Work Order system demystified

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

A common question that the student community often considers is that of work order efficiency. There is a general aura of mystery shrouding the work order system. The Hilltop Monitor has taken it upon itself to clear this aura and once and for all settle exactly what is going on with the work order system. 

Stephany Guest has been the director of facilities for four years. Her responsibilities include ensuring that Jewell’s buildings, grounds, sidewalks, parking lots and roads are properly maintained and that facilities are structurally sound, mechanically operational, electrically efficient, clean and safe. Guest is also responsible for the facilities’ budget and staff –which include custodial staff. Thus Guest is responsible for the hiring, training and supervising of the facilities staff. 

When a student, faculty or staff member submits a work order through School Dude, our web-based work order system, an e-mail is generated that is viewed by Guest. The work order is immediately routed to the appropriate department. Once the work order is assigned to the proper facilities staff, the individual who submitted the work order is notified through email about the assignment. Once the staff member completes the work order, the work order is set as “closed.” An email is then sent to the individual who submitted the work order to notify them of its closed and complete status. 

The School Dude system has a reporting tool that helps facilities to track areas where work orders occur. Guest says that within the past month, “[facilities] have started to keep track of the percentage of work orders that are completed within a certain time frame.” 

Of course, the question on everybody’s mind is: How do work orders get prioritized?

Guest says that emergency work orders, like leaks and door lock issues, are completed within 24 hours. Normal work orders, such as a light going out, are completed in 3-5 days. There are also certain kinds of work orders that are categorized as project work orders. These work orders, which include such things as large paint requests and window repairs, usually take place during holiday breaks or the summer. 

Sometimes when work orders are not completed in a timely fashion, it is because certain parts have to be ordered to fulfill the request. This ordering process can sometimes take 3-4 weeks. 

Guest says that one of her goals as director of facilities is to “increase operational effectiveness and efficiency… student satisfaction is always a priority.”

Guest wants to make sure that students feel satisfied with the quality of maintenance service and the aesthetic and functional conditions of the college campus and facilities. One way that this might be improved is to make sure that facilities follow up on work orders once they are completed. 

The facilities staff works hard to keep Jewell functioning and beautiful. While there is always opportunity to improve – such as the residence halls on campus as budget constraints allow – we should bear in mind the effort that is put in every day by the facilities staff before we complain about a work order. 

Agatha Echenique

Agatha Echenique is the Chief Editor for The Hilltop Monitor. He is a senior majoring in Oxbridge: History of Ideas and Philosophy. This is his third year on staff.

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