-Claude Plante, Facilities Manager
The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT), formerly known as Winnipeg Technical College, offers students from across the globe a diverse range of full and part time vocational programs as well as English language training. With programs in healthcare, IT and skilled trades, the college must remain at the forefront of technology and equipment used in the field. This fully equipped campus consists of multiple downtown facilities and eleven satellite sites. An internal team of twelve custodial and maintenance staff primarily maintain these buildings while the college also relies on outside contractors for major repair work, materials and supplies. Together, the teams works diligently to ensure that all maintenance activities are completed. Because MITT is a publicly funded college, they have partners at all levels of government. This makes the college accountable to a variety of stakeholders and increases the importance of transparency that they must maintain in all areas of their operations. To reach this level of accountability, multiple layers of detailed reporting must be sent to each governmental branch.
Before Hippo, MITT was looking for a complete overhaul of their maintenance management, as the former system was disorganized and outdated. The college wanted their new system to provide basic maintenance management functions and be easy to use for its internal and external maintenance teams. More specifically, MITT was interested in housing all maintenance documents and records in one centralized system as well as tracking inventory levels and parts management. Tracking and reporting was an essential requirement from any CMMS that they chose- basic features that they weren’t receiving from their current system. Claude Plante, the college’s Facilities Manager, described their Hippo experience, stating, “We had no (established) system before Hippo. We were using Excel spreadsheets and other limited software, even manual methods for a short time.”
The college also needed to track labor hours and monitor staff performance to ensure that priority tasks were being completed and workflow properly distributed. “Managing staff time is a big one! Staff can get ten requests quickly while walking down the hallway.” Claude explained. The need for an automated system to house all requests and provide work requesters with a formal mechanism to communicate through was an important function for MITT.
Lastly, preventive maintenance and scheduled maintenance was difficult to track and nearly impossible to report on. The college realized that by incorporating a PM system, they would be able to increase efficiency and reduce their equipment downtime. With these challenges in mind, MITT was keen to implement the perfect CMMS solution.
The process of finding the right CMMS wasn’t as difficult as one may imagine. Hippo quickly rose to the top among other providers by featuring user-friendly functionality and modules that matched with what the college was looking for. Claude went on to describe, “Hippo had a few things that other vendors weren’t doing. One of those things was the PM library and the other was having pictures of the equipment associated with a PO as well as serial numbers and name plate info.” Hippo houses all relevant equipment data in one convenient place. When you generate work orders for that piece of equipment, you and the assigned contractor can view all asset information.
This process has been especially important in increasing the efficiency of MITT’s vendor management. “We send (the work order) out to the vendor and they can pick up the motor along the way.” In the past, vendors would arrive at the college, inspect the equipment problem and then determine the right part to get. They were then forced to go off site to retrieve the part, returning later in the day for installation. Hippo streamlined this process by cutting out an entire step.
MITT saw plenty of value in Hippo’s services due to the affordable price and user-friendly interface. “It was certainly affordable and we liked the initial structure. It was easy to navigate and identify on a map because of the pictorials.” Claude said. Although the college was able to select Hippo relatively quickly as their software solution, implementation was slightly more time consuming. MITT decided to perform their own data integration. From this experience, Claude recommends that anyone looking to setup their own account should be aware of the amount of time involved to collect data lists of equipment, locations and facilities. Claude references the amount of hours spent on this task, saying, “We easily spent 800-900 hours gathering information.” After the college successfully implemented Hippo, the training team took over to provide guidance and info on how to properly use the system. “Training went well. We now have two maintenance staff and an admin staff who will help with some training.”
Hippo is currently up and running in four facilities with plans to roll out to a fifth location in the near future. MITT has put Hippo to the test by utilizing many of its features, including on demand and scheduled work orders, tracking maintenance history, vendor management and inventory parts management. “It certainly has everyone on the same page. It’s really easy to show and quantify what my staff is doing.” Claude explained. Hippo is now so ingrained in their daily operations that they have already generated an impressive 250 work orders in one location alone.
These modules have allowed the college to realize many benefits, including cost savings from reduced equipment downtime and tracking labor costs and hours. “Utilizing preventive maintenance helps with scheduling time and budget. This reduces seasonal breakdowns and having breakdowns at peak times.” Claude explained. MITT estimates that it has decreased its belt breakdown by at least 15% while it has also saved them hundreds of hours of downtime. Hippo has allowed the college to identify a failing part and reorder it before they even have a failure. “We’ve been able to increase the lifecycle of our equipment and saved costs from reducing labor costs. (Vendors) are prepared when they come because they know what to look for.”
Claude gives Hippo a glowing recommendation for both its staff responsiveness and the company’s drive towards software customization. “(Hippo) has done a pretty good job of upgrading and customization. Hippo is more flexible with software customization than some other providers.” Claude states. Rather than charging clients a straight- and usually expensive- development fee, Hippo always provides a flexible pricing alternative. With plans of rolling out Hippo to additional MITT buildings, the college is satisfied with both the qualitative and quantitative benefits that their CMMS has provided. They are so enthusiastic about the product, that they recommend Hippo to any college looking for a streamlined approach to their school facility management software.
The software is super user friendly. If I don't understand how to do something Carly is always a quick phone call or email away. She walks me through anything I need, while always maintaining a friendly tone.Karla, Eaglebrook School
This program has helped the college facilities department become much better in providing services to our customers.Patrick, Ogden Weber Technical University
Ever since hearing about this product and getting it into the hands of our maintenance guys we have heard nothing but good things.Steere, Kettering University
All you have to do is log into Hippo- it tells you what needs to be done and how to do it. And you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it outEdgar Throop, Frontier School Division
I did a comparison of 3 to 4 FM software companies, and Hippo was the best fit for our multiple private school locations. The pros of Hippo are the ease of use for our staff, the customer service support and scalability as our schools grow across the country.Kenneth, Endeavor Schools
Easy to use graphical user interface. Outstanding customer service and great support with data integration.Matt, Center for Early Education