Ozarks Technical Community College: Implementation Analysis of Facility & Asset Management Solution

About Ozarks Technical Community College

The Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) system offers associate degrees and certificates in a variety of technical, allied health, and two-year transfer degree programs, as well as workforce development opportunities and community enrichment courses. Classes are available at six locations throughout southwest Missouri. Additional resources and information about OTC can be found at www.otc.edu/news.

Scope of Work

As an affordable alternative to traditional four-year universities, OTC has experienced substantial growth over its short lifetime. Rick Taylor, Director of Facilities and Grounds (F&G), now manages the needs of five campuses across southwest Missouri. With this recent expansion, asset growth for classroom technologies and distance learning has had to keep pace with the change in size and number of campuses. Rick, along with assistant director Raymond Wade, executive assistant and system administrator Lesley Cash, and the technical staff stay very busy. Facilities, mechanical and other equipment inherently spawn problems very quickly. When Rick learned that the IT help desk software they were using for work orders was no longer going to be supported, the search was on for a replacement solution. It became clear that OTC’s F&G needed help from technology to stretch it’s available personnel, time, energy, and talent as far as possible. OTC contracted with eSSETS to implement an enterprise asset management (EAM) solution.

Challenges

According to the annual Sightlines report “The State of Facilities in Higher Education: 2014 Benchmarks, Best Practices, & Trends Operating”, budgets continue to shrink at educational institutions across the country, as the pool of potential traditional students shrinks and competition for those available heats up. Schools that cannot deliver what students want and require don’t get students to enroll. That is a short road to closing the doors in the education business marketplace, and it is occurring with increasing frequency. As Rick and his team investigated available maintenance and asset management software offerings, the traditional, on-premise programs for educational facilities were extremely expensive and complicated to set up. OTC’s budget constraints could not stretch to cover the high cost and administrative overhead required for these legacy systems.

The eSSETS Solution

eSSETS’ web-based asset management software was an affordable, perfect fit for the challenges facing OTC’s facilities and grounds, and an easy answer to many of their problems. The program itself is in the Cloud; access is reliable, quick, effective, and the interface is very friendly. The web-based app allows Rick and his staff to fully access information from any location with a variety of devices, and it’s secure. Rick was most impressed with its ease of set up and user-friendly features. The end result has been an asset management system that’s easy to learn, easy to afford, and a continuous source for increased savings in time and quality.

Lesley is no longer tied to the phone because of a dramatic reduction in the number of phone calls from faculty and staff due to the online service request form (WebQ). They are also anticipating further improvements in clarity and accuracy with the rollout of eSSETS’ recently released SmartQ, which takes self-service reporting to a new level. Email notifications to all concerned parties has about the status requests has helped close the communication gap . Tracking of assets, people, and needs has become efficient. Electronic origination and assignment of jobs to specific employees, including the information they need to do the job has improved productivity. As Rick and his team continue to learn even more about the power of eSSETS, additional benefits will accrue. Rick reports, “we’ve seen a continuous stream of new functions and enhancements to eSSETS, which in turn helps us with our process improvement goals.”

Conclusion

Although eSSETS’ asset management system solved many problems for OTC, and even some that were unknown, there still exist many challenges for Rick and his F&G organization. With constant pressure to do more with less, the efficient and effective processes for managing staff and contractors require constant review to see performance improvement. Scheduled, structured inspections of facilities and equipment helps reduce the risks of accidents and injury. Fixing expensive equipment before it breaks requires rigorous preventative maintenance scheduling and look-back analysis. The F&G team continues to work with eSSETS on analytics to help identify and guide these sought after performance improvements. Rick Taylor and his staff will accomplish more and rest easier with continued progress on these challenging fronts.

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