Solving the Challenge of Scarce Technical Resources to Keep Facilities Up and Running

By Jeff Spisak

Throughout many correctional institutions, facility maintenance leaders are constantly struggling to prioritize corrective maintenance demands with shrinking budgets that cause maintenance to be deferred. This leads to work backlogs that decrease equipment performance, increase energy use, and make costs rise. Staffing is also getting harder and harder in this economy, especially staffing for correctional facilities. Not only do you need skilled trade technicians, but you also need those who can pass the background and drug screening tests. This challenge, coupled with an aging workforce and worker turnover, can make staffing a real headache.

CGL, a leading provider of justice facility planning, design, program management and maintenance solutions operating extensively in correctional institutions, was struggling to capture the institutional knowledge that only a handful of senior technicians possessed. It’s no longer cost-effective to spend a year of new hire mentoring or on the job training. CGL needed a tool to bring its institutional knowledge into the hands of maintenance staff. They found that tool with MobileMind (powered by QModo AI).

CGL’s MobileMind provides an in-depth knowledge base to keep jail and prison maintenance programs running smoothly while ensuring guard, inmate, and staff safety is being upheld. MobileMind gives technicians a tool right in their hand that tells them how to solve a problem. With the touch of a button or a voice command, a technician can access operational guides and troubleshooting tips relating to a specific asset right from a smartphone. Tips can be added during the repair work, and instructional videos uploaded. MobileMind can help in diverse areas, from monitoring and recording safety protocols, maintaining and repairing inmate housing, following standard operating procedures for inmate processing, and resolving issues with patient care equipment in medical facilities. In short, content that is of the highest priority is right at your engineers’ fingertips.

MobileMind not only allows new hires to tap into the knowledge of veteran technicians, the scope of its functionality increases as it is used.

“MobileMind has features and functionality that we honestly didn’t contemplate until we went through implementation,” according to Greg Westbrook, President of CGL Facility Management. “As we engaged with the tool, our technicians realized it could help us in other areas such as monitoring safety protocols and automating standard operating procedures. As a company, we are beginning to more fully understand MobileMind’s true impact and the value we can realize through full adoption of the tool across our organization.”

Consider these two real-world examples. When you’re in a corrections environment, you’re going to get a sprinkler head that gets popped. It needs to be replaced quickly, safely, and efficiently. When this exact situation arose recently at a large county jail serviced by CGL, a junior technician arrived on site to execute repairs. With the MobileMind app, he had access to all the information he needed as soon as he asked his phone. He found the isolation valve and fixed the sprinkler quickly. It reduced the impact to jail operations on several levels: it didn’t require moving inmates; significantly reduced the damage to the building through a much faster time to repair; and it reduced overall risk and costs associated with the repair. Another critical item in correctional facilities are the security doors and locks. Many older models have little to no documentation available on how to conduct preventive maintenance. A single senior technician can change that by recording a video of the entire preventive maintenance process and uploading it to MobileMind. Documentation is kept up to date and more importantly, the facility is compliant.

To date, CGL has implemented MobileMind in over 330 buildings and cataloged over 8,000 assets. Over 250 technicians are utilizing the app in the field. These technicians now log better response times when tackling both regular maintenance and critical issues. When they arrive on site, they know what they need to do, whether it’s an emergency in the middle of the night or a standard troubleshooting activity. As a result, CGL can reallocate resources in a more beneficial way to their clients. As a bonus, CGL’s technicians can now cover a broader area of work and execute repairs in many different facilities without requiring building-specific training.

QModo AI has been a key partner in streamlining CGL’s MobileMind implementation. From the beginning, key stakeholders were brought together to understand clearly how the system needed to be set up. Most importantly, QModo explained in detail the value of their solution and outlined what CGL would be able to achieve. The QModo team visited each site and engaged with the technicians, helping them to understand the application. “I’ve got some technicians that aren’t very tech savvy,” Westbrook explains. “QModo really got in there and helped show how user friendly the application is, how easily you can navigate within the app, and realize significant value from their investment in the solution.”

Jeff Spisak is the Senior Content Writer for QModo AI.