Revolutionising facilities management in today's universities

September 21, 2023

In the dynamic world of higher education, universities are at the forefront of innovation and learning. Yet, behind the scenes, they face significant challenges in managing their facilities. From core assets operating around the clock and the urgency of uptime for critical research to mounting pressure for net-zero emissions, there's a clear call for transformative solutions. This article delves into these challenges and showcases how analytics software might offer a much-needed solution.

Financial strains

Pain point:

  • The financial horizon is unsettling with a 9.3% expenditure drop forecasted from 21–22 to 24–25.
  • A 40% turnover rate among built environment staff further complicates the picture.
  • Reduced student intakes at many institutions adds a significant revenue challenge.

Remedy: Analytics software can reveal areas of operational inefficiency, extend equipment lifecycle and boost productivity. By delivering these outcomes, universities can realise substantial cost savings, offering relief from the financial pinch.

Mounting pressure to reach Net Zero

Pain point:

  • Surveyed Australian universities generate a staggering 4.7 million gigajoules of electricity annually.
  • Their carbon footprint amounts to 726k tonnes of net CO2-e (Scope 1 & 2).
  • A significant 88% of institutions have set mid and long-term emissions targets.
  • With a mere 29% of carbon being mitigated, the environmental mandate is clear.

Remedy: Real-time energy consumption tracking through analytics software can pinpoint high energy-consuming zones, inefficiencies and opportunities to optimise plant and equipment. This empowers universities to implement measures that reduce overall energy consumption and their carbon footprint.

Core assets run harder and longer

Pain point: The 9-5 operational window is now largely obsolete. With students and faculty demanding 24/7 access to facilities, core assets are being run harder and for longer, resulting in increased wear and tear.

Remedy: Analytics software continuously monitors critical equipment, flagging issues as soon as they arise. This ensures downtime is minimised, disruptions are avoided and operations are optimised.

Uptime and availability

Pain point: Seamless operations are not just pivotal for ongoing research but also to uphold a university’s reputation. A single glitch can disrupt groundbreaking research or tarnish the reputation of the institution.

Remedy: Through real-time insights provided by analytics software, potential equipment failures can be detected early. This allows for timely interventions, ensuring continuous uptime and preventing research disruptions.

Reactive maintenance model

Pain point: Maintenance, driven by a barrage of complaints rather than a forward-thinking approach, poses challenges. As one Operations Manager revealed, they grapple with 40,000 complaints annually. The sheer volume means that maintenance can be challenging.

Remedy: Analytics software can pave the way for a data-driven maintenance (DMM) strategy. Through DDM, universities can deliver maintenance efforts that are targeted and efficient, enabling more focused schedules, optimised resource use, reduced downtime and increased equipment lifecycle.

CIM's track record with universities

CIM works across a range of property classes, with a number of valued partnerships with esteemed universities.

  • University College Cork (UCC): At UCC, a torchbearer for sustainability, our PEAK Platform plays a pivotal role in refining its green objectives.
  • University of Technology Sydney (UTS): UTS exemplifies its forward-thinking approach by integrating PEAK in multiple facilities, affirming its dedication to advanced operational efficiency.

In the landscape of university facility management, challenges are many, but with innovative solutions like analytics software, a brighter, efficient future beckons. With a proven track record and pioneering solutions, CIM stands poised to lead institutions on this transformative journey.

Intersted in learning more about how CIM's PEAK Platform is helping universities improve operational efficiency? Chat to one of our experts today.

Chris Joannides
September 21, 2023