Carroll Lutheran Village Case Study

Carroll Lutheran Village has used MicroMain’s software for 10 years to keep pace with maintenance needs for its retirement community. Doubling facilities is on the horizon, and managers say there’s no doubt MicroMain can meet the challenge.

Over a decade ago Carroll Lutheran Village, a retirement community nestled on 90 scenic acres in the countryside of Carroll County, Maryland, was using the “paperclip system” for logging maintenance work orders.

“We had a spiral tablet where we would log work orders daily,” says Donna Stephan, Administrative Assistant with Carroll Lutheran Village. “When something on the page did not get completed, we’d mark it with a paper clip. It was a nightmare because we ended up with piles of books full of paperclips.”

In 1992, when Roy Chiavacci came on board as Vice-President of Environmental and Administrative Services, he took one look at the paper-clipped books “piled as high as a desk” and started evaluating computerized maintenance management systems. MicroMain’s software was selected, quickly implemented, and has kept pace with maintenance needs as the retirement village expanded over the past 10 years.

With MicroMain’s system and mobile used with handheld computers, six maintenance technicians currently take care of all the maintenance for Carroll Lutheran Village’s 48 cottages, 208 apartments, 50 assisted-living units, 103-bed health care center, woodworking shop, chapel, three-bay garage, multiple vehicles, administrative offices, community center and extensive grounds. To keep up with demand, the retirement village is anticipating growing from 500 to 900 residents and increasing facilities and grounds to cover twice the square footage used today.

“Based on our success with MicroMain over the past ten years, I have no doubt the software will keep pace with our needs as we virtually double our size,” Chiavacci says.

“With this software, we’ve simplified our maintenance process and seen major benefits in increased productivity and accountability,” he adds. “Thanks to MicroMain, we’ve moved from pencil and paper to a system where the technicians don’t have to physically handle any paper, and we can better close routine work orders at the end of the day. MicroMain is helping us get more work done while minimizing adding staff.”

Stephan says MicroMain has saved them significant time, from data entry to maintenance oversight to actual work hours spent by the maintenance staff. The Mobile module used with handheld computers, she says, have especially increased efficiency.

“On a typical day, the maintenance technicians come in, grab their handheld computers, download their assigned work orders, and take off,” she says. “We no longer have to take time going over what needs to be done. We’ve been using Mobile for about three years, and it’s been great to handle work orders this way.”

In addition to the six maintenance technicians, five executives and managers at Carroll Lutheran Village use MicroMain’s computerized maintenance management system. Their needs include generating monthly reports for the board of directors, accessing cost information for bringing units to a like-new state, evaluating time taken to complete work orders, and many other managerial tasks.

Chiavacci says having MicroMain’s software generate forms for regular fire safety and health inspections is particularly beneficial. With the forms detailing inspection points that need to be checked off, staff can easily complete inspections as required and as a service to their independent-living cottages and apartments.

Using MicroMain to get ahead on preventative maintenance has also been a huge plus, says Jeff Wardenfelt, Director of Facilities Management.

“Typically preventative maintenance goes on the back burner, but with MicroMain Maintenance and Mobile, we shoot out these preventative maintenance orders to be sure work is scheduled and taken care of,” he says. “Preventative maintenance is clearly worth money. If you take care of the equipment, you can save on new capital outlays.”

As Carroll Lutheran Village’s facilities grow, its managers are considering using additional MicroMain products such as MicroMain FM for computer-aided facility management, as well as modules including bar code-enabled inventory control.

“We are very happy with MicroMain,” Stephan says. “If we ever have a question, the company responds right away. And now, having moved from the paper-clip system to MicroMain, I cannot imagine working without it.”