University of Arts London

Client – University of Arts London

Author - Joe Maleczek 

About the University -

"University of the Arts London offers an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts.


Our graduates go on to work in and shape the creative industries worldwide. UAL is ranked sixth in the world for Art and Design in the 2018 QS World University Rankings®.


The University has a world-class reputation and is made up of 6 equally renowned Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts."


The London College of Fashion is just one of the seven colleges spread across the city that constitute the University of Arts London...and it is down to Simon Francis and his FM team to keep it running smoothly.


Established in 1986, the University is Europe’s largest provider of education in art, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts.


It brings together 19,000 students from over 100 different countries, including 2,250 further education students, 14,000 undergraduates and 2,700 postgraduate and research students. It is also a leading provider of short courses on creative subjects, with around 20,000 people aged 10 to 82 taking a course across the academic year.


Due to its origins, it is a vast estate of buildings of differing ages and widely differing sizes, shapes and designs.  By allowing ARCHIBUS to manage this process for them, and by streamlining the helpdesk and maintenance workflows, the University has succeeded in overcoming this headache. 


This allows Paul Mason and his team to effectively manage all open work requests, ensure SLA’s for completion are met and that statistics are readily available for Estates and Buildings Management.


Senior Facilities Manager, Simon Francis, has openly discussed the University's strategy and objectives in a comprehensive article published in the May edition of FM World.


His article can be viewed at on page 14.


Simon and Paul have worked tirelessly this year to revolutionise the way in which the University control their Maintenance Management process, always working toward the goal of providing first class customer service and operational excellence.

It is great to see that their efforts are being recognised by their peers in this industry when they were one of four finalists for the ‘In-House FM Team of the Year Award’, that recognises the outstanding contributions made by a facilities management team within an organisation, large or small.


Commenting on the awards, BIFM’s chair of judges, Steve Gladwin said: “The BIFM Awards showcase the FM industry at its very best. This year’s entries are no exception with strong competition across all categories. There are some truly inspiring projects here with so much for people working in the profession to be proud of. Our finalists demonstrate the increasing influence and impact of facilities management to business, the economy and society as a whole.” (


UAL will face competition in the final from Land Registry, Tesco Maintenance & Energy, and The University of Oxford. As you can see they are in illustrious company, highlighting the scale of their achievements and meeting of strategic goals. “Simon had the vision and understanding of how important FM is in supporting the core business of the University."


‘… a vast estate of buildings of differing ages and widely differing sizes, shapes and designs’




In common with other multi-campus universities, the FM Team  duties extend across the full spectrum of:

- Cleaning                    

- Maintenance                                                                            

- Security

- Health & Safety

- Estate Management

- Capital Projects

- Disaster Response

- Energy Management

- Sustainability

 -Office Moves


- Front of House

- Waste Management

- Compliance


And much, much more.........


As well as working in conjunction with the MASS development team to tailor a simplified front-end user portal for the raising of helpdesk requests, they have adopted the latest ARCHIBUS innovations such as the Building Operations Console and Planning Board to redefine how they manage the large numbers of work requests raised.


“It’s been a busy year for the University of the Arts London (UAL) upgrading their ARCHIBUS system to the latest 21.2 version and rolling out the MASS Helpdesk tool across the organisation.”


The University has brought on board a new helpdesk team to manage the new system, led by Paul Mason who is keen to get the most out of their ARCHIBUS system and is continually striving for operational excellence.


Having redefined their helpdesk SLA’s and management processes, MASS has worked closely with the University to implement an automated, bi-directional integration with their FM contractor’s system.


This integration determines that all maintenance tasks are accurately managed, and the two systems are closely linked so as to ensure that everyone is working from the same, up-to-the-minute data and information.


As many of you who deal with 3rd party FM contractors will know, communication between all parties is a significant challenge and through the implementation of the ARCHIBUS Connectors Technology, the development of a live connector was quickly implemented, meaning both parties had the latest information to work with.


 The timing for an ARCHIBUS Web Central rollout was always going to be difficult to arrange but they bit the bullet and are now enjoying the benefits of easy access across the University and the future facilitation of mobile applications which have, and will continue to greatly improve productivity.


Meanwhile, the FM Team had to support the many end-of-year shows and events that are characteristic of Arts Colleges and in the background, there was major project work on toilets and social spaces and a new hall of residence at one of the colleges in Wimbledon.


Never a dull moment with more than enough to keep everyone busy.



But this has been the year that will be remembered for the successful implementation of our core business aligned help desk. It is fully expected that the improvements in communication and administration from the new system will make a real impact on service delivery.


From the outset it was decided to reduce risk by effecting a campus-by-campus soft launch, running our systems in parallel and training our teams one at a time.


At the end of the day it’s the people affected by the system that determine its success or failure and through a comprehensive programme of internal marketing and training, we have succeeded.


One very important stakeholder body were the tens of thousands of students who would be the ultimate judges of our performance.


As with all successful stakeholder management, the key was in selecting the right amount of communication delivered in their preferred medium. After much discussion about the possible media that Art Students would prefer a video was developed to be posted on YouTube and played on a loop at strategic points around the University:


This has been a resounding success and improved the perception of the University Estates Desk as being easy to contact, in tune with the students' needs, and caring about service delivery and their health and safety.


It is the size and diversity of the University estate that presents so many opportunities for extending the implementation of 

ARCHIBUS  and exploiting the database.


So, on to next year...well going mobile and removing links in the data input chain promises to reduce cost and increase productivity is high on the list.


Also getting to grips with Asset Management, which is central to the estates' process, will be greatly aided by mobile apps. Improvements in the project handover process and a PPM link into Maximo...there’s never a dull moment with more than enough to keep everyone busy!


We are interested in finding more case studies to write about and so if you, or your organisation, have a success story to tell then simply contact us on 0118 977 8560 or email us at

Alternatively, if you wish to discuss or have any questions regarding this case study, please reach out to us.


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