School maintenance isn’t just about taking care of buildings and equipment.
Maintenance plays a huge role in the well-being of students, teachers, and administrators. When school districts like St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) use facility maintenance software to manage maintenance tasks, they are protecting the taxpayer’s investment in public education.
“We have a great team that’s committed to safeguarding the mission of SMCPS, which is to provide the best learning environment that we can,” said Sharon Dvorak, SMCPS work order specialist. “Our goal is to always ensure the comfort and safety of all our students and staff, and provide the best possible outcome for our community. MPulse helps us do just that.”
Fixing What Broke
For many years, the SMCPS Department of Maintenance operated in the way it knew best. The phone rang. Someone answered it and took a few notes, and then a maintenance technician went to fix the problem. There was little documentation, no preventive maintenance program, and limited historical data or background information.
SMCPS wasn’t unusual. Many school districts adopted a maintenance strategy of simply fixing what broke to work within budget restrictions. In July 2004, Sharon Dvorak, work order specialist, was tasked with improving the way the Department of Maintenance handled the growing needs of the school system.
Sharon implemented the biggest change just a few months later—the department’s first CMMS software system, MPulse Silver. MPulse Silver gave SMCPS the ability to schedule preventive maintenance tasks and manage work orders as well as the capacity to receive, manage, and update service requests from unlimited requesters.
Sharon started using MPulse’s school maintenance software the same way most new CMMS users do—setting up the database with all the district’s building assets, employees, maintenance tasks, work order types, trades, and departments. In the autumn of 2004, with the basics in place, SMCPS began receiving and processing their first computer-generated work orders with school CMMS.
By 2006, MPulse CMMS maintenance software was widely accepted throughout the organization. Fast forward to August 2016, and Sharon hit a major milestone—surpassing 100,000 opened work orders.
Work Order Management
Like most MPulse administrators, Sharon’s day centers around work order management. MPulse helps the SMCPS maintenance team get the highest priority work done while making sure lower priority work doesn’t slip through the cracks. “We needed to prioritize,” Sharon said. “Over the years our budgets have started to dwindle, so we needed to make sure we were spending our time—and our money—wisely.”
Prior to their MPulse implementation, 100% of the Department of Maintenance’s repairs were unplanned. “Our scheduled maintenance program has taken us from a completely reactive work force to a balanced 48% planned and 52% unplanned,” Sharon said. “It’s taken our organization to a whole new level.”