I recently presented on the complexities of Asset Management for Educational Institutions at the 2017 Universities CFO conference held at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. This year’s theme focused on caring for the world in supporting people and the environment into a sustainable tomorrow.
Asset Management Challenges for Universities
In the higher education space, facilities managers face unique problems that are not faced by any other industry. With a decline in funding for universities, TAFE institutions, and other private institutions, as well as pressure to minimise tuition fees, getting higher education budgets approved is proving more difficult. Yet, these institutions must manage billions of dollars of Facility, Fleet, Teaching, Scientific and IT assets.
Campus facilities (buildings, utilities, vehicle fleets) in particular are central to a quality educational experience. Campuses are enduring assets that must be maintained and enhanced over time. It is therefore no surprise that building, operating, and maintaining facility space is a growing proportion of their annual budgets. These costs have increased significantly over the past 10 years.
Facilities Managers need to address these challenges head on. If a university can manage their space proactively as an institutional asset, the organisation can increase levels of student satisfaction, lower operating costs, and increase energy efficiency levels.
In order to get the best “bang for buck” in their maintenance spend, a holistic approach to maintenance is critical.
Creating a ‘sustainable tomorrow’
For universities, Asset Management offers leadership tangible cost-savings and efficiency metrics to support endowments, government oversight, and a shifting population.
- Identify the gaps between institutional requirements and current facilities management systems and processes.
- Formalise your Asset Register – capturing all of the assets that will require maintenance over their asset lifecycle. BPD Zenith is currently working with universities to assist them undertake this initial data capture as a precursor to populating our MaxiCloud (Maximo in the Cloud) solution. We are also working to link the Asset Register with the Fixed Asset Register in the Finance System. Often this is an area of angst for universities.
- Proactively collect data on your buildings and assets with field verification, point cloud collection and more. Facilities-related data is also a vital part of effective grant management and chargebacks.
- Transform your legacy CAD data into an information-rich model such as BIM. This helps prepare your data for renovations and retrofits as well as getting valuable models back for facilities management use.
- Implement a new facilities management system, integrate it with operations and review all processes. When campus space and asset data reside in one place, facilities managers enjoy higher rates of indirect cost recovery, better information for strategic planning, increased chargebacks for grants and better insights into maintenance needs.