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How Mullins Group Overhauled Property Maintenance Workflows

  • Andrew Severson

  • About The Mullins Group

    The Mullins Group specializes in the rental of commercial, office, retail and warehouse space in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Their portfolio consists of over 200 tax parcels in the City of Madison, representing over 2 million square feet of space and comprised of both commercial and residential properties.

    The Mullins maintenance team consists of 40+ maintenance workers and multiple supervisors/office staff. Maintenance requests are received from tenants by forms on their website or by phone call to the front office. Office staff and supervisors then determine how to prioritize and dispatch the work orders.

    Property Maintenance Pain Points

    Before Pingum, Mullins was handling the review, communication, and updates for each maintenance request manually. When a tenant submitted a request via their website form, an email was sent to a shared email inbox where their entire office staff and maintenance supervisors could review. Dispatching was done by text or phone call to the field, and it was up to each maintenance worker to update their supervisor directly when they performed work. A cumbersome system of managing each work order was used and it was often hard to understand the current state of maintenance requests across the company.

    Mullins Maintenance Workflow System Wish List
    • Maintenance Request Form Builder

      Mullins needed the ability to create and place their request form on their website. The wording on the form and the fields of data they want to collect changes multiple times a year, so a form builder would make it easy to get those changes live on the form without needing to update their website directly.

    • Dispatching

      Every maintenance item needs an owner. Assigning work to the field and ensuring they get notified and can provide updates is critical to their day to day work.

    • System Data Collection

      Every maintenance request tells a story, and being able to recount that story is important. Mullins needed a way to collaborate with comments, access current and past work orders, and get analytics on their data.

    • Realtime Notifications

      Getting notified of new and updated work orders is important to Mullins. Having the capability for the field and office staff to get notified by email or on their phone is critical.

    • File Attachments

      With maintenance, it is often necessary to take pictures of damage or capture invoices for purchased items.

    • Mobile Application

      Most of the Mullins maintenance team works on the go, away from their computer. It is necessary that any solution can be used from a mobile phone.

    The Mullins Group chose Pingum to fulfill these requirement

    How Mullins Setup and Uses Pingum for Maintenance Work Orders

    Once The Mullins Group discovered Pingum, they were quick to discover all the capabilities of the tool, and just how configurable it can be. It was clear that their wish list was met, and some, from their initial review. Let’s take a look at how Mullins decided to setup and utilize Pingum to handle maintenance requests and dispatching.

    Starting From The Maintenance Template

    Pingum offers a number of starting templates for organizations to chose from. The maintenance request template provided a good starting point for Mullins, so they decided to select that configuration when they created their Pingum Organization.

    This template provides a number workflows that can be invoked in addition to the statuses each workflow can move through. These statuses and workflows are easy to modify after the org is created.
    Mainteance template
    Maintenance Request Form

    Almost every maintenance team needs a form that their tenants can use to submit maintenance requests. Pingum makes it easy to build and publish those forms right on your own website. The Mullins Group takes advantage of this feature to make it easy on their tenants, and to ensure they capture all the information needed to complete the work.

    You can see a live, working example below on one of their apartment websites. The form loading on this screen is an embedded iframe coming from the Pingum website and organization.

    Public Form
    Maintenance Event Settings

    Every workflow in Pingum is initiated by creating an Event. The Event triggers the workflow and provides different pieces of information including custom field data, starting status, due dates, and more. Here is a look into the different pieces of information Mullins collects and uses in their workflows.

    Custom Fields
    Custom Fields 1Custom Fields 2
    Tags 1Tags 2
    These Settings Are Just The Start

    Mullins has chosen to setup their workflow with these settings because it closely resembles the manual process they were following before Pingum. This allowed a seamless transition for their staff as they adapted to a digital workflow solution. As their company adapts, so will their use of Pingum. Lucky for them, they can change any and all of these configurations at any time.

    What Benefits Did Pingum Workflows Realize For Mullins?

    Moving from manual dispatching to a digital one offered a lot of opportunity for The Mullins Group to improve how they handle, react to, and address maintenance at their properties. Here are just a few of the many improvements they made by switching to Pingum.

    • Decreased Time To Completion

      The average time to address and complete maintenance requests was decreased significantly.

    • Increased Visibility

      With notifications and visibility into all work orders from the Pingum website and mobile app, Mullins was no longer guessing on the status of their work.

    • Increased Accountability

      Using the audit data for each Pingum workflow, Mullins could now track how each workflow and member of their team was handling their work.

    • Cost Savings

      Having more efficient user of their time, Mullins was able to get more work done and less resources.

    Last updated: 11/16/2020