York County, VA Saves Money and Server Space with Dude Solutions
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CLIENT: Joe Sisler, PE, Chief of Engineering and Facility Maintenance
GEOGRAPHY: York County, Virginia
VITALS: Population: 66,134; 60 public buildings and an additional 60 sites to maintain landscaping
CHALLENGES: Previous system was complicated and expensive to maintain
RESULTS: Implemented a system that saves $20,000 a year through lower software maintenance fees plus frees up a server
“We wanted a system that was easier to use, that did not require a lot of time to maintain, and perhaps most importantly, one that we could better afford to operate. We were using an asset management software program to manage our work orders. It had some advantages and capabilities beyond that of a basic work order system, but it was very expensive to maintain. We were not utilizing many of that system’s functions. It was a case of the proverbial ‘using a sledgehammer to drive a tack.’
Besides paying for functions that we weren’t using, another drawback of the system was that it was overly complicated. The work order requesters, especially those who only occasionally used the system, found it difficult to use. The work requests often contained errors such as the incorrect piece of equipment being selected. These errors would have to be corrected by maintenance staff when they closed out the work order, which took additional time that could have been better spent on maintenance.
Our previous system required that we dedicate an entire computer server just to operating the work order system. With Dude Solutions Work & AssetTM, we do not have to purchase, maintain and upgrade servers. In fact, the county’s IT staff doesn’t spend any time working on our work order system now. The combined savings of the lower software maintenance fees and not having to dedicate a server amount to an annual savings of nearly $20,000.
The transition from our previous system to Dude Solutions was fairly easy. The county has 60 buildings and the Grounds Maintenance Division has another 60 parks, schools and other sites that they maintain the landscaping on. We were able to export nearly all of the needed information from our previous system. One person entered all of the information and did the entire set-up. Surprisingly, the whole process only took a few weeks. Our initial plan was to incrementally move from the old system to the new one, a few locations at a time. However, the first group of locations transitioned so well to the new system that we shifted all of the remaining locations at once.
The work order requesters have found that Dude Solutions is much easier and quicker to use and even though we operated both systems simultaneously for a period of time, they abandoned entering work orders in the old system almost immediately.
In the first eight months after implementing Dude Solutions, the county has completed over 3,000 work orders. We continue to expand our use of the software’s various functions. We have recently purchased three tablets and computers, and are experimenting with having our technicians obtain and respond to work orders in the field using the tablets.
It has been our goal for the past several years to increase the amount of preventive maintenance we perform. We hope to benefit from longer equipment service lives, reduced reactive maintenance calls and to lessen the impacts of important building services such as heating or air conditioning being offline for unscheduled repairs. We currently have over 400 PM schedules running in Dude Solutions, and we add a few new ones each month.
One of the most recently added PM schedules has nothing to do with equipment: We noticed that the benches in the five court rooms in the county courthouse are veneered and occasionally, sections of the veneer come unglued. If this is addressed immediately, it is simply a matter of regluing the veneer back in place. However, if not caught in time, the piece breaks off and is lost. Then, it is nearly impossible to repair the bench easily, resulting in either unsightly benches with pieces of veneer missing or the expensive replacement of benches. The PM for performing regular inspections of the courthouse furnishings will help us catch this problem and keep the benches looking nice.
Overall, I am very pleased with Dude Solutions. Our requesters and technicians find it straight forward and easy to use. I am able to extract all of the information I need for budgeting and management purposes, using the various reporting functions. The customer service is top-notch. I believe we made a very good decision when we moved to Dude Solutions Work & Asset for our work order system.”