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Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the leading tertiary education providers in New Zealand. Over 14,000 students annually flock to five Manukau campuses for technical, vocational and professional education.
MIT aims to push boundaries and exceed expectations to be the best that they can be. It is this inherent desire to achieve excellence that led them to FMI Works back in 2017. Asset and Contracts Manager Kim Smith came on board shortly after the decision to implement our Sapphire Lifecycle Management solution, and was charged with the implementation of the platform.
The long-term vision for Kim is to align MIT’s asset management with best practice, and the first step in that journey was to create a digital asset register.
“How can we be part of a community that learns and grows if we still have our assets on an excel spreadsheet? We couldn’t benchmark or have those real data insights that inform our journey from reactional to planned.”
A significant shift in thinking occurred with the implementation of Sapphire. Previously, MIT had thought of asset management as ensuring rooms had chairs; but with Kim’s guidance, have since discovered the transformative potential of strategic asset lifecycle management.
To begin, a single, comprehensive asset register was implemented. Until this point, key information existed only in the minds of the experts, and was not accessible to the broader business, posing significant operational risk.
“Everything we did was very manual. Information was in people’s heads or in disparate spreadsheets. The information we did have varied across sources. We had spreadsheets of data, from individual chairs to roofs on individual buildings, and no understanding of what that information was telling us” says Kim.
To support data-driven decisions, they needed a single view of that data. Being unable to easily access information restricted the team’s capacity to share information with senior management and finance.
The team struggled to accurately quantify the financial impact of deferred works and forecast future budgetary needs. This understandably presented a challenge when approaching finance for additional funding.
Kim’s background as a business analyst stood MIT in good stead for the implementation. Working closely with the FMI Works success team, the digital transformation process began.
With her previous experience in the implementation of business systems, Kim knew there would be a lot of work to be done. Consolidating all available data, validating accuracy, and working through some of the inevitable bumps in the road.
“You have to put the foundation in first. It’s important to have really good quality data, and a good data structure from the outset; without it you can’t actually do anything. It’s unsexy, it takes time, it takes time to mature, but you won’t see any outcomes without it.”
In terms of working with the team, Kim said “I was able tohave those really robust discussions, different methodologies converged until we agreed on a solution”.
With a solid and structured asset register in place, Sapphire was put into action, allowing MIT to glean valuable data insights. This clear picture of asset data helped MIT visualise the information they had, and the gaps they needed to fill, as they moved towards their goal of asset lifecycle management.
Having an accurate picture of their assets, and being able to analyse and forecast asset spend has revolutionised MIT.
Not only were they able to immediately identify areas of potential savings across their five campuses, they were also able to start predicting asset costs ahead of time, rather than relying on retrospective analysis.
Operational and financial risks are significantly reduced, with accurate budget forecasting providing clarity over current and future state.
Visual data interpretation provided within Sapphire allowed Kim’s team to easily convey complex information to key stakeholders.
“FM is all about invisible assets, so it’s been hard to show what we’ve been working on. But we’re at the stage now where people are getting really excited – it’s real asset lifecycle management” says Kim.
“The data Skyline and modelling we can do in Sapphire gives us the ROI and information we need to deliver a proactive asset lifecycle program.”
As trust in the data grows, and awareness of the work Kim’s team is doing increases across the business; the power of effective asset management is being realised. The ease with which information can be simplified and conveyed in a visual format is empowering the property team to play a key role in achieving MIT’s strategic goals.
Previously, the broader business didn’t know what information existed, let alone who to ask for it. Now, the requests are becoming more and more frequent from decision-makers in the business. There is a growing appreciation of the granular, accurate information Kim and her team can provide on demand.
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