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University Implements Work Order Management Solution in All Residence Halls

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CLIENT: Michael West, Associate Director of Housing Services

GEOGRAPHY: Knoxville, Tennessee

VITALS: 26 maintenance technicians, 7,000 students in on-campus housing

CHALLENGES: Needed a more efficient way to submit work orders between students and staff

RESULTS: Students can directly submit work orders on any mobile device, and technicians receive direct requests

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: More transparency and accountability across the department

University of Tennessee’s Housing Department gives students ability to directly submit work orders with Dude Solutions

Responsible for thousands of students living in its residence halls, the University of Tennessee’s housing department needed a better way to receive and manage work order requests. The archaic, paper-based work order system in place made it near impossible for Associate Director of Housing Services Michael West and his team to monitor requests and respond in a timely fashion. Students had to submit requests by going to the residence hall front desk, leading most to not submit requests at all, even when rooms had issues

After much due diligence, Michael decided to implement Dude Solutions Work & Asset. The Dude’s cloud-based solution allowed Michael to roll out the program directly to students, automate routing of work orders, send updates to users and create data-driven reports. Through the Dude Solutions web portal, students can submit work requests through the University’s website on any computer or device. “I didn’t want to limit the system to any users; I wanted to make it convenient as possible for our end-users — the students — to submit issues,” said Michael.

The department launched a campus-wide marketing campaign to promote the new process for submitting requests to student before going live with the system. They advertised to students before Freshmen Orientation, sent emails to returning students and provided informational tents in all rooms to train students on how to submit requests. The maintenance team also worked closely with the Resident Advisors who acted as consultants to ensure students used the system properly.

The launch proved very successful. Despite initial concerns about bogus or duplicate requests, Michael says those work orders account for less than 1% of all requests. Based on user surveys, students are very satisfied with the new website, as they now receive updates concerning submitted requests and have seen response time reduced. The department has also seen parent calls drop by 98%. “Students now feel empowered with a sense of ownership. As a result, their parents are calling less for issues since students can submit on their own,” Michael said. This also saves the office administrators’ time in fielding fewer calls.

The maintenance staff is also very satisfied with the new system. Through the automatic routing feature in Dude Solutions Work & Asset, technicians receive requests directly on their electronic tablets and can handle requests without having to return to the office. The solution makes it easier for technicians to better manage their time, improving request response time. Michael and his department also use the reporting feature to track work orders on a daily basis, increasing accountability of the entire department.

“Dude Solutions is the best organization I’ve ever worked with,” said Michael. Introducing the system to 7,000 students at once seemed daunting but proved successful thanks to the ease of use of Dude Solutions Work & Asset. “The implementation was quick and successful. We can now replicate this process with other Dude Solutions products we’ve purchased.”

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