There was no organization for tracking work orders and getting things done. Residents were complaining…and Preventive Maintenance system was non-existent. A lot of equipment had never been serviced, and we really paid the price in the first year I was here…with some major breakdowns.”

Harwood Place is a 330,000 square foot retirement community and assisted living facility in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. When Neal Manske, the new maintenance manager took over, the department was a mess—and “managed” with a whiteboard and note cards. Clearly, something needed to change.

Neal contacted the Eagle sales team, and they recommended Equipsoft, a web-based, full-featured maintenance work order and asset management solution. Following the recommendation from the sales consultant, Harwood made sure their data was entered accurately and consistently during the implementation process so they could start seeing the benefits right away. Having just a yearly licensing fee for the web-based software made the purchase very affordable, and offered a solution with no network issues, maintenance, or software updates to worry about.

“The big thing, the first thing, was the work order system—showing management that we were doing stuff.” The lack of work order tracking was a huge problem. Elderly residents would report a problem, a maintenance engineer would do a service call, and then the residents would call back, complaining that no one had come to take care of the problem. This happened repeatedly—and the maintenance department needed a system that would document that the work had been done.

With Equipsoft, work orders are entered right in the system, and can be printed or emailed directly to an engineer’s phone or computer. When the work order is complete, the maintenance engineer can close it out in real time, even on the weekend, as weekend Demand Maintenance is a common occurrence.

The Equipsoft work order management system has already made a huge difference in the efficiency and organization of the three-man maintenance crew. As Neal relayed, “Now I can come in the morning and see what we’ve got, and then what we’ve done at the end of the day, and what’s left to do.” In the first year of using Equipsoft, they have already completed over 6,500 work orders, 63% of them being Demand Maintenance items.

Tracking costs on equipment repairs is now easy to do, thanks to Equipsoft. Residents get billed for some of the work orders performed, and now the maintenance department is able to track the time spent on each job, and send the completed work orders to the billing department for invoicing. Equipment repair costs from outside vendors can also be tracked. The housekeeping department uses Equipsoft to track labor costs for routine tasks like vacuuming and regular cleaning.

The inventory module allows both the maintenance and housekeeping departments to track costs for parts and supplies, and to keep heavily used items like light bulbs and furnace filters on hand for regular maintenance tasks. This helps to improve the efficiency and productivity within the departments

One of Neal’s favorite features is the Equipsoft vendor module, which keeps track of all outside vendors, including parts and purchasing history. “I love being able to attach manuals and electronic documents to the equipment files or to outside vendors. This is a huge help in being able to quickly access critical information.”

The reporting functionality of Equipsoft is very user-friendly, with customized forms and fields. The maintenance department keeps a close eye on the equipment failure rate, as user error by the residents can impact equipment repair and replacement costs. The reports also allow Neal to keep other managers informed , and to use for budgeting decisions. Even in one year, the Equipsoft Preventative Maintenance scheduling feature has reduced some of the more expensive repairs, especially on the 211 heat pumps in all of the resident apartments. As Neal said, “Over time, I’m sure that we will see a big increase in the asset life cycle thanks to the Preventative Maintenance program.”

Before Harwood Place got onboard with Equipsoft, they were using a typical “whiteboard maintenance” system, with paper files and note cards With Equipsoft, they are more productive, better able to plan their time and resources, and they can look back and see the history of what’s been done. With the information history captured in a CMMS system, it doesn’t matter who comes or goes, the asset data is there, with a track record that includes repair and cost history. According to Neal, “That permanent history is like gold.” This important information can be the basis of decisions made about day to day repairs or long-term asset investments, which in turn shape the future of Harwood Place, and it’s residents safety and comfort.

Equipsoft is an entry-level, web-based solution for computerized maintenance management. Easy to implement, and easy to use, this full-featured maintenance and asset management solution helps companies streamline their maintenance operations. Equipsoft integrates asset management and history, maintenance management, inventory management, labor, and purchasing functions.

For more information about Equipsoft, or Eagle’s Proteus line of CMMS/EAM software, go to the website at or call 1-800-388-3268. (Toll free US & Can) or +1-262-241-3845.