The management, correlation, assessment, planning and implementation of capital works and facility management tasks at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) have been eased by the upgrade of its asset, facility and space management system, reports PETER BLUNDEN, the former manager of systems and information at UWS.
Today’s world is structured around change and responding to change requires real-time focus on the management of strategic data and information within an organisation’s systems. Accurate real-time data collation is the essential, key task in every organisation’s business management process that facilitates responsible informative decision-making to best manage assets, facilities, space and environment.
Most organisations traditionally collate and store this data in separate business systems; thus, accessing and reporting on this data and information as one report usually requires a series of multiple task sets to extract the information. Building an intelligent visual report that can allow you to read, mark up and report on all related data on the fly has until now been on the wish list of many businesses.
The demands are high, time is limited and today it is expected that all levels of management monitor and manage their compliance, risk issues relevant to their asset, facility, space and environment.
In my role as the manager of systems and information at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), I oversaw the transformation of the university’s asset, facility and space management system to solve and support its business intelligence reporting across all levels.
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UWS sought a solution that would enable it to:
- simplify its capital works and facility management system and save on complicated repetitive systems and time consuming research
- engage a system that could manage all assets, facilities, maintenance, environmental issues, risk management and security
- enable a layered enquiry process or drilling down from site plan to each individual asset anywhere on the 10 sites, and
- provide the ability to read in real time all information on the fly with visible correlation to all related assets, facilities and space data, CAD drawings, documents and photographs.
The project involved bringing together all the information relating to the university over 10 major sites totalling over 1800 hectares, 550 buildings and 12,500 rooms. It involved the collection of data, complete documentation and storage on multiple systems down to the level of each individual asset within each room and assets external to buildings such as roads, paths, covered ways and the like.
UWS updates large databases of information across a number of systems on a daily basis. Without SISfm Enquiry providing real-time access to all this information, it would be difficult for the capital works and facility management team to manage, correlate, assess, plan and implement in reasonable time, tasks such as master planning, capital works, maintenance, space planning and campus safety and security.
In order to simplify data access and processes at all levels, IFM integrated the SISfm Enquiry application with Archibus, AutoCAD, room booking, CCTV, vehicle infringements, research protection, parking, audiovisual equipment management and Cadcorp SIS software to deliver a single point of access (web portal) that enables user friendly direct access through any browser to enquire, read, view and report on any asset in real time that is stored throughout the university’s systems.
SISfm Enquiry is accessed through core modules to facilitate different business functions, and all modules are integrated with the university’s business systems and CAD data. The system was implemented as a corporate/enterprise system, which means it can have multiple users and is able to configure user security options for accessing various levels of information.
The system provides a bi-directional (two-way) dynamic link to all databases and systems via any web browser, delivers GIS/CAD data with added intelligence through the browser, reduces system maintenance, minimises operational and support costs, and reduces liability and risk by the removal of duplicated data across multiple systems. In addition, it enables the querying, analysis and reporting on facilities, space, plant, services and asset details. Infrastructure, utilities and services plans and documents, including multimedia, can be viewed from one point, and maintenance programs can be accurately assessed and deployed. Furthermore, secure access to live CCTV locations throughout the university is provided.
Peter Blunden was formerly the manager of systems and information at the University of Western Sydney and chose Integrated Facility Management (IFM) to complete the task in that role. He has since joined IFM, which provides services and supports 14 universities throughout the Asian Pacific region, to become its business manager. Well-known as one of the leading open thinkers in the Australian university marketplace, especially in the management of assets, facilities and space, Blunden’s experience in the industry spans some 30 years.