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  1. Education

Hernando school district uses new computerized system to organize maintenance work

Published Feb. 22, 2012

BROOKSVILLE — The new system is called School Dude, and it ties together the Hernando County school district's maintenance department with all school sites.

It is a computerized maintenance management system, explained custodial supervisor of maintenance Sean Arnold.

"Say there's a plumbing problem," Arnold said. "Someone at the school puts in a request, then clicks on 'priority status,' then 'location,' then 'building.' It's really narrowing it down for the maintenance staff to go to the issue."

Three staffers at each school are trained for School Dude, and any one of them can put in a maintenance request. The system keeps track of each repair and watches where replacements happen.

Requests are sent to a command center, where they are processed and sent to the correct department to be picked up by a crew chief. The system assigns a work order number.

If the status of a request changes, its originator is notified by email whether the work is in progress, has been declined, requires additional information or has been completed.

"What's really nice about it is we can track our labor," he said.

Computerization helps maintenance track continuous problems at a school, indicating whether equipment replacement might be in order. "Equipment life cycle is extremely important," Arnold said.

He gave the example of a $20,000 piece of equipment. School Dude can indicate the cost of its maintenance and whether it might be better to get a new one before its life expectation is up. It analyzes a piece of equipment's life cycle.

Some of the categories that School Dude tracks include plumbing, electricity, electronics, grounds, painting, irrigation and athletic fields.

"We've had a lot of positive feedback from the schools, and they love the followup emails that they get from the system," Arnold said.

It lowers frustration and saves money. There is less travel and duplication, and more productivity.

"It's a better way to track our labor and our material costs," Arnold said. "As a director in charge of multiple trades and departments, it allows me to go in at any time to see what type of work is being requested at schools. I just love the information it is generating for us, and I think in the future it's going to have a positive effect on the district, not just our department."

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