Advancing technology over the last twenty years has changed the role of facilities management across all industries. One of the industries impacted the greatest is education. Facilities managers of school districts, private schools, colleges and universities have to stay on top of these trends to ensure their institution doesn’t get left behind.
With almost 100,000 public schools alone, supporting over 5 million teachers and staff, facilities managers constantly juggle all the responsibilities thrown at them every day. You also have audio/visual equipment, any equipment related to gymnasiums, classrooms, laboratories, and more. Potentially, you may even be involved in the maintenance of buses or campus transportation like shuttles or golf carts. In the wake of disasters like Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Virginia Tech, security card access, metal detectors, and even security staff can fall under your purview.
When items fall through the cracks and issues aren’t properly tracked, it impacts the educational quality, safety and security of millions of students that represent the next generation of America, as well as those that are responsible for their well being.
The common method using spreadsheets is problematic at best.
With the exception of small private schools, most educational institutions have a team of facilities technicians that handle the workload. A lot of times, spreadsheets are the most common tracking method. Unfortunately, it’s not always the most reliable way of doing things.
This might’ve worked for a while, but with technology advances and the role of facilities techs changing, it’s far from foolproof. As the facilities manager, you need to know what your teams are working on and where the issues occur. In a school district, you have multiple schools and separate needs for elementary versus secondary schools. Universities have multiple buildings or even multiple campuses. Spreadsheets don’t allow for multiple people to make changes at the same time, and reporting and prioritizing can be cumbersome.
You and your team are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities across various locations, such as fixing broken equipment, handling preventative maintenance, and ongoing updates. Staff turnover, student enrollment and graduation, as well as management changes can consistently cause headaches and add new layers of complexity to your responsibilities.
How do you monitor what your team members are working on? Or determine priority for new requests that come in? How do you stay on top of your preventative maintenance items?
It may be time to consider a software package that is more robust than a simple spreadsheet. There are three distinct benefits to be gained from switching to a software package.
Three benefits of a more robust tracking software
- Preventative maintenance scheduling and tracking
With tight budgets, you and your team have the large challenge of keeping equipment running properly as it ages. The last thing you want is to have to spend money on new equipment because existing pieces aren’t properly maintained. A tracking software allows you to set up reminders or issues to track preventative maintenance so nothing gets forgotten. You can then capture all the details about the maintenance and report on it, making sure you get the most out of your equipment.
- Gaining visibility into what the team is working on
You’ve heard it in many instances: location, location, location. With multiple buildings, multiple schools, and an untold number of classrooms and labs, you need to know where your techs are. You want to make sure they’re not overlapping or making multiple trips to the same place. Tracking software lets you communicate with your team, staying on top of timelines and changing direction when any urgent issues arise.
- Prioritizing incoming requests
Requests may come in from multiple sources. In addition to your own team, teachers and staff members and students or family members may report issues like spills in the cafeteria, lack of restroom maintenance, malfunctioing lab equipment, and transportation concerns. A software package lets you see all of your requests and prioritize them based on severity or impact. Being able to quickly pull a team member from routine work and dispatch them to a critical issue keeps the flow of the educational day moving smoothly.
Are you ready to move away from spreadsheets or post-it notes spread across your workstations? Read more about how educational institutions are using Issuetrak for facilities management and other issue tracking needs. To get a personalized tour showing how Issuetrak can help you organize all your facilities management needs, talk to one of our product experts today.