Exceptional Work Order Management At Collier County, Florida

Jan. 9, 2003
The Department of Facilities Management at Collier County in southwestern Florida has a motto: to exceed customer expectations. This motto is expressed daily in the way the department attends to their customers’ needs. By tracking operations and maintenance and the overall use of space, the county has logged significant savings while living up to its ambitious motto. Faster Response Times   The county operates a command center that monitors work orders, janitorial services, building maintenance, and more. “Our facilities look fantastic,” says Dan Rodriguez, Facilities Manager at Collier County. “ARCHIBUS/FM is a major contributor to our success because it allows us to measure our work.” In the past, the department relied on an old homegrown system that was so complex, only one member of the team was able to use it. “Skip Camp, our Director of Facilities Management, recognized the importance of accountability and benchmarking in our industry and allocated the resources necessary for procuring and implementing the ARCHIBUS/FM system,” explains Rodriguez. “Today, with the help of the Building Operations Management application and our dedicated, effective, and efficient employees, we close between 95 and 165 work orders per day.” The county’s has seen major productivity increases. “I estimate that our productivity has increased by about 40% since installing ARCHIBUS/FM,” says Rodriguez. “Four years ago, we averaged 2,500 backlogged work orders per year. Once we got up and running with ARCHIBUS/FM, that number dropped to about 350. Most recently, we had only 58-100 open work orders at the end of the year.”  Rodriguez keeps this number low by creating daily activity reports to track the status of open work. “I used to look at open work orders that surpassed the 120 or 60 day mark,” he says. “Now we aim to close requests in less than a week.”Courting Customer Satisfaction   This reduced backlog is due in part to the fact the maintenance staff can use the system to monitor their work, which is prioritized and categorized by trade. They then use this information to make more efficient trips. “We’ve trained our craftspeople to log onto ARCHIBUS/FM themselves to review their scheduled jobs, close out requests, and enter comments,” says Rodriguez. “This lets them better plan their work.” Staff members can also note recurring problems that may warrant a more thorough investigation of a building’s systems. Rodriguez estimates that Collier County maintains its impressive work order reputation with approximately one craftsperson for every 91,000 square feet of space. “Compared to the national average of around 26,000 square feet per craftsperson, our staff is well-trained, motivated, conscientious, and clearly accomplishing a lot more work in the same amount of time as our peers around the country,” he says. The county’s customers are also happy with the response times that the sleeker process yields. “Funding is closely tied to customer satisfaction,” says Rodriguez. “When we ask for additional funding, we are likely to get it due to our ability to provide benchmarking information, as well as demonstrating our ability to manage our resources well.” Using a part of the ARCHIBUS/FM system, the department has incorporated a feedback system, which indicates whether customers are satisfied and where services can be improved. A parts management system will integrate data from the Finance department’s SAP system with ARCHIBUS/FM data, linking work order numbers with parts and labor costs. Maintaining Space FiguresRodriguez and his team also use ARCHIBUS/FM to track space usage around the county. Although it took a while to prepare the county’s CAD drawings for ARCHIBUS/FM, it was a worthwhile effort, according to Rodriguez. “It’s really paid off,” he says. “In the past, we often had to contact an architectural firm for our original floor plans, then our CAD operator would have to create the drawing, which for some buildings could take as long as two weeks. On top of that was the cost of creating the blueprints. Now our costs are minimal—we only pay for the paper and ink it takes to print our reports from ARCHIBUS/FM. All the changes that occur due to renovations or moves are reflected in the system, which allows us to perform with maximum efficiency.” This ability to easily track space usage and conditions also benefits other departments within the county. “Customers who are planning their own moves or renovations just call for information and we can easily supply it to them,” says Rodriguez. He adds that the Finance department is happy because they can allocate costs, whether for insurance or utilities, using ARCHIBUS/FM reports rather than having to calculate these costs themselves. And since agencies within the county are charged for their space usage according to the information residing in ARCHIBUS/FM, they are quick to provide updates to the Facilities Management department. Benchmarking Pays Off Through benchmarking, the county has proven its ability to effectively manage its physical assets. “ARCHIBUS/FM is used to justify our budget, our work force, and our operating costs, since we can track our costs per square foot,” says Rodriguez. For example, the county was able to save money on a janitorial contract by reevaluating actual cleaning needs. “We identified common areas—such as storage and utility rooms—that are not regularly cleaned as part of a janitorial contract, which reduced the square footage of space that needs to be cleaned,” says Rodriguez. “This saved us thousands of dollars. Our janitorial costs are now among the lowest per square foot in the nation.” The system also makes it easier for contractors to make bids for the county, since they know upfront the exact size of the job they will be hired to perform. Facilities departments from around the state have visited Collier County, which is now recognized as a good example of a working system. “We have employees who are involved in a continuous education process; they are always improving and highly motivated,” says Rodriguez. “ARCHIBUS/FM is a tool that has helped us live our motto of consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations.”

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