Published on 14-Jun-2010
Validated on 19 Nov 2012
Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD)
Asset Management, Green/Sustainability, Cloud & Service Management, Service Management
A large Canadian school district improves efficiency and can respond to service requests more quickly when it implements a comprehensive work and asset management system from IBM.
Improve management of service requests and preventive maintenance to help staff maintain a safe environment for teaching and learning
A single work and asset management platform that enables operations to quickly see recurring issues, automate escalation and communication, and maintain comprehensive asset histories for governance requirements
Faster response time for critical maintenance issues; greater customer satisfaction; increased asset reliability for reduced costs
Today, the school district uses IBM Maximo Asset Management software to manage all work for contractors and internal labor. Any district staff member, about 4,500 people, can generate a request in IBM Maximo software by simply sending an e-mail to the organization’s maintenance team. Because requests can vary from a light that’s not working to no heat in a school to an application for new classroom equipment, the maintenance team reviews and triages each request and responds accordingly: contacting the original requestor if more information is needed; forwarding the service request to the school principal or caretaker for approval; or launching a work order based on the service ticket in the system.
Company: Calgary Catholic School District
Focus: IBM Maximo Asset Management
When Calgary Catholic School District needed to improve asset management across its 106 schools it turned to IBM. The district, which is the largest Catholic school district in Alberta, Canada, serves nearly 45,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12. To find out how IBM Maximo Asset Management software is helping the district maintain a safe environment for teaching and learning, we spoke with Al Berting, the district’s manager of operations.
Al, what challenges led to your investment in IBM Maximo Asset Management software?
One of the key functions was the service request side—having a tool that we could have available to all of our schools to put in service requests through the wide area network. That was really the biggest focus was to get a service request system in place.
And then beyond that to take that information that we were getting from the schools and use it to start managing, scheduling our work that needed to be done in these schools to get them to operate and function properly.
Was there a turning point when you knew you needed a new system?
Our district has been growing at about two schools a year for the last say 15 years. We were certainly getting a lot bigger, adding a lot more buildings to our district. And we needed a system in place that would allow us to add more work and do more stuff with the same amount of people.
Tell us how IBM Maximo Asset Management software supports your organization.
If somebody needs something done in a school, if there’s no heat call or they need a white board hung or a toilet is plunged or a light's not working, it’s as simple as them generating an email. They send it to our service address.
That generates the service request in Maximo. We have a service desk that will triage that information, maybe go back to the original requester and ask for more information. They may talk to the caretaker to have them check something to find out what’s going on. If we have to send out a contractor or one of our internal trades we’ll use that service ticket to create a work order.
That work order gets electronically assigned to our major vendors. So basically if it’s a high priority item they’re getting that instantly. And as it kind of works through the process they are then statusing and giving us the feedback of where it is in its life, whether it’s in progress or awaiting materials or complete.
So there’s steps along the way there that are instantly sending out email notifications back to the original requester giving them updates of where their request is in the system.
How does the system help you handle preventive maintenance?
We have about 700 portable classrooms that can be moved and relocated to whichever school needs them at the time. Each one of those portable classrooms has its own furnace and heating system in it. And so we certainly want to make sure that we’re checking those systems on an annual basis to make sure they’re safe. So those are things that we generate and keep track of as equipment records. Anything that’s mandated by law, whether it’s a city bylaw, we’ve got backflow prevention devices in all of our schools that have to be tested annually. Any fire code things, fire alarm systems.
So anything that’s currently mandated by law is in the system and it’s automatically generating those work orders yearly to get that work certified and checked.
How has this preventive maintenance helped you to improve asset reliability?
I’ve been with the board for about 12 years now. When I was first with the board, down at the maintenance shop on a cold winter day we would typically get 30 or 40 service calls on our portables that, they were no heat calls. Our control technicians were constantly just running to see how many of these portables they could get back up and running on a typical day. So when we did put in Maximo, one of the first things we did was we started doing an annual PM on those portables. First of all for safety, but also second of all to get better reliability. And we’ve cut that number of no heat calls to two or three maybe a week when it’s really cold. So we’ve had a huge turnaround in the number of service calls we end up providing on these by doing that PM work on our portables.
How has IBM Maximo software helps you better identify and resolve recurring problems?
If we look at a portable, if we get multiple heating calls to the same portable, we’re starting to see the number of work orders generated for that unit. And it allows us to start to look at it and see if there’s a deeper issue that we have to deal with, whether it’s replacing the furnace or replacing the control systems or doing something like that. So we certainly use it to do some analysis of the number of work orders that are being generated on a specific piece of equipment.
How has the solution helped to improve communication with contractors?
We actually have our major vendors that we have maintenance agreements with that we give them access into Maximo. They see a stripped down version of the work order. And they’re doing the status changes for us and they’re managing the work that they do for the school board on our system. So that we’re getting real time information of the status of those work orders. And they also mark the work orders as complete when the work is done which triggers that automatic notification back to the original requester saying, okay your work is done so by getting that better communication back to the original requester we’re getting better information of the work being done and done properly.
Is there an example where improved communication has led to faster response times?
We had a caretaker that put in a request, had vandalism on the outside of their building. And of course at our schools when we do get vandalism a lot of times it’s not really appropriate that we want our kids to see that. And we want somebody out there to remove it as quick as possible.
One of the examples is one of our key vendors that removes graffiti for us, we send them an email notification. those graffiti work orders, actually to one of the primary guys who’s responsible for it to his cell phone as a short message. We’ve had him where 20 minutes after the request has come in from the schools, he’s showed up at the school to remove the graffiti.
How has the solution helped you to better track and measure key performance indicators?
Anybody who’s actually generating a work order has to put a priority on every single work order before it’s dispatched. And with our major vendors who are connected into Maximo and are statusing those work orders, we’re looking at how do you kind of, what we’ve set that priority, what we expect of it. And then seen are they meeting that for us.
So typically a priority three is like seven day turnaround. We watch the status changes to see that something has actually happened or they’ve marked it in progress or waiting material—that they’re actually starting to work towards those statuses that we have. And so we’re starting to use that more and more to get kind of that picture of how are our vendors performing.
How has IBM Maximo software helped your organization to improve efficiency?
Overall to manage the work that’s being done for all of our schools we’re typically not adding any more bodies.
In conclusion, Al, how would you characterize your experience with IBM Maximo software?
When we did our upgrade it was kind of no question, we were sticking with Maximo. We liked the product. It’s stable. It’s certainly a great product in our opinion. It’s easily tailorable and it’s very versatile to work in with what we’re doing and to be able to kind of change as it needed to change. So there was certainly a lot of things that kept us focused on using the product.
Thank you Al for speaking with us today about your use of IBM Maximo software. This has been another look at IBM Integrated Service Management solutions. For more information, visit ibm.com/tivoli.