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Brightwater Care Group is one of the leading aged care and disability service providers in Western Australia, with a proud history spanning over 100 years. At the heart of their service delivery is a focus on client wellbeing, ensuring residents are provided with clean, safe, state-of-the-art facilities.
The facilities management team (Property Services) at Brightwater are fundamental to the organisation’s success. They are tasked with not only ensuring business continuity, but concurrently supporting sustainable growth.
Brightwater believes that everyone deserves a better quality of life, and as such, constantly strive to find new ways to help their clients thrive. A key part of constantly raising the bar in aged care, is an appetite to embrace changing technology, and so in the 1990’s, Brightwater engaged us to help their property services team work smarter, not harder.
Brightwater faced a significant challenge in managing 28 properties across a very geographically dispersed Perth metropolitan area with a lean team of 8. Fortunately, that team are a group of forward-thinkers, eager to embrace new ways to improve the lives of their clients.
With properties from Mandurah to Joondalup, a distance of over 100km, it was an almost impossible task to centrally manage property services via paper-based processes. The number of properties, and the distances between them makes it near impossible to physically visit them all in a day.
Brightwater’s Property Services team identified the need to leverage technology to find a solution that was scalable, but accessible enough to allow a frictionless transition. Faced with a sea of options geared towards the mining industry, often loaded with hefty price tags and inordinate complexity, they needed a solution that could evolve with them, but that wouldn’t require a resource overload to get started.
The decision to engage us was fuelled by the robustness of the solution, paired with a reasonable price point, and user-friendly interface. The simplicity of the solution allowed it to be deployed across the organisation, and have team members onboarded, without the headaches that frequently accompany a new software rollout.
Over the past 20 years of working with Brightwater, we have seen the aged care sector undergo a continual evolution, accelerating significantly over the past three years. An ageing population, a Royal Commission into the sector, and the complexities of protecting the most vulnerable from COVID-19 are just some of the unique challenges faced by aged care providers.
Increasing demands are being placed on the shoulders of facility management professionals, tasked with maintaining and improving these facilities. All too often, resources don’t grow alongside expectations, leaving the facilities management teams to do more, with less.
The Brightwater team have accomplished this by being early adopters of technologies that allow them to create efficiencies in everyday processes. Naturally forward-thinkers, they weren’t after a set-and-forget solution that would stagnate, but rather chose to work with us to ensure their chosen solution would evolve alongside their needs.
The Brightwater team have collaborated with our FM specialists over the years, to better utilise the existing software. Along the way, they have both expanding their use of our product suite and contributed to the product roadmap.
Brightwater Property Services Team Leader Ray Breen, said discussions with our in-house experts helped significantly with achieving strategic outcomes. He stated that the collaboration “allows my team to think beyond the normal constraints, and consider the viewpoints of others who are experts in the field”.
“They always bring your focus back to - how will this be managed into the future? -going back to structure, consistency, conformity, and relevance. These discussions help us to not get diverted onto a track that won’t yield the same benefits”.
For Brightwater, the scope of what is possible within our solution is constantly expanding. While the work order is still king, the benefits of utilising different modules and features have continued to amplify over the past 20 years, with benefits being felt throughout the organisation.
For Brightwater, some of the most significant outcomes from their implementation have been in respect to communicating with key stakeholders. “Real time information is imperative when it comes to reporting up the line, reducing the risk of miscommunication, and giving all parties the confidence the data is accurate, and up to date” says Ray.
At the touch of a button, users can see all active work orders, how many are outstanding, and how many have been completed. This seemingly simple solution allows for expectations both up and down the chain to be managed, with real time information available to approved users from anywhere.
For Ray’s team, efficiencies created by use of the platform have resulted in significant opportunities for organisational growth. In relation to cost management Ray stated,“where previously we might have had two days a week spent on data entry, that resource can now be utilised for more value-adding activities”.
When putting a case forward for budget allocation, there’s no longer guesswork involved; comprehensive information on realised and expected maintenance costs is now easily accessible. With better oversight of expenditure, Brighwater is confident in the proposals and recommendations presented by the Property Services team.
By tracking work orders and costs, the Property Services team are armed with transparency of expenditure, giving way to more informed business decisions. A goldmine of data, the solution allows their team to dig deeper and discover insights that would otherwise would have been missed.
Better project management capability, means that the Property Services team at Brightwater can methodically work towards achieving long-term strategic outcomes.
The aged care industry is constantly evolving. For Brightwater, the focus is remaining ahead of the pack. An ageing property portfolio necessitates looking towards the future and planning for future maintenance and upgrades.
On the future of facilities management, Ray says; “Facilities management is going to continue to evolve, there’s no such thing as the pinnacle, it is forever changing, which is part of the appeal of the job”.
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