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New system lets you submit, track building work orders

Staff and faculty now can submit and track building maintenance and construction requests online, through the new myFacilities Web-based system.

Early training sessions for finance officers, facility and building coordinators held during the last few weeks were well attended.

“The new process of submitting work requests and problems via the myFacilities is simply wonderful,” said Carol Robinson, finance/administrative officer with the libraries. “It should save us quite a bit of time, and lots of trees, by going to the paperless environment.”

The Web-based system was created as part of a comprehensive Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) that Facilities Operations has been working on for the last five years. MyFacilities builds on the event CMMS notification system activated last year. The notification system alerts registered participants about construction and maintenance events scheduled for their requested buildings.

Process prolonged

Pam Hilliard, assistant director of Administrative Services, says one of her first assignments upon arriving at Facilities Operations in 2000 was to find a CMMS that would coordinate and streamline many of the tasks previously handled by stand-alone, nonintegrated systems.

Hilliard and Den Bowker, information systems manager, spearheaded an effort that seemed plagued with problems. After much research, a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a CMMS product was advertised. Once a software vendor was chosen and $650,000 in funding was identified, other issues surfaced.

A challenge from a secondary vendor resulted in the need to re-advertise and issue a second RFP. Personnel changes within the software company caused delays, as did efforts to assure that the new program would interface with the older systems on campus.

Ultimately, Facility Focus software from Maximus was purchased.

As a result, myFacilities not only streamlines the submission and tracking of work orders, but it allows users to attach documents and plans to submit with their requests. Routine maintenance, grounds and custodial requests are accepted, as are reservations for vehicles from the Motor Pool and requests for cost estimates of construction work. Building profile information, including maintenance mechanic and custodian contacts, also are available.

FacOps responds to all

Maintenance requests are accepted from any faculty or staff member. Construction (“billable”) requests require approval from a signature authority, but all requests will receive a response.

The myFacilities system will automatically feed these work orders into the larger Facility Focus system. Facility Focus will give facility managers the information they need to identify maintenance and utility issues that require attention and to manage construction projects.

Hilliard stresses that the new system is not intended to eliminate communication. Rather, it replaces work-order requests that were formerly received in a variety of methods with a uniform system, which should actually increase communication regarding work orders.

Employees still are encouraged to pick up the phone whenever necessary, and certainly to use the 335-9000 number for any emergency request, Hilliard said. But overall, Facilities Operations has great expectations for myFacilities — better work-order tracking, increased efficiency and, overall, increased communication about the status of projects.

Visit myFacilities on the Web at https://myFacilities.wsu.edu.

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