Founded in 2001, Castlefield Estates has an impressive property portfolio across the North, owning and managing prime hospitality sites. These include high-end restaurants such as Dukes 92 and the Albert chain in the North West, boutique hotels, and premier wedding venues including Woodlands Hotel in Leeds.
The organisation delivers exceptional customer service in luxury surroundings, demanding each site runs smoothly.
The Maintenance team currently includes eight Engineers, one responsible for each hotel and a team covering the Manchester area.
0 reduction in site costs in one year
0 reduction in travel times
0 increase in response times
0 maintenance work identified
Prior to AgilityMobile, work requests were made through site specific Excel sheets in an online file share service. As the property portfolio and maintenance team grew, the volume of files and work generated increased significantly.
Work requests were printed out and physically distributed to the maintenance team twice a week. This was very time consuming, resulting in less time on site for the Engineers to complete work.
Tracking, allocating, updating and reporting requests created an enormous amount of administration. Individual sites demanded updates on the status of work, which also meant numerous phone calls between sites and the Engineers.
In 2017, Shane Fallon, Maintenance Manager, began the search for a CMMS. This needed to manage the whole operation, improve efficiencies and identify true cost. A mobile solution was also required by their field-based maintenance teams, as well as high levels of initial and ongoing support.
Several suppliers were investigated including Upkeep, Real Asset Management and AgilityMobile from SSG Insight. US based providers were discounted due to inadequate support levels.
AgilityMobile was selected based on its strength, the quality mobile solution and the high levels of available support from SSG Insight. Agility hosted solution was chosen and implemented in December 2018.
Introducing AgilityMobile has delivered significant benefits, including a cultural shift across the business as everyone is more accountable. Every computer at each Castlefield Estates site has access to AgilityMobile, so anyone can quickly and easily report issues using the triage helpdesk. AgilityMobile quickly helped identify that 80% of maintenance work was being generated by the restaurant kitchens. To make reporting work in these fast-paced environments even easier, touchscreens have been installed so work can be recorded at the touch of a button. Each site manager can log into AgilityMobile and see the work scheduled for their site, so update phone calls have been reduced to a minimum.
Response times, from reporting an issue to an Engineer arriving on site, have improved by 60%. This has been achieved by using AgilityMobile to prioritise, manage and allocated work directly to the Engineers in real-time using AgilityMobile Solutions; this has also delivered a significant reduction in time consuming administration.
Travel time, which was a high cost for Castlefield Estates has been reduced by 50%. AgilityMobile Solutions now accurately records each Engineer’s travel time, which is now monitored and set as individual KPIs.
Reports for the Management Team showing the activity and maintenance costs for each site are quickly produced in AgilityMobile; this ensures that accurate monthly cross-charges are made across the portfolio.
A register of over 500 assets was created in AgilityMobile, including business critical assets such as fridges, air conditioning and heating. This allows monitoring of each asset’s lifecycle, work history and depreciation.
Shane explains, “A report shows when assets need to be replaced, so we can stop repairing them at that key point when further investment is no longer viable.”
What used to take a minimum of 1½ days per week in work allocation now takes 30 minutes.Shane Fallon, Maintenance Manager at Castlefield Estates
“I log into AgilityMobile each morning and check for any new priority work and reallocate as necessary which has saved me over 75 hours of administration in the first year” explains Shane.
The work is currently weighted 80:20 reactive to proactive, with limited windows to complete work pre-service and between check out/in. Peaks in reactive work come at key times such as weekends, bank holidays and Christmas.
Hotels in the group operate to a target occupancy level of 95%, planned maintenance is key to this. Checking bathrooms, lighting and electrical appliances regularly, ensures a room can be available and this target is achieved.
During summer, each hotel can host up to four weddings per week, so any larger scale projects are scheduled for the winter months. AgilityMobile allows sites to work proactively, Shane explains, “We can make strategic decisions based on previous project costs in AgilityMobile, whether to use our own team or also use subcontractors so we don’t impact on key times.”
Excel sheets and manual methods of monitoring and managing work have been replaced with a seamless workflow across the estate. The team of Engineers have work allocated directly to their mobile device, giving them full visibility of their schedule, which has made them more efficient and responsible, Shane comments “Each of the team has their own van. Once they understand their week’s work, they need to be organised with parts and equipment to get the work done. AgilityMobile helps them to self-manage, because they are now empowered to be.”
Through using AgilityMobile, it was identified that the fridges generated 13% of work. Repairs were previously managed by a subcontractor, but through investing in training for one of the Engineers, spend with that subcontractor has been reduced. AgilityMobile has helped to identify further skills gaps and training needs; electrical training is planned to not only invest in the team but ensure future compliance.
Understanding individual site costs is key to accurate monthly reporting. “We needed to increase efficiency and understand site costs,” says Shane. “The maintenance budget was just a large sum we couldn’t break down. Now with AgilityMobile, we create work order and cost reports monthly for each site which get cross charged. We know this transparency has allowed us to save 10% in the first year on labour alone.”
Castlefield Estates are now adding documentation to AgilityMobile for easy reference by the Engineers. Checklists are to be used for risk assessments to aid compliance and stock is to be also added, which is envisaged to give further savings as duplications are removed.