By Jillian Ruffino
Published in the November 2007 issue of Today’s Facility Manager
What is your position? How many years have you been in this profession?
I am the director of operations at Point Park University, located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, PA. I have been in this profession for eight years.
Please give a brief description of the facility involved in this project.
Point Park is a small, private liberal arts university. This institution places an emphasis on career based education and provides students with excellent opportunities for real world experience.
Please describe this project.
Point Park University has grown a great deal in the past 10 years. The university now has more students than ever (over 3,600) and is also expanding in terms of campus size. Point Park has grown to 15 buildings, which house everything from classrooms and academic departments to labs and residence halls, dance and television studios to a children’s school and administrative offices.
With these changes have come challenges, including managing job flow in the physical plant department. The old system was entirely paper based, which negatively affected time and efficiency. We were looking for a new system that would improve the physical plant’s performance.
What was the vendor selection process like?
We reviewed a number of products and liked what Corrigo’s Web based, wireless work order management software offered (particularly the system’s expandability). Corrigo provided us with options that our other candidates did not, including bar coding and a real time GPS system that pinpoints exactly where work is being done. I now say that the only way someone will miss an assignment is if he loses his phone.
What other benefits have you reaped as a result of this project?
The Corrigo system has increased response time, productivity, and accountability. It has simplified our management procedures, because everyone on campus (including resident students, faculty, and staff) who may need to submit work requests can do it through any computer on campus. Everyone on campus has access to this resource, particularly because we have placed Corrigo flash tutorials on the university’s Web site.
The new Corrigo system has also resulted in increased productivity—90% of all worker time is accounted for. We can be more diligent in locating staff members and figuring out what they are doing. Dispatching workers and staying on top of the administration’s needs is easier. I can also access reports on work that has been done over a period of time or in a certain building.
What economic benefits have you reaped as a result of this project?
It has increased productivity and decreased unnecessary overtime.
How has it affected maintenance practices?
It has increased maintenance; because of the system, everyone on campus has become a set of eyes for us.
Did you encounter any unexpected highlights or challenges while implementing this project?
This fall, I heard from a father who wanted to know why his daughter’s room lacked water. She claimed that she needed to stay with her boyfriend because the school had not fixed the problem. Since her story sounded suspicious, I asked this father for his daughter’s room number. I was immediately able to check the status of any repairs requested by the student.
There were no requests to repair plumbing in her room. I told the father, who said he would take it from there. Our new Corrigo system is so efficient, it blew the student’s cover.
How has the community responded to this project?
The feedback from the campus community has been positive. Students especially like Corrigo because they can place their own work orders and see them completed quickly. This is because we can dispatch people more efficiently and have multiple jobs in the same area completed at the same time.
For example, instead of sending an electrician to the seventh floor in the residence halls then to an academic department on the fifth floor of another building and then back to seven, he is now provided with a list of assigned jobs in one area. This is more efficient for both the university and the electrician.
What was the most professionally rewarding aspect of this project?
The bottom line is that with Corrigo, we are getting things done quickly, which means we are better serving the university. Our response time and service have increased, which contributes to our overall efficiency.