as differences in buildings’ energy usage before and after retrofits. The result: Parkland has seen lower energy costs with increased visibility to pinpoint problem areas.

“It’s obvious with Energy Management when there is an issue, such as a water leak,” said Bonnie. “One month, our water bill was four times the normal amount. By seeing the increase compared to previous months, we could address the leaking toilet immediately with the custodial staff. The integration between the energy and maintenance solutions has improved communication between departments and allows us to prioritize energyrelated work orders.”

The seamless fusion between all of the The Dude’s solutions has made Bonnie and her team more efficient, improved coordination with other departments and made scheduling after-hours events a smooth process. “Everything is integrated; all you have to do is put your data in one solution and it populates across the entire suite,” said Bonnie. “That’s a huge benefit.”

Bonnie also has enjoyed the continuing education offered through Dude University, Dude Solutions’ user conference that she strives to attend annually. “I learn new tips, best practices and new solutions that can help in our day-to-day workflow,” said Bonnie. “I also can network with other schools in Canada and across the United States.”

Bonnie has seen Dude Solutions evolve with the district from the first day of implementation, and it’s quickly become one of the most crucial assets to helping them run their schools efficiently. “I’ve used three different maintenance management programs, and The Dude is by far the easiest one to use,” Bonnie added. “It’s the most user friendly program that I’ve seen. Dude Solutions has become essential for Parkland School Division and is part of our department’s future plans.”

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