Posted on 05/20/2015

By David Isaacson, Director, Product Marketing, VFA, an Accruent company

Anoka County, the fourth most populous county in Minnesota, had outgrown its facilities management solution consisting of phone calls and sticky notes.  As the county grew, so did its backlog of deferred maintenance.

In addition to an inefficient work order process, the county had no standard approach to preventive maintenance for its portfolio. With an inefficient system, only 66 percent of work orders were being completed – resulting in poor customer service.

In order to continue supporting the county’s growth and aging infrastructure, the county put together an RFP outlining its goals:

  • Drive maintenance best practices, minimize downtime and improve asset utilization
  • Track orders and all related expenses incurred
  • Manage the full asset lifecycle, with a complete view of their assets and equipment
  • Accurately itemize equipment cost and forecast for equipment replacement
  • Allow for regulatory compliance and automatic preventive maintenance interval adjustment
  • Increase ease of access to and reliability of information


Anoka County implemented a solution with a “crawl, walk, run” approach; they started slowly to keep things simple, with phases for additional capabilities planned in the future. It started with FAMIS Maintenance Management and measured the difference it made. FAMIS enabled the county to complete 95 to 97 percent of work requests – a 45 percent improvement!

Employee satisfaction also improved. With FAMIS, employees were able to communicate with clients to make sure they were on the same page and needs were being met. Customer satisfaction also rose tremendously as a result of improved communication and more work requests being completed in a timely fashion.

By tracking work orders and expenses in FAMIS, Anoka County has a wealth of reliable information to calculate their return on assets and manage their full lifecycle. This has been used to accurately forecast the cost and replacement needs of their equipment and create a 1, 5 and 10-year capital plan.

With a better perception of the lifecycle of its assets, Anoka County has adjusted its preventive maintenance schedule to prevent unplanned downtime. With FAMIS, Anoka County has also been able to expand its services county-wide to include parks, highways and libraries. Optimizing processes within the facilities management department has enabled it “to do more work with less” reaching throughout the county to improve asset utilization and having a positive impact on taxes.

More departments are attending the facilities management’s monthly meetings, positioning them as the consultant of choice for the county.

With FAMIS, the facilities department has been able to prove its improvements in work order completion and energy savings. They have expanded services without increasing costs, and have added overall value across the county by saving on labor costs, major projects, utilities and costs associated with unplanned downtime. By demonstrating the ROI gained from FAMIS to county commissioners, the facilities management department has been able to justify expenditures and contribute to the development of capital improvement plans.

Want to learn more about how Anoka County realizes significant ROI with FAMIS? Click here to watch our recorded webinar, “Addressing the Facilities Management Challenges at Anoka County.”

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