Case Study: North Syracuse Central School District, NY

North Syracuse Central School District (NSCSD) logo

When it comes to developing market-driven products that meet industry needs, an open conversation can be a customer's best friend.

In the case of North Syracuse Central School District (NSCSD), one such discussion with a MasterLibrary™ software executive led to the development of a new product, ML Schedules™ K12 Facility Request Software. This new product has saved the NSCSD tens of thousands of dollars in reduced labor costs during its first year of use, and at substantially less cost than their previous system.

Taking a fresh approach to facility projects and maintenance

NSCSD has been an ML Projects™ Construction Administration Software user since 2009 when Facility Director Jon Ward decided to use it for the Smith Road Elementary School project. This $16.9 million renovation project was a multi-year program that had to be carefully coordinated as construction occurred during the academic year when students were in the classroom as well as during summer recess.

"I originally selected MasterLibrary™ software based on its fairly powerful functionality at a reasonable price," explained Jon. "I also really liked the increased transparency and resulting accountability among all project team members, both District staff and our contractors and vendors."

When the Smith Road School project was completed, it was North Syracuse CSD's first capital construction project to have all As Built documentation--including architectural and systems design drawings and floor plans--delivered electronically. This provided Jon with ample reason to subscribe to ML Binders™ Facility and Systems Documentation so that authorized staff, contractors and vendors could access these electronic facility records 24/7 via any web-enabled device. This instant access to vital facility information has helped the District reduce service-call completion time and associated costs, while proving a centralized data repository of critical operational data that can be maintained as facility systems are updated.

A problem waiting for a solution

It was about this time that MasterLibrary™ Software President Tom Rauscher scheduled a meeting with Jon, primarily to get the latter's input to both ML Projects and ML Binders software now that the District had the Smith Road project under its belt.

North Syracuse Central School District (NSCSD)

As part of the conversation about issues facing facility managers in general and NSCSD specifically, the discussion turned to how MasterLibrary™ software might offer a community Facility Use Request application that Districts and other organizations could use to more effectively handle this repetitive, labor-intensive task.

"I remember Tom asking if I would consider a custom-developed MasterLibrary solution if the functionality and price points were there for the District," Jon recalled. "I have a good relationship both with Tom and MasterLibrary and I had no doubt that his team could pull it off successfully so, of course, I told him to go for it."

"It was a no-risk decision for the District as we wouldn't have to pay for a product or any development costs, until a mutually agreeable set of functions and pricing were established."

For Tom's part, the offer was an easy one to make. "Jon was one of our first ML Projects™ subscribers and the first one for ML Binders™. We've always appreciated his trust as well as his invaluable advice and recommendations about ways to improve the functionality of our products."

With a list of starting capabilities and specifications, Tom went back to MasterLibrary's Rochester-based office--about an hour's drive west from Syracuse--to get the development team off and running on a working beta program that was ready for testing just a few short weeks later. After a few rounds of feedback and refined development of the new product--ML Schedules™--was ready for prime time with all functional capabilities available at a cost of about 50% less than the subscription price of the District's current space-reservation application.

To help with implementation, Jon provided an Excel file that included all the District's sites and spaces available for public use as well as space specifications and pricing. MasterLibrary's support team imported the file to pre-populate NSCSD's sites and spaces, and created the District support team including assigning approval privileges. Training was handled via brief conference calls due to the intuitive nature of the User Interface that includes self-help prompts.

"I was impressed not only with the end product but also with the MasterLibrary team's approach to user-centric software development," Jon noted. "They really listened to our needs and crafted an efficient, easy-to-use solution at a far more affordable cost than we had been paying for a lesser product."

Making the ML Schedules™ software live for the District was as easy as adding a link to NSCSD's website. Now, whenever the Facility Usage Request link is selected from NSCSD's website, ML Schedules™ kicks into gear. A new window is displayed from which users can create accounts, search for available spaces, and make reservations...all without using any staff resources.

The results are in after a full year of use

North Syracuse Central School District went live with ML Schedules™ K12 Facility Request Software in June 2014. After the first full year of implementation, the District is sold on the program which handled about 8,000 individual space reservations and saved the District an estimated $33,000 in labor costs while costing half of the previous application's subscription fee.

"The District is quite pleased with both the performance of ML Schedules™ over the past 12 months as well as what we consider to be a very quick ROI on our annual subscription cost," Jon noted. "We've also discovered other benefits such as an improvement in facilities staff knowledge and control of available spaces."

About MasterLibrary™ Software

MasterLibrary™ Software has been developed over the past 20 years to improve efficiency and collaboration among the diverse professional construction disciplines that interact with a facility project from plan and design through construction and maintenance.

Featured content

Submit a Facility Use Request in 30 seconds or less

New Features

Enter Facility Requests down to the minute
(1/29/2018) ML Schedules™ K12 Facility Request Software now allows users to enter requests in one-minute intervals.

While the software's Time filters still display in 15-minute increments, users can double-click on the field to enter the desired time in minutes. When making requests, the software will automatically match the Minutes field End Time with the value entered in the Start Time field.

For example, if as user enters 11:17am as the request Start Time, the software will pick up the "17" value and use it for the request's End Time (e.g., 11:47am).

Thanks to the many subscribing school districts that provided valuable input for this new feature.

Here’s what school districts around the USA are saying…

“MLSchedules™ Software has streamlined the building use request process for our district. Requests that used to take minutes to process now take seconds."
- Jason Czarny, Director of Athletics, Onondaga Central School District, NY