Software monitors facility maintenance needs

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:43 pm

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works operates about 100 municipal buildings. The workers, the equipment, the work order requests and the regularly scheduled maintenance are managed by Joseph Jacobsen, O&M manager for the Department of Public Works and his team in facilities services.

Eight years ago, Jacobsen purchased ProTeus, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) that helps the department run in an automated and efficient manner.

ProTeus is a software program developed by Mequon-based Eagle Technology Inc.

“ProTeus is a complete asset management maintenance management piece of software,” said Harry Kohal, director of sales and marketing for Eagle Technology. “There is a lot of flexibility inherent in it and it is designed to keep a building or facility in sustainable peak status.”

Every aspect of a building has maintenance requirements, including inspections, replacements and on demand issues.

“We keep track of the planned and unplanned, who should know, what it costs, when it needs to be completed, what parts are needed and where it gets charged to,” Kohal said.

Users manually enter each piece of equipment, including serial number, model number, location, tools required, filter size, belt size and regularly scheduled maintenance dates.

Once up and running, ProTeus reminds workers of regularly scheduled maintenance and all of the details needed to complete the job. By using ProLink, a Web-based work order creation program, employees of the company can electronically enter work order requests that are sent immediately to the facilities management department.

ProTeus gets work orders and regularly scheduled maintenance fulfilled faster, but also offers the electronic version of all work completed, which has helped Jacobsen cut costs and improve worker quality.

“Eighty percent of the expenditures are salary and wages, so the time it takes to do something is really the bottom line,” Jacobsen said.

Although Jacobsen has been using ProTeus for eight years, it takes time

to enter in every piece of equipment and its history into the system. Jacobsen has been able to measure work order fulfillment trends over the past five years, he said.

He uses the data that he can extract from ProTeus to statistically analyze the facilities management department, which performs more than 120 types of services, target problem areas and teach his staff to become more efficient.

Jacobsen has cut work order fulfillment time from 3.8 days in 2004 to 1.49 days in 2006.

“By keeping track, minimally, workers know the level of reasonable usage of overtime,” Jacobsen said.

“Our workers are spread out throughout the city. We cannot possibly keep track of them.”

Fulfilling work orders is so important to the bottom line, that Jascobsen has calculated how much each order costs. The department spent $895,495 for 45,187 hours of maintenance in 2006. That breaks down to $19.82 per hour, $77.16 and 3.89 hours per work order, not including employee benefits.

This information is essential to the Department of Public Works because it makes the work more predictable and budgets easier to estimate, Jacobsen said. Getting everything accounted for will also help in 2008 when the City of Milwaukee rolls out the work order process of ProTeus to all of its trades, including carpenters, painters, electricians, technicians and HVAC workers. With this rollout, Jacobsen predicts ProTeus will help guide 100,000 hours of work annually, more than doubling the 2006 numbers.

“If we can reduce the time (filling work orders), we free up time to help identify other opportunities, like saving energy,” Jacobsen said.

In its 20 years of developing what is now called ProTeus, Eagle has gained more than 3,000 users worldwide and ProTeus is translated into 12 different languages, said Harshad Shah, president of Eagle Technology.

“We work with airports, hospitals, schools, government, manufacturing with Eaton and Rockwell,” Shah said. “Our product has been applied in all types of buildings, all types of industries in almost every part of the world.”

Since ProTeus is a software application, there is not a facility that it would not work for, from the smallest to the largest. The product costs between $5,000 and $52,000 depending on the size of the client. But no matter the size of investment, clients see a return on investment within 12 to 18 months, Kohal said.

“Our system is all about making the customers as cost effective as possible in facility management,” Kohal said.

The Green Bay Packers purchased ProTeus as part of the renovation of Lambeau Field in 2001.

Not only does ProTeus help the Green Bay Packers keep track of all of the work orders and regularly scheduled maintenance, but if a person was to be on vacation or leave the company, the staff would not have to rely on a person’s memory to get the work done, said Ann Hein, an administrative assistant for the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers have three buildings that use ProTeus in addition to Lambeau Field, Hein said. All of the employees within the buildings have access to ProLink, which sends work order requests directly to Hein and the facilities maintenance staff.

ProTeus integrates with back-end software, for example, accounting and payroll and building control systems like those developed by Glendale-based Johnson Controls, Inc.; Honeywell International Inc. in Morristown, N.J. and Trane, a division of American Standard Companies Inc., Piscataway, N.J.

“We feel it is a great help to us as far as keeping things on track,” Hein said. “Everything is done on schedule and nothing slips through the cracks.”


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