Mastering Inventory + Preventative Maintenance
Waco ISD began its partnership with Brightly in 2003 on classic products to create work orders. “We were just printing out work orders and we weren’t really taking advantage of what the system had to offer,” says Alexander Villanueva, Director for Facilities and Maintenance.
When Waco ISD team members attended Brightly’s annual user conference, Illuminate, in 2019, they determined that they needed to level up their classic product with a more robust asset management system and requested a proposal for Asset Essentials, Brightly’s world-class enterprise asset management system.
Waco ISD now has a suite of Brightly products-- Asset Essentials with Maintenance Direct, Brightly’s capital planning solution, and Event Manager.
Waco staff spent time uploading all maintenance and repair data into Asset Essentials and began using the software to assign, manage and track ongoing work orders. Within months of implementation, the software began paying off in big ways for Waco ISD.
Securing Bond Funding
In 2021, when the school district was ready to draft a bond proposal for the funds to build new schools, it was simple to access all the maintenance and repair data to assess the condition of current facilities. This allowed them to have open conversations between Waco ISD’s Superintendent, leadership, and the Waco community regarding the conditions of current facilities. This also allowed the district to prioritize the facilities to be included in the 2021 bond.
“We were able to use our data to speed up the process of getting the bond,” Villanueva says.
Based on data from Asset Essentials, Waco ISD successfully secured a $355 million bond to replace one high school, two middle schools and two elementary schools.
Responding to Disaster
G.W. Carver Middle School, one of the schools scheduled to be replaced, was destroyed by an fire in July 2021, two weeks before the fall semester was set to begin. Community members, City officials and the district worked together to set up portable buildings at the campus of another local middle school so that students could start on time, and district personnel set to work dealing with the insurance company. Again, Asset Essentials was crucial in helping to secure appropriate funding, this time through an insurance claim.
When the district’s insurance company reviewed coverage after the fire, their initial offer for replacement cost was $14 million. However, through Brightly software, Waco ISD had detailed information about all the capital maintenance, updates and repairs that had been made to the building, as well as manual cleanup work that had been handled internally after the fire. Waco’s data showed that $14 million wasn’t enough to cover everything that was lost. “Based on the information we provided from the software, we ended up getting a $22 million settlement,” Villanueva says. “It was the single biggest claim approved in the history of the insurance company.”
The extra $8 million in insurance funding helped to ensure that Carver Middle could be rebuilt as planned. The new school opened in Fall 2023.
Supporting Hiring Decisions
In addition to securing a bond issue and a bigger insurance settlement, Brightly’s capital forecasting solution has continued to help Waco ISD make decisions based on accurate data. For example, Villanueva wanted to start a project management team to handle work orders proactively, and after presenting data from Brightly software that showed how such a team would help extend the lifecycle of school buildings, the CFO approved hiring for six new positions.
That Preventive Maintenance team now includes a team lead and representatives from HVAC, roofing, plumbing and maintenance, and has allowed the district to move from “reactive to proactive work orders,” Villanueva says. “Now we are extending the lifecycle of our facilities and equipment. For example, because we’re proactively replacing belts on our HVAC units, we’re getting fewer calls about HVAC issues.” Proactive work orders have risen from 4% of the total number of work orders to about 20%.
Waco’s facilities and maintenance department also has been able to make the case to boost its budget. When Villanueva joined the district in 2017, the department’s budget was $500,000 per year. By providing data and having conversations about needs, the budget has been driven upward to $3 million per year, he says.
“The data is only as good as you make it,” Villanueva says. “We’ve had a system in place since 2003, but we’ve only been maximizing its benefits for the past eight years. The data has allowed us to make a big difference for our community, and it’s been great to see everyone in our community working together for our schools.”
Based on the information we provided from the software, we ended up getting a $22 million settlement. It was the single biggest claim approved in the history of the insurance company.
Director of Facilities and Maintenance, Waco ISD