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Estates management education schools facility management

The responsibility for managing an educational estate bears many challenges. Schools and colleges with older buildings can pose more complicated maintenance situations, those with large grounds require careful planning and strong team communication, and even small estates require efficient management to support high quality education provision for the students. A computer aided facilities management (CAFM) software system can greatly assist in enhancing educational sites through informed and intelligently-scheduled asset management, performance and service level management, and a great deal more.

Gaining insight from data

Access to accurate information is absolutely essential and many estates managers are finding paper and spreadsheet-based systems are no longer adequate to ensure cost-effective services.

The performance of the estate and its effect on the performance of the university, college or school and its staff and students are inextricably linked, and a system like Service Works’ QFM provides the Estates Department with a valuable and accurate insight into performance. For example, ACS International Schools, based in the UK and Qatar, uses QFM to enhance service delivery and anticipate future FM resource requirements.

Each maintenance request logged within QFM has a designated response and rectification time, which is driven by the severity of the incident and the location within the campus. According to the head of facilities at the school: “QFM gives us the intelligence to set KPIs, to understand how we are performing.  At the touch of a button we can see how many maintenance jobs are outstanding at each campus and who is responsible for rectifying issues. Whilst it has sometimes been a challenge to meet the KPIs that we set, QFM allows us to identify patterns and show the volume of work that the facilities department handles. It provides accurate insight into performance and enables us to improve the efficiency of the FM team.”

It has also enabled the estates teams to target areas where large volumes of maintenance requests were being raised in order to tackle underlying issues that may have not been visible.

Minimising waste and driving efficiency

CAFM software is invaluable in streamlining resources. Edith Cowan University, Australia, has information for over 6,200 assets in their facilities management software across three campuses and 190,000sqm floor area. Previous systems were unable to meet the university’s requirements but QFM is able to intelligently prioritise contractors’ workloads, identify duplicate jobs, avoid wasted call-outs, and automate reminders to enable the effective management of repairs. Snapshot reporting of pending and overdue work orders allows managers to quickly assess the status and value of backlog maintenance.

Kevin Hall, Buildings and Services Manager, says: “As a University it is our aim to achieve best practice in facilities management and QFM fully supports that goal. [It] allows us to meets the educational needs of our student community and reinforces Edith Cowan University’s reputation as a global academic and research leader.”

Tips for choosing the right CAFM software

Choosing and implementing the right CAFM software may be a time-consuming task in the short-term, but the long term benefits gained greatly outweigh any additional work. Service Works Group has created a complimentary guide to help with the selection of CAFM and Estates Management Software: Quick Guide to Buying CAFM Software provides an overview on providing ROI (return on investment) information, business benefits, creating a project plan and more. Click here or contact us to for advice on the process.

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