Buncombe County Schools Success Story

Here’s how it happened.

As the largest school district in Western North Carolina with 25,000 students and over 4,000 employees, Buncombe County Schools used an antiquated facilities management software to oversee their 46 facilities, 5 million square feet of building space, and 700 acres of property. After being promised a certain level of functionality that their software provider couldn’t deliver, BCS was concerned about finding a replacement vendor they could trust. Although guaranteed it could, they found the software they were using would not identify KPIs or create the reports needed to identify labor costs. It also failed as a suitable inventory management/tagging system.

“We have a lot of trust in FMX at this point. We’ve dealt with many different people throughout this process, and every single one of them has been trustworthy. They know their stuff.”

Challenges

Like most school districts many years ago, Buncombe County Schools modernized their facility maintenance management tools to a digital solution. They chose the School Dude platform, but almost out of the gate they found it limiting and lacking basic reporting functionality.

Persevering through empty promises of updates and lagging customer service, BCS realized that the software was never going to be more than it was. It was simply unable to provide the necessary KPIs, labor costs, and utilization reports of technician time essential to optimizing maintenance productivity and workflows. They lost faith in facility management software solutions and felt they delivered more lip service than usable features.

Solution

Knowing they needed a change, Buncombe County Schools decided to switch to a more robust, easy-to-use facility management system. After much hesitation and discussion, they decided to put their trust in FMX.

Greg Hensley, BCS Associate Director of Maintenance said, “At first, our Maintenance Director was skeptical of the promises that FMX made. But over time, as his relationship grew with FMX, he was bowled over by FMX’s outstanding customer service and performance honesty. He discovered a company that didn’t guarantee functionality only to make a sale. FMX had a dedication to providing the truth and creating true partnerships.”

“He became FMX’s biggest cheerleader.” said Maintenance Technology Director, Marcus Edwards.

Greg Hensley added, “We don’t know how you guys afford the customer service base that you have…it is phenomenal!”

BCS found FMX to be hands-on and engaged before, during, and after implementation. FMX was able to configure reporting the way BCS wanted and delivered the missing reports that School Dude had promised were coming for years.

FMX also shared ways other districts were using their software. This helped streamline BCS’s processes and taught them how to do things more efficiently. They found that FMX communicated upcoming product enhancements and quickly implemented new ideas, even ones BCS had proposed during their implementation.

Buncombe County Schools can’t say enough about FMX’s customer service. Usually, any question is answered within minutes from a qualified, knowledgeable representative. They don’t view FMX as a vendor but as a partner.

“Andrea is awesome. Anytime I send her an email, within five minutes she’s responded back to me. Even if she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll say, ‘I don’t know the answer but I’ll get back to you.”

– Rachel Bryant, Maintenance Services Coordinator

Results and Benefits

Buncombe County Schools is pleased with their FMX results, and their QR code inventory tagging system is 90% implemented. Every item in their warehouse can now be scanned with a mobile device so technicians can add parts to maintenance requests themselves. Plans are also in motion to put QR codes on all equipment county wide so they can be scanned to access maintenance history and help diagnose and troubleshoot issues faster.

They are gearing up to use FMX’s Interactive Mapping system, so the location of every asset is known. Currently, only 300 authorized users can request maintenance out of 4,000+ employees.

BCS wants to expand its FMX user base to every employee. They plan to implement FMX’s scheduling module to easily schedule out rooms and loan vehicles and tools. Additionally, reporting has never been better. Any data they wish to retrieve is quickly available at their fingertips.

“We’ve been spoiled by FMX. You have set the bar really high. We trust FMX to give us the right information.”

– Marcus Edwards, Maintenance Technology Director