Here’s how it happened.
Suffolk Public Schools serves almost 14,000 students in grades K-12 across 21 buildings in Suffolk, Virginia. With various needs spanning their maintenance, custodial, and administration departments, they needed a highly configurable solution to fit every department’s unique requirements
Before discovering FMX, Suffolk Public Schools used Brightly, formerly known as SchoolDude, to manage their operations. However, as Suffolk Public Schools grew, they ran into various limitations using Brightly’s platform. Data collection was a tedious process with too much paperwork, and employees often found it difficult to easily share relevant information when completing projects. Additionally, there were aspects of the system they could not take advantage of due to the time needed to input data. Overall, Brightly left them feeling confined and having to create workarounds to get the job done.
FMX: The Solution
After discovering FMX at an event, Suffolk Public Schools was excited about the prospect of a system that could be configured to fit their ever-changing needs.
Vernon Jackson, Suffolk Public School’s Coordinator of Facilities and Planning, says, “FMX offered us a variety of things tailored to what we do. FMX would see us from beginning to end. We’re not left alone, it’s a process, and FMX makes sure that we get from A to B.”
Suffolk Public Schools and FMX worked to create a system that met the district’s needs. FMX’s ease of use enabled them to assign all necessary employees to a project, streamline and improve communication, and collect data on cost and time spent on projects. Vernon shares that this “made us more efficient and gave us accountability.”
They embraced the change with open arms, scheduling an onsite one-day training session with FMX to train employees in maintenance, custodial, and administrative roles on how to use the software. Vernon encouraged his team to use FMX as a resource.
He notes, “FMX was great working with me. I told my peers using FMX that this is a work in progress. If we decide we’re going to do something this way and you figure out that it’s not working, that doesn’t mean we’re stuck. Let’s go back to the drawing board and make it sufficient.”
Results & Benefits
With FMX’s implementation process and support team, Suffolk Public Schools was able to begin using FMX right away and see immediate effects.
One of the hurdles they faced while using Brightly was data implementation, which led to them forging a scheduling system and using paper to record requests. Vernon noted that FMX input all of the data into the system, making it easy for Suffolk Public Schools to utilize every module from the start.
“FMX came along and said, ‘Hey, that’s what we’re here for.’ You could see my purchasing department light up because all they have to do is provide the information.” Suffolk Public Schools now uses the FMX Scheduling, Rental & Reservation Feature to let community members request reservations.
Using FMX on the go has been essential to their field technicians, who can now use tablets or phones to log time spent on tasks, check their calendars, and see real-time to-do lists.
Suffolk Public Schools also has a better view of their inventory. With FMX, they have a holistic view of their inventory across the district. “We just got tablets for the warehouse. One of the things we were excited about was not only to see our inventory in the warehouse but in the individual schools.” They’re in the process of setting up QR codes for their inventory, so it acts as a live account of their real-time inventory.
In the future, Vernon hopes to continue implementing new technology, such as BAS integrations with Scheduling, into their FMX system. “I think we will slowly move into that. We’re going to master what we have now and then [figure out] the next step that will help us be more efficient with FMX.”
“One of the highlights was being able to configure to what our needs are right now and not be confined,” Vernon shared. FMX is excited to continue to enable Suffolk Public Schools to scale, grow, and equip them with constant innovation and solutions to make their operations more efficient.