Great Valley School District had recently purchased Brightly Event Manager™ for facility scheduling, but had not implemented it yet when Rich Krumrine, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds, started at the district. Facility scheduling was previously a cumbersome and confusing paper process with no coordination district-wide. Notifications between schools and departments of cancellations or room changes were slow and invoicing community groups to recoup costs was done on a very limited basis.
Rich had used Brightly software previously at another district. “With my prior knowledge of Brightly, it was very easy to get everyone to buy into the Event Manager implementation,” said Rich. He also recognized the need for additional solutions to streamline energy usage and maintenance management to improve the district’s overall security and safety. He purchased our energy solution to track utility usage and work and asset management solution to automate the work order process in order to best meet his district’s needs, save his staff time and cut costs.
Facility scheduling is now streamlined across the district with Brightly Event Manager. Each request goes through minimal people to approve and add to the calendar system. Daytime and after-hour events are then automatically routed to the custodial staff to set up the space. Great Valley also uses Brightly Facility Automation to integrate the district’s HVAC system and Brightly Event Manager to automatically heat and cool spaces when they are in use. The custodial staff no longer has to spend time manually turning on and off the HVAC system for each facility space.
Rich also successfully rolled out an invoicing process for the community, and has turned his facilities area into a revenue generator for the district. He fully utilizes the calendar system that allows streamlined community event scheduling for the public. Community members now simply fill out an online form after viewing a shared calendar for available space. The new process eliminates data entry and is an easy-to-use interface for the community. “We have over 250 event coordinators in the community, and have had to follow up with less than 1% to help them submit forms,” said Rich. He also structured competitive but aggressive pricing to ensure the department recouped its cost and generated additional revenue for community use of school space. He created fee tiers depending on the type of group and marketed to various groups such as summer camps, encouraging them to rent school space for their activities.
The community’s reaction has been positive and Rich has seen an increase in facility usage. “Over four years, our revenue went from $49,000 per year to now over $150,000 annually. It feels good to contribute to the funds for the district,” said Rich. The maintenance and facilities department are now seeing a large portion of the revenue generated going back to their department into a preventive maintenance and capital planning fund for things like roof and boiler replacements.
Energy usage had increasingly become a bigger deal for Great Valley due to budget constraints and the national attention on green initiatives. Rich purchased Brightly Energy Manager to stay ahead of the curve and identify where the district was spending the most on utilities. The district tracks electricity, natural gas, heating, oil and water and initially entered several years of utility bills to see year-over-year comparisons right away. This allows Rich and his team to compare buildings, identify the best and worst performers, and make adjustments to decrease energy usage. For example, they saw one expensive energy component was overnight parking lot lights, so they tried turning the parking lot lights off after 11 PM. They were concerned with a potential increase in vandalism incidents, but studies indicated lack of light reduces vandalism because it requires vandals to bring their own light. Vandalism didn’t increase, and they saved a lot of money on electricity.
Additionally, the district implemented a behavior-based conservation program. Rich created an incentive program for each school which gave 25% of money saved through conservation efforts to each principal, and his team taught teachers and students ways to cut energy. “This program coupled with our energy solution has reduced electricity use by 26% in the district. The integration with Brightly Energy Management and Portfolio Manager from ENERGY STAR® eliminates duplicate data entry for me. I pay close attention to our ENERGY STAR ratings — our score has increased every year in every building,” said Rich.
Though Great Valley’s maintenance department is small, it has successfully implemented multiple Brightly applications to streamline facility scheduling, energy tracking and maintenance. The department has brought significant cost savings and revenue to the district.
I show our board monthly reports, and they have been very impressed with how much we’ve saved.
“I am Brightly's biggest fan. It provides me with a fantastic product and service for an affordable price. Using Brightly for all my needs is a no-brainer.”