Ozark Technical Community College

Here’s how it happened.

Ozark Technical Community College (OTC) is the youngest community college in Missouri but has already grown to become the 3rd largest. The school encompasses six properties, 30 buildings totaling over 1 million square feet, with an operations team of over 60 custodial, maintenance, and grounds team members.

The team at OTC used their previous work order system for over eight years and had to offset it with excel spreadsheets and email communication. The operations leadership was often so busy managing day-to-day requests that they never took the time to evaluate what alternatives were out there.

“We stay so busy around here that a better work order system hasn’t been anywhere close to the top of our priority list and not that it shouldn’t be, but we’re putting out other fires all day every day,” says Raymond Wade, Facilities and Grounds Director at Ozark Technical Community College.

[Our previous system] was nothing more than a work order system... I would really like a system that could REDUCE the number of work orders.

Challenges

The OTC team was facing many growing pains with their previous system. Users had to hunt around to find what they were looking for. The software required the team to consistently check back in on a computer to receive their work assignments, rather than accessing work orders on the go from a tablet or smartphone.

In addition to everyday slow-downs, the leadership team hoped to do more with their maintenance software than simply receive and resolve incoming maintenance requests. They wanted to gather intelligent insights from the software that could help improve their processes.

Raymond’s team was unable to track incoming data (costs, labor hours, inventory usage) to analyze team performance compared with industry standards and estimate the replacement costs for their assets. Previously, the only data they had access to was stored in excel spreadsheets and wasn’t linked together with their work order system.

“If we install a building, we know we can estimate in the future replacement cost. It’s really just a true replacement cost schedule. It’s not really factoring in the yearly maintenance because that’s being done in our current work order system… But it is nice to see it all on a dashboard,” explains Blayne Radford the Director of Project Management.

Solution

With a new, 12,000 square feet, state-of-the-art facility opening soon, they knew their outdated software was no longer going to cut it. From day one of opening their new facility, the team’s goal was to have a software solution to manage all their equipment items, HVAC schedules, energy usage, and capital forecasting all in one place.

With FMX, the facility and grounds department at OTC created a mobile-first technician team that could keep on the move. They are no longer bound to keep returning to a computer between tasks, but now have access to everything they need right at their fingertips on a tablet or smartphone. Their daily checklist will stay up to date automatically, and work tickets will provide asset history, attachments, user manuals, and conversation threads all within one easy-to-use interface.

As OTC finishes construction on its new facility, the team has a reliable system in place to manage it and all future builds. All of their equipment items and HVAC schedules can now be tracked within FMX. They will keep accurate record-keeping of associated maintenance activity, preventive maintenance schedules, and true replacement costs. These logs can be easily shared with any involved stakeholders or outside parties.

Most importantly to the leadership at OTC, they now have total visibility on the performance metrics they need to lead and grow their facilities and grounds department. In particular, Raymond will be able to see how his team is performing on work order response time and time management, then compare those with industry benchmarks.

“It’s so much more than the product. The product is important, absolutely, but so is the relationship,” shares Radford. The team at OTC has not only expanded their maintenance capabilities but has gained a partnership to support them well into the future.