BUILDING MAINTENANCE/County manages facilities with help of software
Comprising 6,000 square miles and 15 incorporated cities, Fresno County is in the heart of California’s agricultural region. The county government has 400 facilities, all of which are maintained by the Building Maintenance Division of the General Services Department.
Each year, the Building Maintenance Division receives 1,300 work orders for major projects, and it generates 20,000 chits for minor maintenance. The division is using asset management software to assist it in handling the workload efficiently and cost-effectively. With Mainsaver software, developed by San Diego-based Cayenta, the county is processing work orders, tracking labor resources and project costs, generating real-time status reports and updating maintenance histories for each of its facilities.
To request major maintenance (e.g., painting, carpet installation), county departments submit service request forms to the Building Maintenance Division. Staffers in the division’s business office enter each request into the asset management system, which assigns a number to the request and designates it as “new.” They then obtain a cost estimate for the job and forward that to the department that has requested the maintenance. If the department does not approve the estimated cost, the request is closed in the system.
However, if the estimate is approved, the system generates a work order and distributes it to the appropriate shop supervisor. The supervisor can retrieve any order by work group, craft or date, and he can use that information to schedule labor and order materials in advance. (The county uses a purchasing module to order and track supplies, and to analyze vendor, supply and cost histories.)
The supervisor updates the status of the work order weekly until the job is complete. At that point, he sends the completed order to the business office for billing and close-out.
In addition to automating processing for major work orders, the asset management system has helped the maintenance division streamline response to requests for minor-but-urgent work. The operator at the service desk takes a call, enters the job information as it comes in and generates a work order prior to dispatching the crew. Following dispatch, the operator can edit the work order and send it automatically to the printer nearest the appropriate supervisor.
For each job, workers record start and completion dates, hours worked and action taken. That information is turned over to supervisors each day and forwarded to the business office for input and close-out.
The system is saving maintenance employees time on day-to-day tasks and on reporting, says Sandy Keslek, janitorial services manager for Fresno County. “[It] saves our employees time when filling out information, verifying a request or looking up a specific work order,” he notes. “It allows us to provide departments with costs and work order descriptions on a monthly basis. [And], when we need to provide the state with an audit on a building, we look up that work order, print it out and give it to them instead of digging through boxes of paper.”