Advance Tafe (Formerly East Gippsland Tafe) - Better utilizing their underperforming FM systems in a cost effective way
“FM Innovations have provided us with the tools to manage our Facilities in a cost effective way. We use a combination of WSM to drive our works requirements and to report on physical and financial outcomes. This system is utilized in conjunction with Aperture which provides a GIS interface with WSM. By the use of both systems we are able to import digital data about or sites and buildings and record our operations and associated costs in an environment that is responsive to our needs and provides a virtual representation of our facilities”.
Senior Facilities Officer
Advance Tafe (Formerly East Gippsland Institute of Tafe)
In 2002 Advance Tafe, the leading educational provider for East Gippsland and beyond, began a due diligence process to map out their FM solution requirements to effectively manage their campuses across eastern Victoria. By the end of the summer Advance Tafe started on one of the most beneficial journeys of its history. Advance Tafe needed to better utilize their underperforming Facility Management systems in a cost effective way. There was an underlying problem that the software systems and general practice in place was ineffective, inefficient and unreliable. Over the past 6 years, Advance Tafe have continuously implemented several components of WSM to assist operations on its campuses.
Whilst working closely with Advance Tafe, FM Innovations identified 5 distinct areas in need of improvement, they were;
1) Alterations to their buildings were a costly and time consuming activity.
2) Room Management. Ad hoc bookings resulted in double bookings, unavailability of equipment and a lack of reporting.
3) Outlying buildings were cut off resulting in an overload of paperwork and secondhand recording of data, such as maintenance requests.
4) Problematic itemizing, monitoring and reporting on “equipment request”.
5) Implementing all these in a cost effective way.
FM Innovations directly linked Advance Tafe's facility management and property objectives to their KPI’s so that all targets were measurable. They also worked closely with Advance Tafe to customize a package tailored to their needs that would be painless and seamless to migrate into their everyday work lives.
The 5 distinct areas in need for improvement identified by FM Innovations were enhanced through;
1) Installing and implementing Aperture, Space and Personnel Management, which enabled Advance Tafe to access electronic plans for all the buildings and to do ‘mock ups’ of potential alterations.
2) Purchasing the Room Event Management (REM) module, to accompany WSM Works and Asset Management, this has overcome the problems that they had experienced with their original Room booking System.
3) Introducing WSMplannet, which provides a web interface with WSM Works and Asset Management & REM allowing access to all outlying campuses.
4) Working closely with the FM Innovations team testing the functionality and modifying WSM to track equipment requests.
5) Developing measurable key performance indicators around the facility management objectives that measurably helped them achieve their targets. Therefore delivering them a net gain on the bottom line.
More than 100 years of committed service to technical and adult education through the Bairnsdale School of Mines and the Sale and Bairnsdale Technical Schools culminated in the creation of the East Gippsland Community College now Advance Tafe in 1986. In response to rapid, continuous change in the external environment, the Institute has survived and thrived, driven by a strong collective commitment to its mission, innovative capacity and pivotal role in the economic development of its region. Advance Tafe maintains that every individual and enterprise in the community has a right to educational opportunity at a time and in a place and of a form appropriate to their expectations, needs and capabilities. In its first year of operation in 1987, there were 3,000 students served by a range of 40 courses. In 1998, over 10,354 students participated in 163 courses providing a penetration rate of over 10% of the regional population and achieving, for the first time, more than 1,000,000 student contact hours for the year. In 2006, nearly 11,000 students generated over 20,000 enrolments, totalling more than 1.7 million student contact hours.
Advance Tafe Campus
FM Innovations have provided Advance Tafe with the tools to manage their facilities in a cost effective way. Through the use of FM Innovations product Aperture, Space and Personnel Management, they have the ability to access electronic plans for all the buildings and to do ‘mock ups’ of potential alterations. Once they ascertain if alterations are functional they have detailed plans that can be used for quoting purposes, therefore minimizing the chance of misquoting by suppliers. This saves Advance Tafe thousands of dollars in architects fees and hours conversing to and from the architect’s office. Implementing Aperture has been especially useful for the creation and updating of fire evacuation plans.
Advance Tafe staff are constantly impressed when finding new applications for WSM Works Management and Asset Management. This year they have discovered another use for WSM - manage the Tafe's equipment purchases. Advance Tafe have four main sources of equipment funding and an enormous equipment “wish list” that has to be monitored and regularly updated as requirements change. In the past they used a rather complex series of spreadsheets which finally outgrew their usefulness. By logging all equipment requests under a ‘Project’ called, ‘New Equipment Requests’ all the information can be detailed, monitored and analyzed. From their they can depict the various funding sources once they are approved for purchase. Although WSM wasn’t initially designed to track equipment purchases Advance Tafe found that the work staging and the available reporting enhances their efforts in this area as well as giving them more time responsive reporting. When Ross McShane, Acting Facilities Data Maintenance Officer for Advance Tafe, first enquired about the possibility of using WSM for this purpose he was invited into the FM Innovations offices where the team spent time with him testing the functionality of WSM, after which they made some suggestions that have resulted in Advance Tafe achieving their aims without the necessity of any upgrades to the system. Saving Advance Tafe thousands of dollars and countless hours a week!
WSMenterprise Works and Assets Management
Advance Tafe has recently implemented the Room Event Management (REM) module, to WSM, which appears to overcome most of the problems that they had experienced with their original Room Booking System. The REM module will allow Advance Tafe to book rooms, classify and define room usage, manage all resources used for these bookings including security, guest lists, catering and equipment, audio visual management and teleconferencing. In addition Advance Tafe have introduced another FMI product; WSMplannet, which provides a web interface for WSM Works and Asset Management & REM. This has been beneficial on two fronts:
1) Some of Advance Tafe’s outlying Campuses only have narrow band access to the major campus. Therefore they were cut off resulting in an overload of paperwork and secondhand recording of data such as maintenance requests. The web-based product allows them to access WSM via the Internet, saving time, reducing paperwork and generated cost savings.
2) Advance Tafe I.T. staff found that it’s a lot less work to maintain and upgrade the Web-based product rather than multiple client server installations and FMI’s competitor’s products.
“This is particularly important because FMI are constantly responding to their clients’ needs resulting in software upgrades and improvements on a regular basis”.
Web Portal for Room Event Management
There was an initial suspicion prior to using the product that the software was another “off the shelf” product offered throughout the market by many of FM Innovations competitors. However Mr McShane feels that;
“It is well tested prior to release following extensive research and development. It's definitely built by people who understand the requirements of Facilities Management for people who need to manage facilities. The support and continual development that comes with it is well above anything you would expect”.
FM innovations have been willing to work alongside Advance Tafe to provide solutions and extended features that work for their environment. So far Advance Tafe have found the migrating process seamless and painless. In some areas they did not have any systems in place such as work maintenance, so the hardest part was convincing the Advance Tafe staff that it would work for them and FMI would provide all the requirements they need.
The approximate amount of money and time saved thanks to FM Innovations cannot be estimated at this time until they have web based access to all users/staff across the Institute. This will reflect more in late 2008 when they start reporting on funds expenditure in relation to equipment purchasing, maintenance works and Skills Victoria funded projects. However, they have time savings from the ability to generate reports in relation to work orders and the response they can now provide in relation to maintenance and equipment requests and better customer service. Implementing Aperture has also resulted in an invaluable amount of time and money savings as we now have the ability to create all our own plans.
“The back up support either over the phone or on the net, has been very good and really useful to us as there are times when we might be calling or emailing many times a week with queries about the ability to change or customize the system to meet our needs. The software has easily paid for itself several times over.”
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