Higher education institutions often purchase software solutions that (1) do not meet their needs, (2) are not fully exploited, or (3) are more complex and costly than what the institution truly requires. Recognizing this, the Facilities Management Department at Murray State University engaged the services of Draper & Associates to (1) conduct a high-level business process review to establish critical functional specifications, (2) manage the procurement of a replacement CMMS/CAFM system and (3) provide implementation oversight of the selected CMMS/CAFM system.
The Draper Approach
Draper consultants began with an analysis of the Facilities Management Department’s current business processes along with discussion and documentation of the functional and technical requirements for a replacement business system. The Draper Team documented the interviews and provided a summary report including an overall analysis and recommendations for process improvements. This report served as a basis for defining specific functional and technical requirements in the development of the CAFM RFP.
Draper’s CAFM software procurement services assisted Murray State University in evaluating and selecting a software solution that aligned with the business needs of the institution and offered scalability to meet future functional and technical requirements. Part of this effort included the development of a weighted scorecard for evaluating proposals, preparing and providing formal responses to vendor queries regarding the RFP, and preparing any associated Addenda to the RFP for distribution to respondents. Draper then coordinated and scheduled presentations by the short-listed firms, and assisted in negotiating software and professional service contract pricing to help ensure maximum return on investment for the University.
Implementation has begun for AssetWorks AiM®, a fully integrated, web-based suite of management and planning solutions. The new system utilizes best-in-class technology in support of key business objectives for Facilities Management in the areas of Operations & Maintenance, Space Planning & Management and Fleet Management.
The implementation services provided by Draper included the creation and management of a comprehensive project plan consisting of scope of work, deliverables, project timeline, milestones, budget, risk management, roles/responsibilities, etc.
One unique aspect of this engagement that was particularly challenging was the compressed timeframe in which two major functions supporting the Facilities Management Department had to be implemented. The University was eliminating its mainframe computer system that supported both space management and fleet management – two significant services provided by the Facilities Management Department. This necessitated a phased approach to implementing the new software to ensure uninterrupted service to campus constituents. Draper incorporated this constraint into the procurement and installation requirements set forth in the RFP and obtained a commitment from respondents to meet the important schedule considerations.
For the Draper Team, this project has been two-pronged, requiring an expertise in developing sound business process solutions combined with the capability to leverage today’s technology in support of Murray State University’s business needs. Utilizing the Draper & Associates’ principles of accountability, objectivity and control – the answer was simple.
- First, by providing universal access to valuable information and business tools, all end users and university constituents will become more accountable for their functions relating to operations & maintenance, space utilization, inventory control and fleet management.
- Second, utilizing this technology offers a mechanism for university constituents to make objective decisions, based on quantifiable, accurate and timely information.
- And third, the utilization of state-of-the art technology, combined with sound business processes, procedures and standards as agents of control allow for university end users to foresee future strategic needs, based on accurate, reliable and timely data.
The goal was to ensure that once the system was implemented, Murray State University staff was properly trained and able to maximize the functional technological benefits which will ultimately support the university’s needs and provide more accurate and comprehensive information for Facility Management’s customers.