CMMS: Systems Go

April 5, 2005
Three criteria for decision-making
How many square feet do you manage?

Regardless of size, companies must gain insight, control, and coordination with their field service personnel and vendors who do the maintenance, installation, and repair. Many are turning to a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to solve these issues.

Corrigo asked three property management customers to share one criterion used when they look for a solution.Robust Management ReportingLiberty Property Trust’s management team looked for a smart investment in CMMS technology to manage 60-plus million square feet of space and keep 2,100 customers happy.“Management reporting capability was a critical consideration,” explains Laurie Brown, senior vice president and director of property management at Liberty. “For example, we were seeking data that would give us the ability to make better equipment decisions in order to lower operating costs for our customers.”Today, Liberty’s property managers access reports daily to track open serv-ice requests, completion times, and outstanding requests. To ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction, they use their CMMS to send tenants a customer satisfaction survey via e-mail. Or, if a customer prefers, a phone call, which is also tracked in the system.“Since customer satisfaction is so crucial to our company,” says Brown, “we can view up-to-the-minute [in terms of] how we’re doing. It’s immediate ... and it’s so easy to do.”Analyze Existing Processes ThoroughlyOpus Corp. spans the nation with its five regional operating centers. “One of our goals in implementing a CMMS was to ensure consistency nationwide for our tenants,” stated Mike Dwyer, senior vice president, Opus Northwest Management.This required mapping different, regional processes to streamline and standardize them. Key to this, according to Rajat Relan, senior systems analyst, “is the CMMS vendor; they must have a thorough understanding of property management so they know and can quickly adapt to marketplace changes.”As the company’s director of national operations, Tom Fidazzo points to specific components within this process as important: the ability to easily access current and historical work order history; and to organize, track, and seek reimbursement on billable services, regardless of geographic location, upon completion. “When you’re managing multiple properties throughout the country,” says Fidazzo, “having a CMMS is really a necessity.”Identify Current/Future Functionality“Meeting our internal customers’ needs today for basic and preventive maintenance by electronically generating work orders was the core functionality we required,” explains Paul Quinn, CIO at Duke Realty Corp.“We equipped our 300 field technicians with hand-held wireless devices,” says Jeff Caplinger, regional maintenance manager. This enables Duke’s managers to actively monitor tenant issues in real-time, rather than after the fact. Caplinger adds, “It also allows our technicians to use a time card feature that interfaces with our payroll system, making us more efficient and effective on both levels.”Beyond today’s functionality, Quinn points to future uses. “For me,” he notes, “the ability to build additional tenant serv-ices on our CMMS platform will enable users to log in once sharing a secure ID. This is important as we look to offer tenants access to other integrated services.”Rick Michaux is president at Wilsonville, OR-headquartered Corrigo Inc. (

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