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Rawhide Boys Ranch saves money with utility tracking and maintenance software

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CLIENT: Rawhide Boys Ranch – Brendan Ganser, Facilities Manager

GEOGRAPHY: New London, WI

VITALS: 4 maintenance technicians and 22 buildings on 600 acres

CHALLENGES: Needed to document work and track utilities to find inefficiencies

RESULTS: Huge utility savings and a streamlined work order process

Brendan Ganser, Facilities Manager at the Rawhide Boys Ranch, has seen great success with Dude Solutions’ maintenance and utility tracking software.

After years of using a paper system, the ranch decided it was time to switch to a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) from Dude Solutions. “Implementation was great,” Ganser said. “Dude Solutions ended up putting a lot of our data in the system for us – we just sent them the information, which was incredibly handy for us. We work with a pretty small crew for the size of facility, so it was really a good thing for them to help us set up the system.”

The maintenance staff took to the maintenance software quickly. Continued Ganser, “A couple of my guys are not real computer savvy. But I’ll tell you, the Dude Solutions program is so easy to use they picked it up in no time. As a matter of fact, they found some functions in it that I didn’t know were there.”

When it comes to running the ranch, there are lots of different inspections that can’t be forgotten. Just like many other regulated organizations, everything has to be tested and inspected, including the wells (tested monthly), the furnaces (yearly) and more. “It’s never-ending,” said Ganser. “When we do find an issue during an inspection, it turns into a work order, it gets completed, and we have record that the issue was addressed.” The maintenance software helps the staff stay on top of everything.

Ganser also mentioned that the software helps with the age-old repair versus replace dilemma. “The biggest thing is if we’re working on, let’s say it’s a refrigerator, instead of sitting there saying ‘Well, I think we repaired that or replaced that last year,’ then trying to find the paper trail to verify that used to be close to impossible. Now we can look up and see exactly what we’ve done, decide if we have put too much money into a certain piece of equipment, and justify a replacement with no guessing.”

As it turns out, Dude Solutions makes it so Ganser doesn’t need to guess where the maintenance budget is being spent, either. “If you had $100 in your pocket, and after a week, someone said, ‘How much do you have left?’ and you said, ‘Well I have $10,’ where did it all go? It’s going to be hard to remember exactly what I spent it on. It’s the same thing with work orders. We used to sit there and go ‘I couldn’t tell you right off hand.’ But now with [the software], I pull up all the work orders I’ve done and I have the facts right in front of me.”

Along with maintenance management software, Ganser has seen great successes with Dude Solutions’ utility tracking software.

Everyone knows old and aging buildings mean a lot of the equipment and assets are getting to the end of their useful life. The oldest home on the ranch campus was built in 1908, but the average building age is about 22 years. “The largest building on the ranch was built in 1994,” Ganser explained, “and the heating system that was put in was very inefficient. It was getting to the point where we weren’t going to be able to replace the system as is. One of my contractors came in and suggested we switch to a boiler/chiller system. The new system was $260,000 and that’s a chunk of money for us.” Once they made the switch, they were able to track usage within our system and the Board of Directors couldn’t believe how much they were saving in energy costs. It 100% justified the $260,000 for the new system.

You can’t argue with actual numbers. The savings are so dramatic, at one point our utility costs at one building were down 74%. Even now, we’re tweaking things and trying new things out, and we can see how they are working almost immediately in the software, and that makes my job easy.”

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