Deerfield Township is a thriving Cincinnati suburb with over 38,000 residents. The township is located in the southwest corner of Warren County and its 16 square miles make it the most populated jurisdiction in the county. Deerfield Township offers its residents excellent schools, top-of-the-line parks and diverse housing options for individuals and families. In addition to being a great place to live, Deerfield Township is also a great place to work! In fact, MAX Technical Training has been operating in there since 2006, right next to the township office on Mason-Montgomery Road.
Because of the proximity, MAX and Deerfield Township have a unique relationship. Max has had the pleasure of knowing the people who make the local decisions and do the heavy lifting to keep the community growing and thriving. Max has also had the opportunity to learn more about the inner-workings of the township, and what it takes to make the lives of those working and living in the area easier.
While MAX has learned a great deal about the township, Deerfield Township has also learned a bit from MAX. So much so, that when Bobbi Kessler, the township Administrative Assistant, was tossing around ideas with her coworkers about a way to track assets with no budget to purchase an established Asset Management product, she immediately thought that MAX could help. Bobbi reached out to MAX Customer Service Manager, Wendy Farfsing to see if she had any ideas of how we might accomplish this. Wendy, knowing just what to do, put Bobbi in touch with boot camp advocate Dave Dziak and Trainer Greg Doud, to discuss their Techies for Good program.
Bobbi shared with Dave and Greg that she would painstakingly comb though hand written records for all township vehicles. These vehicles included the sheriff’s department, the fire department, the road maintenance crews, the parks and recreations crew, the cemeteries ground crews and the township administrators. From mileage to maintenance and everything in between, Bobbi was manually keeping track of the vitals and history for each and every vehicle on a daily basis.
Dave and Greg decided to enlist the current “CincyCodeIt” bootcamp class at the time to assist. “CincyCodeIt” bootcamps are immersive 11-week technical education courses focused on web-based software development. Greg asked if the students would be interested in putting their fledgling skills to work. The students were eager to begin the project and were more than thrilled to create an application with real-world value. The students and Greg met almost daily with Bobbi listening and taking note of what her process looked like at the time. They would then walk next door to the MAX Technical Training office and discuss possible fixes and solutions to implement.
The development of the app was not a quick one. In fact, the original boot camp students that began the project had graduated and all begun their new careers before the first wave of the app was complete. Greg kept at it though, introducing new boot campers to the assignment and working the project in his free time. After eight months of tweaks, conversations and coffee, the new Deerfield Township Vehicle and Resources App was ready to roll out.
“The app installation day was like Christmas,” Bobbi said. “There are programs out there that do similar type work, but all would have cost the township over $30,000. To have this app with this specific functionality and to have it for free, is beyond fantastic.” Greg was happy and proud, too. “Seeing something that you have worked on come to life and help streamline processes for an organization that would not otherwise be able to, was great. And, it’s an added bonus when you get to see those folk and hear how it is helping first hand” said Greg.
Currently, Bobbi is the only Deerfield Township employee who is using the app but she and Greg have plans to continue to build and expand the functionality to other departments in the township office.