Frustrated with a CMMS system that was too expensive, inflexible, and impossible to use for needed reports, Goodwin House West turned to MicroMain. Now the maintenance department is saving time and money.
Goodwin House West, a continuing care retirement community in Falls Church, Virginia, had been using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) for eight years. But it never quite worked the way maintenance staff needed it to work.
“When we decided to update our CMMS with barcode capability, we found out that it was going to cost us practically as much to upgrade as to purchase the MicroMain system,” says Jim Colston, Director of Environmental Services with Goodwin House West. “Our old CMMS was not flexible and it didn’t give us a lot of what we needed. It was also virtually impossible to get the reports we required.”
With MicroMain XM, Goodwin House West found the system that did meet its needs. This large facility near Washington, D.C. includes residential living quarters, recreational and educational facilities, dining rooms, a chapel, spacious grounds, assisted living services, and nursing care—all of which place high demand on maintenance.
“We wanted the best product to take us into the 21st century,” Colston says. “With MicroMain XM we’re getting exactly what we want, quicker and much easier compared to our old system. I needed the ability to show administration and our CFO what we are actually doing, including our productivity. Now with reports from MicroMain XM, I can show work accomplished including inspections, which is especially important for health-care facilities.
“The cost for the MicroMain system was a
strong selling point for our administration, too,” he adds. “Like everyone else, we need to do more with less. MicroMain XM is a very good product providing very good value.”
Goodwin House West is using MicroMain XM and xmMOBILE, the add-on module for PDA-based work orders and inspections. Colston says the software makes it easy to schedule housekeeping projects as well as maintenance tasks. Preventive maintenance includes work in the commercial kitchen, the healthcare floors, and the building facility—with equipment such as boilers, chillers and air handlers. In addition to completing corrective work orders for checking the residents’ television system, for example, maintenance staff at the retirement center also respond immediately to emergency needs such as flooding, rest room malfunctions and electrical hazards.
The five maintenance technicians at Goodwin House West recently started using PDAs for work orders and inspections. With xmMOBILE, the technicians pick up their PDA at the start of the day, download work orders, enter their time as they accomplish the work, add any relevant notes, and close the work orders. They then upload the information to MicroMain XM at the end of the day.
“Our maintenance guys love xmMOBILE with the PDAs,” says Mike Davis, Maintenance Supervisor at Goodwin House West. “They were really excited to get started. They’re computer-literate so the PDAs helped them buy into the whole system, which was a real advantage in its success.”
Davis estimates that he saves at least 1 1/2 hours per day with xmMOBILE, since he no longer has to spend time closing out work orders. Having an easy system for tracking time is also improving accuracy and efficiency. In addition to saving time and money, Davis says xmMOBILE is helping increase productivity—no more lost paper work orders means no more dropped calls.
Goodwin House West anticipates using the PDAs with barcoding, too, so that maintenance technicians can scan a part when they use it and have it automatically recorded. Two significant benefits will be tighter inventory control and better timing in ordering parts.
The need for barcoding prompted Colston and Davis to evaluate several vendors when they decided to replace their old CMMS system. MicroMain XM was the easiest to use, they say, and it was set up in a way that already matched their operations. It also provided the functionality they were looking for.
“We especially liked the reporting capabilities and the fact that we could customize reports to suit our needs,” Colston says. “Because MicroMain’s software comes with open source code, we can even get in and build our own reports.”
Goodwin House West personnel were also pleased with the services MicroMain provided, including thorough training and ongoing technical support.
“MicroMain has been responsive to our needs,” Colston says. “We’re very satisfied, and we’d recommend them to anyone looking for a comprehensive, easy-to-use CMMS with great dollar value.”