New Work Zones for Maintenance Staff saves time and money

More than 1,400 hours of work time (approximately $50K annually) have been saved through a new efficiency project designed to drastically reduce the amount of time our maintenance staff spends traveling from school to school.

Dublin City Schools maintenance staff members travel all over the District tending to the various needs of our schools, facilities, and other buildings. Typically, maintenance staff have always started and ended their work day at the Shier Rings Operations Center before and after venturing out to our schools.

Dublin City Schools works to improve each day and increased efficiency is at the top of our priority list.

Earlier this school year, GPS units were installed on maintenance vehicles to begin tracking the amount of time spent in their trucks and at each building. Operations was looking for a solution to decrease the amount of time in a truck and increase the amount of time spent at the schools.  During this time, the District’s Operations Department received an intern, from the OSU Baker Systems Engineering Department. The District provided the intern with the opportunity to assist our question for solutions regarding the time our maintenance staff was spending in transit. They discovered that roughly 12% of the maintenance staff’s work day was spent going back and forth across the district.   

“The Operations Department used six months of GPS data and compared it with building work orders in order to develop a more productive process to service the District’s buildings,” said Chief Operating Officer Jeff Stark. 

The project team came up with the idea of creating maintenance zones for the maintenance team. These flexible zones would allow and assign staff members to a specific zone of the District in order to decrease their driving time and improve process efficiency overall. Four zones were created, with one building designated as the location that maintenance staff members would begin their day.

Interviews were conducted with maintenance staff members to get their input and ideas. The idea of specific maintenance zones were also presented to building principals for their feedback.

In January, maintenance staff members were assigned to a zone to service the buildings in that designated area. All zones are subject to change over time as needs and requirements may shift.

“Each zone was developed based upon their location adjacency and historic work order allotment to ensure that all zones were equitable,” Stark said. “A few key members of the maintenance staff were designated as “floaters” and will not be assigned to a specific area, but instead will focus on specific categories that require District-wide attention including HVAC, electric, etc.”  

There have been many advantages to creating these zones for the maintenance staff. These include spending less time in the truck and more time supporting a school, individual ownership over their zone, sense of pride over their own region, and a closer working relationship between maintenance staff members and buildings principals and staff.

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