Employees create handy mobile application
May 13, 2013
In February 2012, the Physical Plant* launched TeamMobile, a mobile-device application created by Systems Analyst II Steve Huyser. TeamMobile gives MSU employees in the field their assigned work orders and allows them to record work hours and job completion.
TeamMobile was created out of necessity for a better process to keep work order information such as labor, parts used and equipment rentals more organized. Physical Plant staff that use the application are equipped with a large mobile device that has Wi-Fi capacity. The device is much more durable than a cell phone and is able to handle some wear and tear.
“Before TeamMobile was created, Physical Plant employees tested a different mobile application, but it was very slow, taking up to 45 minutes to get information downloaded onto the devices. In that time, workers often lost their Wi-Fi connection,” said Huyser.
The Physical Plant needed a solution to the problem, and Huyser was given the task of creating the Physical Plant’s very own application that would work faster and more efficiently than the one the workers were testing.
TeamMobile has been well received by those who use it. Many are seeing the benefits of the application in terms of accuracy and efficiency.
“The app is quicker, easier to use and more accurate. Before this, supervisors would print out their work order, and then the worker would have to come into the office to get it, carry it around with them, fill out a separate time card, put the work order number on the time card, and enter the work order number when ordering parts for the job, if needed. There were a lot of places where the work order was manually entered. This way, the application does it,” said Huyser.
A lot of precautions were taken before the application was implemented for use by Physical Planters. To make sure TeamMobile worked perfectly, Electrician II Joe Ellsworth was asked to test the application on his jobs.
“Before the application was released for everyone to use, I used the application and then let those working on the app know what did and did not work. They would then fix the problems so that the app was more user friendly,” said Ellsworth.
Not only does the Physical Plant use TeamMobile, other campus divisions are now using the application because of its ease and efficiency. Recently, some members of the Spartan Village staff have started using TeamMobile and it has been met with much praise and success.
Residence Education and Housing Facilities Systems Coordinator for University Apartments Kelsey Jett has been responsible for helping employees at University Apartments become acquainted with the application and how to use it.
“It’s much easier to send something to a handheld device than to have an employee be called, come in, pick up the work order and go back out and do it. I’m so glad we’ve started using TeamMobile,” said Jett.
According to Jett, many of the users have given great feedback on the app, and she is grateful to see that the employees are happy using the application as it was created for them to use.
Huyser worked hard with a small team of Phys Planters to make sure this application would be an asset to labor employees on campus. The application has received very positive feedback and will be presented at the 2013 Michigan Association of Physical Plant Administrators conference here at MSU. Ellsworth will give a presentation on how to use the product and how it has been beneficial to the MSU Physical Plant.
*Prior to the creation of Infrastructure Planning and Facilities in January 2013, several IPF departments were a part of the now-dissolved MSU Physical Plant. Some historical articles on this website reference that former unit.