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Facilities and Fleet Management Insights from Terry Lusby, Jr.

Providing best in class facilities and support services is no easy task. Clean, comfortable, safe and effective facilities that meet the needs of a community may be the expectation, but they don’t happen on their own. There are people behind the scenes doing the hard work that make these thriving communities realities.

The Village of Tinley Park is unique in that it is located in both Cook County and Will County, Illinois. The current population is nearly 57,000 and the village encompasses approximately 16 square miles. The facilities department employs eight people.

For over half a decade the Village of Tinley Park has used Gordian’s ezIQC® solution. By establishing local, competitively-awarded contracts through cooperative purchasing networks, ezIQC is ideal for use on renovation and alteration work, responding quickly to emergencies, addressing a backlog of deferred repairs and straightforward new construction.

Terry Lusby, Jr. serves the village as the Facilities and Fleet Superintendent and brings more than twelve years of experience in project management and budget implementation. He shares his insight into how he provides his community the best possible facilities. Further, he gives his expertise on current and future facilities management trends.

“I feel like it’s pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.”

Terry Lusby, Jr. 

How has the role of facilities and fleet management changed in the past few years?

It’s very fast paced, and you have to stay up-to-date on all current issues. I think the biggest aspect of facility management is preventive maintenance, but due to the restraints on our budgets, you never can get around to accomplish all of the preventive work you’d like to.

Obviously our main goal first and foremost is life safety issues – those are number one priority. Our second main focus is generally eyesores. Even if you’re doing a good job, if the visual perception is you’re not doing a good job, then in reality you aren’t doing a good job. You have to make sure you’re paying attention to the aesthetics of all your facilities – around the entrances, the exits, outside of the building – because the things people see most are going to be the issues they’re concerned with.

Facilities and Fleet Management Insights from Terry Lusby, Jr. 1

Can you provide some examples of life safety issues and eyesores?

At our police station both of our rooftop air handler units were on their last leg. The compressors kept going out, so we were having issues with the heating and cooling within the building. And that is a life safety issue – people need basic comforts to do their jobs, and these aren’t jobs where everything will be fine if everyone takes the day off. And even more pressing was that this is where they house many prisoners. This was a big issue we had to get taken care of this quickly as possible. So we used ezIQC to switch out the two rooftop units in a very time efficient manner.

An eyesore could be an old streetlight that’s functioning, but the light pole is discolored due to weathering and the paint is peeling. Sure that streetlight may look like it’s damaged and or it’s no good and may be compromised. But in fact it is functionally okay, just aesthetically it is not.

Again at the police station, we had various parking lot lights that were not aesthetically pleasing. That gave the impression the police station wasn’t up to par with basic standards. So we actually retrofitted all of the streetlights and took down all the street polls. Then we had them sandblasted and power coated, and we installed the new LED streetlights to make them more aesthetically pleasing. If people perceive this isn’t a safe or attractive environment, regardless of what the actual environment is, how they feel is how they feel.

While it can be difficult to perform preventive maintenance, do you have any best practices when it comes to getting the work done?

Preventive maintenance is a major concern because you’re always going to have a problem, you’ll always have issues. The main goal is to minimize your issues and minimize your problems. My advice is to organize your issues so anytime you have the ability to retrofit older equipment with newer equipment or make things more efficient, you should take full advantage of that opportunity.

What are current challenges impacting public works and/or facilities and fleet management and how do you address them?

Safety, time constraints, legal issues, skilled labor, project performance and public involvement in planning, design and construction – those are generally our biggest stressors.

The best way to tackle these problems is planning, making sure we’ll have the right tools and the right individuals to do the work and focus on really getting things done the right way the first time. Wholly focusing on getting everything done quickly is unsustainable. I think that’s a hole a lot of facilities managers find themselves in – when there’s an emergency or something that’s pressing and the decision is made in haste before the plan is well thought out or before the contractor that selected is fully vetted. When things don’t get done right the first time, you find yourself going back and spending additional monies and resources on something that should’ve been taken care in the first place.

Why does the Village of Tinley Park use ezIQC?

The primary reasons are vetted, quality contractors and the ability to get projects done quickly.

I feel like it’s pretty much the best thing since sliced bread. You get a fair price and the best quality for every taxpayer dollar that we’re spending in the Village of Tinley Park.

Why should others consider a career in facilities management?

This career path challenges you to expand your abilities to plan, direct, oversee and supervise various activities and operations. You’re also given opportunities to cultivate lifelong relationships while you are working and challenging them and yourself to be better.

Terry Lusby, Jr. Bio

Facilities and Fleet Management Insights from Terry Lusby, Jr. 2Terry Lusby, Jr. is the Facilities and Fleet Superintendent for the Village of Tinley Park. He brings more than a decade of project management knowledge. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Western Illinois University and his Master’s degree in Education from Northern Illinois University.

He has a wife and three children so he finds himself busy attending a range of activities including baseball, cheerleading and gymnastics. His church is extremely important to him. He regularly volunteers to assist his own community and those surrounding his area, which includes painting, plumbing and retrofitting facilities. He also enjoys chess, golf, tennis and photography.

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