Educational institutions, such as schools, colleges, and universities, often accommodate thousands of people daily, including students, teachers, and several other employees that work at the institution.
To support the people that attend these institutions, many schools and universities will have several facilities to accommodate the large numbers. This means that many institutions house several classrooms, halls, a gymnasium, sports field, and pool. Often spread out across a large footprint. This is the nature of educational institution facilities. It is also important to note that these facilities hold assets such as projectors, sound systems, security systems, and much more to operate. With this in mind, we can understand that the maintenance of all the assets and facilities will be extremely overwhelming. A reactive maintenance program in this environment will not be sustainable.
Maintaining several assets and facilities while attending to numerous maintenance work orders requires an organized system. This is crucial within an educational institution where poorly managed facilities can have significant repercussions. An institution in disrepair impacts the teachers, as well as the service provided to the students. A poorly maintained institution can also be a hazard, and an injury to an attendee can lead to consequences for the institution.
With an understanding of the importance of proper maintenance, it is time to look into the options available for a school or university to implement.
CMMS for educational institutions
CMMS is a computerized maintenance management system. This is ideal for an asset-intensive organization such as a school or university. CMMS is a cloud-based software solution
The platform can assist the maintenance department of any educational institution in the following ways:
- Work order management – CMMS provides an online platform for people to assign work orders. This is not only open to employees, as the system offers a link accessible to any person to notify the institution of a possible work order. For example, if a speaker is not working and this problem was picked up by a student, they would be able to log a notice. All the work orders are collected on a single platform for the maintenance department to access, ensuring that no work order is forgotten. More importantly, it also means that the problems can be fixed in an organized manner.
- Work order scheduling – With educational institutions being such large operations, it can become overwhelming to keep track of every activity required to ensure operations continue smoothly. With a CMMS, the maintenance team can schedule daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual maintenance activities to be conducted on assets when necessary. This ensures that no asset maintenance requirement is left incomplete.
- Increases Asset Lifecycle – It is wasteful and expensive for educational institutions to purchase new assets every time there is a problem. Especially when the money saved can be placed into other sectors for the institution. With a CMMS, educational institutions can consistently schedule and carefully maintain assets. This will lead to the assets being operable for a longer period. Another benefit of careful maintenance is that the institution will receive a greater return on its profits.
- Encourages collaboration – Schools and Universities are often large operations. With many classrooms, halls, sporting centers, and fields, maintenance is complex. To attend to all of the facilities and the assets they have, educational institutions often have separate employees who are designated to operate in specific areas. The fields are maintained by a different group, as are the pools and the classrooms. With a CMMS, the separate maintenance teams and employees will all have access to the maintenance platform. Having a single platform that manages all of the maintenance means that the different teams can operate in synergy and achieve a highly effective system of operating.
- Ability to work while mobile – Maintenance is not a job that allows the employee to spend a lot of time in their office. Maintenance employees are constantly on the move to locations to conduct inspections or repairs. An often overlooked benefit of a CMMS is the ability to operate on a smartphone. On-premises with large footprints such as a university, this feature can be very beneficial. Employees can now send and receive work orders, upload information, and access data related to maintenance, all through their mobile devices. This streamlines maintenance and increases the efficiency in which maintenance teams operate.
- Assists in maintaining compliance and safety – Both Schools and universities must ensure strict health and safety standards. Especially as they are attended by many students, ensuring aspects, such as fire alarm remaining operational or that safety exits are not blocked is crucial with the ability to accurately upload and store information such as maintenance history, which is often a compliance requirement. The institutions can ensure that they maintain a high level of compliance from a maintenance point of view.
Looking at the benefits of a CMMS, we can see why these software solutions are being implemented in more schools and universities. They provide many benefits and allow the institutions to focus on providing a better service for their students.