How Fayetteville State University Embraces Custodial Technology on a Budget | OrangeQC (2024)

Digital inspection technology isn’t just a luxury for facilities teams. According to the most recent APPA standards, doing inspections digitally is a best practice for all educational organizations, no matter their size.

At the NCAPPA regional conference in May 2024, Nedra Stokes (Fayetteville State University’s Housekeeping Supervisor – Housing) presented on ‘Custodial Technology with Limited Resources.’ She shared FSU’s strategy for implementing high-quality, sophisticated quality control systems while staying on budget.

Because FSU is mid-size, with enrollment at 6,500+ students, Stokes said they’re especially mindful of making the most of limited resources. She shared general strategies and specific solutions they use to meet their goals in an economical way.

(If you’d like to download the outline of notes we took during Stokes’s presentation, scroll to the bottom for a form to receive the link.)

OrangeQC for performance tracking

The Fayetteville State University facilities team has used OrangeQC to handle digital inspections and other quality control tasks for years. In her presentation, Stokes said that digital inspections track the team’s performance, providing “data, insight, and transparency.”

How Fayetteville State University Embraces Custodial Technology on a Budget | OrangeQC (1)

Regular inspections

The team’s supervisors use their phones to do inspections three times a week, while team leads inspect twice a week.

“We don’t inspect the same buildings, and we don’t inspect the same areas when we do an inspection,” Stokes said. “We keep it on rotation.”

Stokes did a live demonstration to demonstrate how the app works. In real time, she inspected the Chancellor’s Suite where the talk was hosted, rating each line item and adding photos and comments.

Communication with custodial staff

The team prioritizes feedback for staff. Each inspection ends with the name of the employee responsible for the area, making it easy for staff to see photos and comments on their cleaning quality. (“One of my pet peeves is streaks in the glass,” Stokes shared. “I’m always going to flag that.”)

The staff have iPads equipped with OrangeQC so that they can get all of the information from the inspections, as well as tickets and alerts about line items that need correcting.

Usually, supervisors close out tickets about corrective actions; however, staff can also close tickets if they document the correction by taking photos. Supervisors get a notification to confirm that the work’s been done, which can help save time and keep the team running smoothly.

Data for better management

The team’s manager and director look at the web app’s dashboard for a general picture of how different buildings and teams are doing. They also keep an eye on how many inspections the supervisors and team leads are doing. If a supervisor hasn’t done an inspection in a while, for example, they would get a reminder to keep to the regular routine.

Director of Facilities Operations and Maintenance Tai Davis chimed in on how the dashboard helps give the team a big-picture perspective. “You can go in here, pull up a dashboard for your building and see for the whole year — or you can pick, say, for six months, what’s the average for this building?”

Davis also mentioned how the app empowers the team to inspect on the go. “I can pull out the phone at any time, just like [Stokes] did,” he said. “I’ll walk by something, and if it doesn’t look good, I can do an inspection right there. It goes to the person responsible for that building, and it creates a ticket.”

Flexibility to inspect anything

While the team originally began using the app for housekeeping inspections, they’ve also expanded to use it in other capacities, such as grounds.

“Anything you inspect, we can create,” Davis said, naming maintenance, housing, and fire extinguishers as other examples.

He also shared that when the housing team began using the software for work orders, the orders began being closed out faster.

“We just put the staff on it, and they were able to put in the things that were wrong,” Davis said. “They could create tickets on their own, and we were able to close them out faster — and the completion rate was better [because] it’s so easy to use.”

ATP testing to quantify disinfection

When the Covid pandemic was surging, the FSU team began using ATP (or Adenosine triphosphate) testing to ensure that surfaces were really getting clean, especially at the on-campus daycare.

To test a surface, the team swabs it thoroughly, then breaks the swab to activate a special chemical. The swab goes into a luminometer testing unit, which then displays the results on a screen.

The person administering the test takes a photo of the screen and adds it to OrangeQC to track disinfection quality over time.

Other tools for facility management on a budget

In addition to OrangeQC and ATP testing, Stokes shared a couple of other tools that the FSU facilities team uses for managing people and supplies.

The team uses BuddyPunch for timekeeping. Because the staff works onsite, they need to be able to clock in from anywhere on campus — but only on campus. With this tool, staff members can only clock in or out if they’re within a specifically geofenced area.

While the team still uses Banner to submit time for paychecks, they cross-check the times against information collected in BuddyPunch for accuracy and transparency.

For inventory control, a tool called Sortly helps Stokes keep track of which closets are stocked with which supplies. Hall supervisors send in inventory forms noting what they have and what they need. Stokes adjusts supply levels in Sortly based on those forms. Then, when she resupplies the eight hall supply closets every two weeks, she uses the system to track where supplies are and what’s been used up.

Conclusion: World-class quality that fits your organization’s budget

From our experience working with the FSU team, it’s clear that they’re dedicated to delivering world-class facility quality at their school. While working within budget constraints is always a challenge, their efforts demonstrate that great technology exists to help teams of any size deliver high quality.

We appreciate the time Nedra Stokes, Tai Davis, and their colleague Tacey Leach took to share best practices and practical solutions with other facilities professionals at NCAPPA. It was a great example of helping move the educational facilities industry forward together.

If you’re interested, we can also send you the notes we took during the presentation.

OrangeQC empowers fast, easy inspections that fit your organization’s budget. Schedule a demo so we can show you how the tools work and hear more about your team’s quality control needs.

For the full notes we took during the FSU presentation discussed above, fill out the form below. We’ll send you the PDF via email.

How Fayetteville State University Embraces Custodial Technology on a Budget | OrangeQC (2024)
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