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University of Arkansas - Physical Plant Operations Reorganization/Reengineering

Fayetteville, Arkansas

  INDUSTRY: Higher Education
  SERVICE AREA(S): Implementation Management

The Challenge

Draper & Associates and the Adams Consulting Group conducted a comprehensive operations analysis of the Physical Plant Department in 2000 as part of a review of the constituent administration and staff support departments within the University. What emerged from that analysis was a list of findings, recommendations and conclusions reflected in a report, dated November 15, 2000.

After the study was completed, the University realized that it did not have the internal capacity or expertise to program manage the initiatives required to address the recommendations outlined in the report. The University engaged the Draper/Adams to serve as program managers to oversee the complex reorganization and reengineering.


The Draper Approach

The Draper/Adams Team worked with Physical Plant executives to develop the necessary documentation to support implementing the 43 recommendations contained in the Review. A series of thirteen interrelated projects were created to perform the fact-finding, analysis, design and development activities underlying the programmatic enhancements, organizational transition, process improvements and financial management modifications recommended in the Comprehensive Review of Physical Plant Operations.


Results Realized

The thirteen interrelated projects, and their associated accomplishments, are described below:

  1. Facility Assessment & Portfolio Management Program Development - Conducted a facility condition audit of the eighty-six E&G facilities on the campus resulting in a 236-page report detailing facility condition data collected and stored in an Access Database provided to the University. Developed a strategy for maintaining the database and provided training to University staff and contractors. Also developed a Capital Investment Strategy Document that outlines a strategy for the University to be able to fund the recurring maintenance requirements for the E&G facilities as well as retiring the backlog of deferred maintenance.
  2. Maintenance Program Development - Reorganized the existing maintenance program to transition it from a traditional trades shop organization and focus to a zone-based maintenance program. Divided the campus into five zones, developed a zone team structure tailored to individual zone requirements, and recommended a redistribution of existing trades staff to fill the zone maintenance teams. Created associated work flow processes to address both reactive or unplanned maintenance activities as well as planned maintenance activities. Provided recommended tool list and vehicle redistribution to support the zone-based maintenance operations.
  3. Preventive Maintenance Transition Plan - Created a strategy to implement a comprehensive preventive maintenance program where none existed. Inventoried and tagged over 5,000 items of equipment installed in E&G facilities on campus, and ensured the data was loaded to the University's computerized maintenance management system. The system generates the appropriate work orders at scheduled intervals and created the associated materials lists to ensure the availability of required parts. Created the associated work flow processes and optimal schedule to permit a balanced preventive maintenance work load.
  4. Facility Planning and Construction Program Development - Designed a new unit within the Department incorporating new versions of previously fragmented utility planning and management, A&E, contract administration and project management support functions. Created the associated new position descriptions and work flow processes. Developed the business rules integrating the use of on-call contractors to augment and leverage the University staff and address the campus construction and renovation requirements. Defined formalized, and in some cases newly created, space planning and construction program planning and management functions. Created the associated new position descriptions and facility planning work flow processes. Recommended a hierarchy of campus planning documents.
  5. Custodial Services Program Analysis - Reorganized the existing custodial services program to transition it from a traditional daytime operation and focus to an evening-focused program. Established a daytime shift to focus on restocking activities and reactive custodial requirements. Created a projects/relief crew to focus on recurring heavy custodial tasks, redefined the levels of custodial standards, and resectioned the facilities to realign the individual custodian's responsibilities. Divided the campus into five custodial zones (aligned with the maintenance zones), developed a zone custodial team structure, created a new Custodial Lead position and associated position description, and recommended a redistribution of existing custodial staff to fill the custodial teams. Enhanced the training program, created a quality assurance program, and developed a position description for a Training & Quality Assurance Coordinator.
  6. Grounds Keeping Program Analysis - Reorganized the Grounds Department by dividing the campus into four geographical sectors and a central support services area. Expanded the Grounds Shop parking area to consolidate multiple storage areas and provide adequate parking and shelter for equipment. Recommended developing Campus Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Plans that establish maintenance standards assigned to specific areas of the campus. Recommended an ongoing training program for grounds staff and development training for supervisory personnel. Created a quality assurance program to bring a uniformly high standard of appearance to the campus. Recommended contracting for select services and providing dedicated pest control services for both E&G and non-E&G facilities.
  7. Support Services Analysis - Conducted comprehensive reviews of all the Physical Plant Support Services to include Solid Waste & Recycling, Vehicle Rentals, Garage & Vehicle Services, Pest Control, and Environmental Compliance. Documentation from each of these reviews resulted from in-depth study of key work order and financial data for each support service entity and interviews with relevant management and staff. Where applicable, peer data was used to establish viable comparisons.
  8. EH&S/Compliance Management Review - Conducted an environmental compliance audit of the main campus and the nearby Agricultural Experimentation Station to evaluate the University's operation with respect to compliance with applicable laws and regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Labor Commission, and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The information presented, conclusions reached, and recommendations made were based upon site observations made during the audit and review of relevant documents and records provided by the University or obtained from the ADEQ. The audit made a number of specific recommendations. Provided the framework for and reviewed the development of a Departmental Business Plan which addresses the overall objectives, policy, and responsibilities for implementation and administering the Environmental Health & Safety Program.
  9. Organizational Design & Development - As a result of the preceding projects, developed a Facilities Management Department organization incorporating the organizational changes necessary to administer and provide the recommended level of services necessary to meet the University's requirements. Created an organization chart reflecting the transformation from a Physical Pl ant to a Facilities Management Department.
  10. Staffing Plan Development - Created the position and job description for an Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities. Created position descriptions for each new positions identified to support the reorganized Department and made comprehensive recommendations relative to staffing levels based on calculations, peer institutions, and industry best practices. Prepared communiqués to staff and campus constituents to ensure timely and accurate dissemination of personnel actions.
  11. Non-Personnel Resources - Contracted services, equipment, materials and supplies were evaluated for synergy opportunities across programs and functions within the Department, as well as for procurement synergies across service and commodity categories.
  12. Management Process Reengineering - Improved process efficiencies have been incorporated as integral components of the other projects. Developed work flow processes that also addressed the exchange of pertinent management information.
  13. Budget Redevelopment - Several years of detailed financial data and operating/ staffing statistics were gathered and analyzed in order to determine and evaluate the true cost of delivering maintenance, renovation and construction services. Developed budget models and delivered them for the Physical Plant Department budgets for FY 2003 and FY 2004.

" Draper & Associates has been of great assistance in helping us to determine the level of service and the corresponding mix of resources and level of expenditure that is appropriate in managing and maintaining the University's facilities. Their analytical work is allowing us to more clearly define and quantify our facility requirements as we pursue an accelerated growth strategy for the campus. Their integrated approach to organizational and program planning is positioning us to gain synergies across projects ranging from routine maintenance to renovation and new construction. As a result, we have a clearer indication of what we are getting when we make capital expenditure decisions and a higher confidence in our ability to generate a bigger bang for the buck."

Dr. Donald O. Pederson
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
The University of Arkansas




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