Dorm inspections reduced by 800 hours with handheld capabilities, students place work orders via Web with new solution
Greenville, SC — April 5, 2004 — Bentley College, a business university based in Waltham, Mass., has deployed Datastream's 7i asset performance management (APM) solution in its facilities management department to improve the dorm inspection process, automate the management of thousands of work orders and optimize inventory in the centralized campus store.
Using Datastream 7i, Bentley said it expects to save 800 hours of labor each year, reducing the length of the dorm inspection process from more than one month to just one week.
Bentley has more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 1,000 employees at its campus. Each year, the facilities management department inspects each dorm room on campus with a 25-point process that includes checking for items such as broken lights, broken sinks and broken windows. Prior to using Datastream 7i, the department used a paper-based inspection process. The processing of data for the inspection of 5,341 dorm rooms took from four to six weeks to complete.
By using the APM's handheld devices when moving from room to room, Bentley employees can enter results directly into handheld devices; the results are then uploaded to Datastream 7i. New work orders are generated in a few hours, and billing information is transferred within a week.
"We selected Datastream 7i because its inspection functionality is far superior to the other solutions we evaluated," said Tom Kane, Facilities Administrative Systems manager of Bentley. "Datastream's Web architecture allows us to access the application from anywhere, and the application can be configured to meet our specific requirements. The results for us have been compelling; we've reduced the amount of time required for the inspection process by approximately 80 percent."
Bentley has also built a custom process to integrate Datastream with its Banner enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. This integration allows Bentley College to capture and track the costs associated with each building on campus. The data enables the facilities management team to identify "high cost" buildings and take the steps required to bring them in line with other buildings on campus.
Bentley College also uses key performance indicators (KPIs) and executive dashboards to provide "at a glance" information on important metrics, such as average response time to work order requests, so the team can meet its performance goals.
Bentley is exposing the Datastream 7i work-order functionality via Web services to the general population, so anyone on campus can log on to the system and enter a work request and track its progress. The school currently processes approximately 15,000 such requests with the system each year. Datastream 7i also automates inventory management in the central campus store, so there is always an appropriate level of inventory to support ongoing operations.
"Educational institutions such as Bentley are finding great value in Datastream 7i because its flexibility enables them to transform their facilities management processes and improve efficiency," said Larry Blackwell, president and CEO of Datastream Systems Inc. "Technologies such as mobile and Web services allow Bentley to rework operations and processes, thus reducing the time it spends on inspections. As a result, Bentley is able to increase student satisfaction, enhance visibility across systems and better manage its inventory."