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Published: Jun 18 2018

How to Future-Proof Your Property Like the University of Sheffield

By implementing a solution like Accruent, the University of Sheffield facilities managers avoided the pitfalls of an outdated asset and property assessment.

Visitors to most universities are left in a common state of enchantment at the beauty those historical buildings behold. The nostalgia that “my grandparents’ grandparent attended within these four walls,” or that “I sat in that same chair in that same building” can be alluring. Age-old properties hold a mystique about a different time—depending on when they were built—and an opportunity to beautify a town’s skyline.

While history may run deep for some, universities from all over the world face one common challenge: aging properties. Many institutions are experiencing the hardships—maintenance and budgetary restrictions—largely in part to the 1960s building boom—an era when property managers and owners built aggressively, because of the affordability of land. In the post-World War II era, the builders and property owners of those buildings did not account for the future and what it would take financially and logistically to maintain the property.

Since most organizations cannot look into a crystal ball and tell exactly when things will break or how long this building will last, facility managers are tasked with trying to maintain, plan and change for the future based on what little insight they have either from a historical property assessment or a recent manual property assessment.

Given the broad spectrum of properties and the tight budgets that may coincide, it can be a daunting task.

Like many other buildings and universities, the University of Sheffield needed to make a fundamental change to a large majority of their properties. With over 300 properties covering more than 5 million square meters—that is roughly 1.5 times the size of New York City!—the university had to find a solution that would provide a clear, accurate and real-time picture of each property condition so that no surprises were in store. The solution needed to provide accessible data on which to base budgetary forecasts over a number of fiscal periods allowing for better decision making and long-term cost savings.

In 2017, the university introduced Accruent’s mobile surveying and asset management technology, a change that would provide them the necessary data, but also ensure that the right level of funding is in place to maintain the University of Sheffield’s estate.

By implementing a solution like Accruent, the University of Sheffield facilities managers avoided the pitfalls of an outdated asset and property assessment.

Using an outdated property assessment makes it difficult to collect and extract meaningful data because of the inherent time restrictions associated with an undertaking of multiple properties. Since using Accruent’s technology, the University has seen the benefits of being able to collect data and use it effectively in their reporting and forecasting for the future.

As the university learned, to truly plan for the future, you cannot use a legacy infrastructure. You need a cutting-edge technology that accounts for cost and time savings. The time savings of using mobile technology like Accruent allows anyone from anywhere with permission to access at any time. This type of technology is widely appealing, especially given that the data collected is put into a central asset database so every vendor, facility and property manager are on the same page and nothing is overlooked. This insight gives the user a complete view of the property and/or its’ assets, which not only enables accurate budgetary forecasts, but data-driven prioritization decisions.

When you aren’t sure exactly what your property entails, it can be difficult to plan for the future. The key to planning for the future of your property is to fully understand its present, and without the right supporting technology in place to help you do so, you won’t be able to adequately prepare for its future.

See how Accruent can help you future-proof your property without relying entirely on a historical or outdated property assessment. Get in touch with us today!

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