Concordia is a growing university on two campuses with sprawling buildings and grounds. The university’s main campus, located in Mequon, Wis., on the shores of Lake Michigan, and includes underground tunnels connecting all buildings. The satellite campus in Ann Arbor, Mich., covers 200 acres and includes an 80,000-square-foot nursing facility. With such a large footprint, Concordia’s facilities staff needed a way to keep track of maintenance tasks and requests for all buildings and grounds.
Concordia University has been using Brightly products since 2004. The university started with MaintenanceDirect, a cloud-based corrective work order management solution, and eventually transitioned to Asset Essentials, Brightly’s enterprise asset management software and system. Since 2005, Facilities Director Steve Hibbard has attended the user conference now known as Illuminate, where he learned about new products and upcoming plans, so he was eager to transition to Asset Essentials when it became available.
The Brightly team helped Hibbard determine when the best time was to transition to the new software. Since implementation, Brightly representatives have worked continually with the Concordia team to answer questions, develop solutions to specific problems, and provide guidance for how to use the system to meet their needs.
“When I first saw Asset Essentials, I thought it was much more robust than Maintenance Direct,” says Jon Zickerman, Environmental Health and Safety Manager and GIS Technician. “It simplifies connections between various databases and allows you to link maps across the system, and the customer service and support is very strong.”
When I first saw Asset Essentials, I thought it was much more robust than Maintenance Direct. It simplifies connections between various databases and allows you to link maps across the system, and the customer service and support is very strong.
Environmental Health & Safety Manager and GIS Technician, Concordia University
Concordia University has experienced success with Asset Essentials to help manage its entire facilities maintenance program. Facilities leaders say they especially appreciate the following:
Work order management.
Concordia uses Asset Essentials to manage daily preventive and reactive maintenance work orders quickly and easily. Through the system, all work requests are assigned to individual workers and teams and updated based on hours worked and completion.
In addition to managing work orders from the facilities side, the software also simplifies the process of requesting work. “Asset Essentials really makes it easy for faculty members, staff and students to submit work orders when they see a facilities problem that needs to be fixed,” Hibbard says.
The team also uses Asset Essentials to track and manage parts. With more than 2,400 parts in inventory, the software makes it easy to report inventory costs and amounts for the facilities department’s annual audit. Through the work order process, staffers automatically update parts inventory; for example, when new stock arrives, a staffer enters the stock into the system. When the part is used, that information is also updated in the system. And when a part is purchased for a specific work order, that work order is updated. “It’s a real time saver,” Zickerman says.
Asset Essentials really makes it easy for faculty members, staff and students to submit work orders when they see a facilities problem that needs to be fixed.
Facilities Director, Concordia University
Improved visibility for budgeting and planning.
All the data that is readily available and visible in the system makes budgeting and planning easier. For example, Zickerman uses the work order and inspection data to track the costs of projects such as snow removal, annual dorm maintenance and asset maintenance. He then provides that data to other departments to aid in annual planning.
Concordia maximizes the capabilities of Asset Essentials by not just tracking built assets, but also mapping and tracking every asset the facilities team manages, including more than 2,000 trees, park benches and safety equipment. For example, by connecting Asset Essentials with a mapping tool, staffers are able to instantly get details on any tree on campus, including a photo and a work order history. “We won’t all be here someday, but this will allow for an easy transition,” Zickerman says.
Finally, Asset Essentials makes it easy for facilities leaders to locate and assemble relevant information to report to management. For example, Zickerman tracks employee injuries through the software’s incident section and can easily share the data with management. Asset Essentials’ survey tool also makes it easy to survey customers across campus to measure the performance of the facilities team and report the findings, Hibbard says.
Ongoing improvement and excellent service.
Zickerman appreciates that Brightly’s product is “consistently improved, both in look and function.” In addition, when they have a question, “we get pretty instantaneous service,” he says. “The customer service people make it feel like we’re the only client Brightly has.”