Solving the Challenge of Scarce Technical Resources to Keep Facilities Running Smoothly

By SCN Staff

Facility maintenance leaders are constantly struggling to prioritize corrective maintenance demands with shrinking budgets that cause maintenance to be deferred. This leads to work backlogs that decrease equipment performance, increase energy use, and make costs rise.  Staffing is also getting harder and harder in today’s economy, especially staffing for campus maintenance. Not only do you need skilled trade technicians, but you also need those who can pass the background and drug screening tests. This challenge, coupled with an aging workforce and worker turnover, can make staffing a real headache.

CGL, a facility maintenance service provider, was struggling to capture the institutional knowledge that only a handful of senior technicians possessed. It’s no longer cost-effective to spend a year of new hire mentoring or on the job training. CGL needed a tool to bring its institutional knowledge into the hands of maintenance staff. They found that tool with MobileMind (powered by QModo AI).

CGL’s MobileMind provides an in-depth knowledge base to keep maintenance programs running smoothly while ensuring staff safety is upheld. MobileMind gives technicians a tool right in their hand that tells them how to solve a problem. Within seconds, a technician can access operational guides and troubleshooting tips related to a specific asset right from a smartphone. Tips can be added during the repair work along with instructional videos. MobileMind can help in diverse areas, from verifying warranty and design formation to training new hires. In short, content that is of the highest priority is right at your fingertips.

MobileMind allows new hires to tap into the knowledge of veteran technicians while increasing the scope of its functionality as it is used. “MobileMind has features and functionality that we honestly didn’t contemplate until we went through implementation,” according to Greg Westbrook, President of CGL Facility Management. “As we engaged with the tool, our technicians realized it could help us in other areas such as monitoring safety protocols and automating standard operating procedures. As a company, we are beginning to more fully understand MobileMind’s true impact and the value we can realize through full adoption of the tool across our organization.”

Consider these two real-world examples:

  1. A student calls to report that the heat is not working in the first floor of the Brown Hall dorm (see above image). The tech asks MobileMind to display information about known HVAC issues at that location. Using AI and existing knowledge from his senior team, he’s able to get accurate results to troubleshoot issues without the need to dig through pages of manuals or binders or call for additional information. He discovers that the boiler is displaying error code #212, but what is error code #212 for this boiler and what does it mean? Within seconds, MobileMind provides him with the information and action steps to resolve the error.
  2. Building 104 is having HVAC issues on the second floor. A technician asks MobileMind to show the mechanical systems. With all of the building’s mechanical assets in the app, the technician has access to everything from data-rich BIM files to PDF documents with schematics. Additionally, he can drill into specific layers of a building map that gives him a precise view of asset locations along with direct links to related assets. With this centralized approach, the technician can now fix the issue with confidence and speed.

To date, CGL has implemented MobileMind in over 330 buildings and cataloged over 8,000 assets. With over 250 technicians utilizing the app in the field, they now log better response times when tackling both regular maintenance and critical issues. When they arrive on site, they know what they need to do, whether it’s an emergency in the middle of the night or a standard troubleshooting activity. As a result, CGL can reallocate resources in a more beneficial way to their clients. As a bonus, CGL’s technicians can now cover a broader area of work and execute repairs in many different facilities without requiring building-specific training.

QModo AI has been a key partner in streamlining CGL’s MobileMind implementation. From the beginning, key stakeholders were brought together to understand clearly how the system needed to be set up. Most importantly, QModo explained the value of their solution in detail and outlined what CGL would be able to achieve. The QModo team visited each site and engaged with the technicians, helping them to understand the application. “I’ve got some technicians that aren’t very tech savvy,” Westbrook explains. “QModo really got in there and helped show how user friendly the application is, how easily you can navigate within the app, and realize significant value from our investment in the solution.”