Archibus Case Study: York St. John University

 

York St John University has been a leading education, training, and research institution at the heart of the city of York, UK, for more than 175 years. The award-winning campus has undergone a multi-millionpound transformation over the past 10 years, making York St John an outstanding place to work and study. It’s one of England’s fastest growing universities following the introduction of five academic schools and an increased range of demand-led courses. Equality, opportunity, and social justice are at the centre of the University’s ethos and is reflected in its reputation for academic excellence, graduate employability, and strong sense of community.

 

 

Priorities vs. Back-burner Requests

 

Managing 50,000 square feet of space and maintenance requests that come along with it is no easy feat for a small team. That was the challenge facing York St John University in York as it looked for ways to better manage maintenance requests from staff and students. “We definitely had to shift schedules because of COVID and determine what to put on the back burner,” said Charlotte Amess, System Developer and Space Coordinator. “It’s hard because we have to log [maintenance] jobs for students and find them accommodations. The difficulty came with trying to triage what takes priority and what can’t be attended to.” York St John has used Archibus since 2005 for space and maintenance management, though not to the level they should have, Amess said. When COVID hit, preventive maintenance took center stage – even for facility staff.


“It was important to know where our staff had been, what job they were doing, and what safety steps we followed if they tested positive.”

 

An Eclectic Mix

 

York St John University has a long history in the UK, dating back to its founding in 1841. Some legacy buildings built more than 100 years ago are still in use – with “listed” or historical designation. Add new construction to that mix and the school has what Amess calls a “Harry Potter-esque” blend of structures.


“We’re not allowed to make modifications to many of our listed buildings,” she said. “That’s why we use Archibus to track what we can and can’t do. The system allows us to look at past models and see what pops up, such as organize remedial work. If we want to build a new structure requiring a great level of detail, we’re confident in the data provided through Archibus.”


Access to Meaningful Reports


It’s been hard for Amess and her team to meet certain requirements from myriad service level agreements. Often, tasks once deemed important dropped in priority and “it may have looked like we’re not paying attention,” she said. Archibus reporting functions provide Amess with the access she needs to data that highlights not only what needs to be done, but also how the university can improve its already stellar standing as a global environmental citizen. York St John has sent 0% of its waste to landfills since 2016. “We’ve had environmentally conscious students come to us with freedom of information requests for things such as how many electricity-based jobs we’ve done this year, and how they’ve gone down in number. They want to know that we’re compliant and forward-thinking as a university. It makes us think how we can do better from a carbon footprint perspective.”


Confidence in Archibus


Amess is no stranger to integrated data systems. She once worked for a unified communications company and then a financial software vendor. With Archibus V.25.3, Amess says she is working with one of the more user-friendly systems she’s ever seen. “Our team handles office move requests almost on a daily basis. That means performing active data updates for each move – and unfortunately, some of our people like to move offices all the time,” she said.


With Archibus Space Management, Amess can see what offices are occupied and where there are vacancies. With that many requests coming through, she has to stay on top of every move. Archibus keeps the data in order. “Archibus is one of the more interactive systems I have used, and I’ve used some really robust systems,” Amess said. “If someone were coming into my job, I’d be confident in showing them how to use Archibus. It’s a nice one to navigate.”



Challenges

· Small staff responsible for more than 50K square feet of space across two locations

· Legacy maintenance teams managed work on spreadsheets or printed checklists

· Listed (historical) buildings require careful maintenance that must not modify properties in any way

· Eclectic mix of building types creates maintenance challenges

· COVID highlighted a need to better manage compliance and prevention


Archibus Solutions

· Maintenance Management

· Space Management


Results

· Better able to triage what maintenance requests take priority

· Reporting provides better insight into how, when, and where people are using spaces

· Ability to track when staff requests an office move – a regular occurrence

· Staff noticing potential problems more and reporting issues

· Improving a carbon footprint that already sends 0% of waste to landfills



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