By Devon Maresco
More and more, a school or university is a dynamic environment. Kids aren’t sitting idle in classes anymore, watching teachers at the front of the room. In the age of flipped classrooms and immersive learning environments, students are on-the-move, using more of the facilities around them. They rely on educational institutions for support, which makes it imperative for administrators to answer this expectation with CMMS for schools.
CMMS software enables rapid action from in-house maintenance and facilities staff to ensure the school’s resources, amenities, and facilities function as-expected. From IT support to janitorial and beyond, CMMS aligns the school’s support staff with the needs and expectations of the people using facilities—students, teachers, parents, and administrators alike.
Here’s a look at the role CMMS platforms play in facility maintenance and building upkeep, and the role these services ultimately have in the educational experience.
What is CMMS school maintenance software used for?
Whether it’s an elementary school with a couple hundred students or a college campus that plays host to thousands of learners, educational facilities face daily wear and tear. Facilities need upkeep to stay functional day in and day out. CMMS software helps maintenance and support staff stay on top of these needs as they arise, in order to minimize downtime and ensure resources are always available for the people who need them.
CMMS platforms serve as a single source of intake and organization for support tickets and routine maintenance tasks. When a teacher submits an IT support ticket to have her projector fixed or the janitorial staff needs a replacement set of recycling bins for a classroom, these tasks queue into the CMMS, where they’re sorted and processed, and eventually addressed. The system itself makes sure services get assigned to the right person, billed to the right cost center, and archived accordingly.
In simplest terms: a school CMMS system ensures the many maintenance needs of facilities get taken care of in a cost-efficient, timely manner.
The benefits of CMMS for colleges and schools
A CMMS platform is a central management system for the broad maintenance and upkeep tasks present in educational facilities. As a result, it’s also the best place to look for cost-saving opportunities, efficient approaches to upkeep, and data for improving maintenance operations. Here’s a look at some of the broad benefits associated with CMMS:
- Better budgeting for recurring and routine repairs and maintenance
- Better cost allocation and expensing to different cost centers
- Expedited time to repair for support tickets and maintenance requests
- Improved planning for capital improvements and large projects
- More organized ticketing and task allocation through a CMMS
- Archived repair and maintenance tickets for reference in the future
- Access to prior servicing data and notes, to facilitate better future service
- Automations to reduce time, cost, and manpower affiliated with repairs
There’s an expectation that the assets and amenities within the learning environment will be accessible when teachers and students need them. CMMS makes it easy to track and monitor service tickets and requests, to ensure they’re well-maintained and available at all times. The result isn’t just a better educational experience—there’s also school pride and satisfaction to consider, especially at the university level where tuition and enrollment costs tend to be top-of-mind.
How to implement CMMS school maintenance software
The approach to implementing CMMS software depends on the scale. The rollout for a single elementary school or satellite building is much simpler than for an entire college campus. Facility managers need to first understand this scope, then identify the features and capabilities of software that ensure it meets expectations.
For schools with existing CMMS software or some other form of maintenance request management, look for ways to automate data transfer to a modern CMMS. This can include extracting, transforming, and loading (ETL) data into the new software, or importing critical maintenance data and tweaking it manually. There may also be the ability to directly port data from a legacy system into a new cloud-based environment.
If the CMMS and digital maintenance management are brand-new concepts for a school, it’s important to focus on setup and establish the system correctly from day one. This means establishing rules and hierarchies, and ensuring data get sorted, logged, and aggregated accordingly. It’s also important to consider integrations and automations that can assist in auto-populating the CMMS, from incoming ticket submissions to the archival of complete requests. Over time, thorough setup will coalesce into a system that works as-intended to provide support to facility professionals at both the building and campus levels.
The bottom line on CMMS software for schools
Educational facilities are only as effective as they’re maintained to be. If resources and amenities aren’t functional, students can’t take advantage of them, which hinders the learning experience. Conversely, well-maintained facilities empower educators and enable students. From in-classroom technologies to common-area facilities, it all needs to work for students to benefit.
CMMS platforms for schools put facility maintenance teams at the forefront of addressing problems where and when they arise. And, with as much traffic and use as educational facilities see, CMMS gives them a much-needed edge in planning for and budgeting against the ever-present needs of these facilities.
Keep reading: Facilities Management Software for Schools