A tertiary college supporting around 5,000 full and part-time students
Established in 1887, Yeovil College is a key provider of education and training in South Somerset and North and West Dorset. Serving the community in and around Yeovil for an impressive 130 years, it’s committed to its role as a tertiary college for the area’s entire population – currently supporting around 5,000 full and part-time students.
Lack of a reliable system to report FM activities across the campus
Yeovil College campus comprises 14 buildings of different sizes – where plant equipment and building maintenance jobs often arise. The college owns vehicles that also need repair and maintenance from time to time for smooth running and safe functioning. Therefore, facilities management (FM) is one of the top priorities for Yeovil College to keep the campus organised, improve the quality of experience for students and faculty, and meet the statutory requirements for risk assessment within the campus. However, the college didn’t have a reliable system in place to track, manage, plan and report FM activities across the campus. The team used outdated methods such as spreadsheets and databases to record maintenance jobs – which was unsuitable, prone to error, and time consuming. In order to improve maintenance activities, reduce operating costs, and maintain the college facilities in an optimal state, Yeovil College decided to invest in a Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) system.
Transitioning from manual processes to a digitised FM system
The team at Yeovil College was introduced to Idox’s CAFM Explorer at the Facilities Show 2017 in London. According to Kerry Tavener, Technical Officer – Estates at Yeovil College, “There were many systems exhibited by different vendors, but we found CAFM Explorer to be the correct match for our budget and requirement. The other products were either very new in the market and lacked the functionality we needed or came with too many complex features for our requirements. We wanted an easy-to-use solution that could help us transition from manual processes to a digitised FM system – which CAFM Explorer did. The Idox team worked closely with our technical department to help set up the system within our IT infrastructure and ensure a smooth implementation.”
Simplified and streamlined FM operations with CAFM Explorer
For Yeovil College, the biggest benefit of deploying CAFM Explorer was being able to generate FM jobs – from tap flushing to planned maintenance – automatically. “Previously, as every task was generated manually, there were risks of data loss and backup failures. Our maintenance team wanted to be able to digitally record what jobs they were doing – whether they be servicing or related to risk assessment – in one place. With the CAFM software, all maintenance documents are now stored in an accessible, digital database instead of a pile of paper – which has improved the way we work because all the information now sits in one location,” Kerry explains.
Monitoring all maintenance-related tasks within one centralised dashboard enables teams to effectively keep track of work progress and gain operational efficiency. It also streamlines operations and helps the workforce plan, manage, assign, and track jobs more effectively – thereby saving a significant amount of time. “I like the CAFM software because it is intuitive and simple to use. It helps me track my jobs as well as jobs that are assigned to my team members. The comprehensive reporting capability of the system also allows us to set, measure, and report on SLAs – which I find particularly useful,”
By allowing people to log jobs under relevant categories such as breakdown, emergency repair, power outage, fault reporting, and more, CAFM Explorer simplifies maintenance and repair processes. Kerry highlights, “CAFM Explorer has made it easier for staff to log maintenance issues that crop up across the college campus. While previously, they would have to telephone, email, or show up in the FM department to report issues, this has vastly reduced post-implementation of the CAFM system due to its online reporting capabilities. Besides, handwritten tickets were issued to Estates team staff to keep track of tasks but more often, they would lose the ticket or forget to update that the job’s been done. Using tablets has helped the staff strike-off completed tasks immediately – resulting in better work management throughout the college campus.”
Talking about the overall experience of working with Idox, Kerry says, “Anytime we’re stuck and need assistance, the help desk team at Idox is always there to guide us through. They offer immediate help whenever we need technical support; keep track of issues that we raise and aim to get them resolved as fast as possible. So overall, we’ve developed a great business relationship with Idox – the solution has transformed the way we work by allowing us to proactively monitor and manage all tasks related to maintenance, compliance, and safety across the college campus.”