University Uses Mobile Work Order System to Connect Students to Campus
The University of Worcester is a leading university in the west of England. Recently it has become one of the fastest growing universities in the UK with a rapidly expanding research program and an award-winning research library, The Hive.
The university procured ARCHIBUS in 2009 with the goal of modernizing their maintenance procedures and creating a help desk to improve performance and reporting standards in order to provide its students with the optimal learning environment. To accomplish this goal, the facilities administration team had to complete three steps: data integration, workflow management with the new help desk, and mobile working.
The first step in the data integration process was to separate data into what the team had and what they did not have. They had authentication, residence hall and office occupant data, and some HR data on students and staff.They did not have complete space data, accurate department records, or a method of coding space.
Their conclusion was that they needed to be clear about using data from its master source, so they needed to bring data both in and out of ARCHIBUS in order to avoid data duplication and ensure the data was accurate, up to date, and consistent across systems.
Their data successfully integrated, the University of Worcester was ready to go live with the help desk.
Using the ARCHIBUS Space Console, they uniformly coded room numbers and gathered accurate space data to inform their work orders with accurate information for users in order to make it as easy as possible to involve stakeholders from human resources, registry services, timetabling, and IT.
The Help Desk: Putting Power in the Hands of Students
The goal of the facilities administration team at the University of Worcester has always been to optimize the student experience so that they can learn and flourish at the university. This intent shaped the form that the help desk took. To some, what the University of Worcester did might seem unthinkable: they gave students the power to generate work requests directly from ARCHIBUS.
Doing so streamlined the workflow and empowered students, but it also required several adjustments to the work request generation process.
First, foreseeing inevitable student pranks, the team ensured that work requests could not be made on behalf of other people. They also attached the first and last names of the requester to the requests to maintain accountability and to inform the craftsperson whom to talk to when they arrived to complete the job.
Second, they made the work request process as user-friendly as possible while also making sure that the requests were properly ranked by priority. Self-reported priority levels would result in only high-priority requests, preventing truly important repairs from being completed quickly. The solution was an automatic ranking system based on problem type. When generating the requests, students are required to select the problem type and sub-type, providing the information the craftsperson needs to complete the job and the ranking system needs to assign the request with the proper priority level.
The results have been astonishing. The work requests are higher quality, there is deeper operational reporting, and the facilities administration team can monitor and track work, see trends in problems and requests,and evaluate operational performance levels. Just as importantly, the students are empowered by taking responsibility for their own environment, generating their own work requests and seeing those requests fulfilled.
Mobile Working: Achieving Craftsperson Ownership of Workflow
The University of Worcester carried their belief in empowering individuals to take responsibility for the built environment into their implementation of mobile working by the university craftspeople.
The intent of implementing mobile working was to allow craftspeople to manage their own jobs in the field so they did not have to return to the office to close out a job and receive their new assignment. However, the craftspeople initially were cautious to adopt mobile working because they did not want the devices to be used to negative monitor performance. To change this perception, the university told the craftspeople that the devices were theirs to use as they wanted outside of work.
Giving the craftspeople ownership over the devices helped make them understand that they also had ownership over their work schedule and work order management, leading to a smooth transition and a sense of empowerment.
Today, the craftspeople are less reliant on the central office, building operation are more efficient, and the maintenance process is even more environmentally friendly since there is less paper and travel involved in managing work orders.
Having implemented the help desk and mobile working, the University of Worcester is ready to manage their assets using ARCHIBUS. If history is any guide their asset management solution will be innovative, empower individuals, and will look to ensure that the students have the best possible learning environment.