The Ohio State University Improves Customer Service and Reduces Annual Facilities Software Cost by 50% with Evolve FM
About The ohio state university
The Ohio State University is among the top 20 national public universities. It contains 14 colleges supporting 175 majors and an estimated 12,000 courses offered. Total enrollment is over 64,000students. The campus encompasses more than 1,700 acres and 1200 buildings.
Facility Management Background
In 2004, The Ohio State University acquired and attempted to implement a high-end IWMS solution. “While the software was very feature rich, it was extremely expensive to acquire and difficult to implement and use,” said Joe Porostosky, Senior Manager, Facilities Information and Technology Services at The Ohio State University.
In 2008, OSU looked at Autodesk® FMDesktop and quickly realized that it needed a solution for space management that was inexpensive and simple to implement and use. “We quickly made the decision to put the IWMS solution on the shelf and use FMDesktop for our space management needs.”
A key benefit of going to FMDesktop at the time was that the cost of implementation was low. Even though OSU had a lot of work to do to get their drawings and data into the system, the money they were saving by no longer using the more expensive, complicated IWMS system allowed them to accomplish their goals at a significant savings.
A year later when Autodesk announced they were retiring FMDesktop, OSU connected with CAFM Resources because the company was in the process of converting an existing product, FMView, into a fully functional CAFM solution (now known as Evolve FM) to fill the gap left behind by FMDesktop.
When Autodesk retired FMDesktop, they made arrangements with another software vendor that would have allowed OSU to replace it at a low initial cost. “It was our opinion that FMView (soon to be Evolve FM) was way more advanced and functional in the browser environment where most of our customers would be accessing it,” said Porostosky. “We had around 250 users accessing facilities information with FMView at the time. Thus it made sense for us to move forward with Evolve FM.”
The Ohio State University (OSU) facilities management team is responsible for 36 million square feet of building space. Currently, the Wexner Medical Center at OSU is managing all its 6 million square feet with Evolve FM™ from CAFM Resources, with over 300 people accessing facilities information via their web browsers on any given day. “We’re currently working through our plan to bring the space information for the entire university into Evolve FM,” said Porostosky. “We expect to have our plan fully implemented by the summer of 2013, with all 36 million square feet campus-wide being managed in Evolve FM.”
When OSU implemented Evolve FM, they put together a 15-page overview document for their users. Some users have looked of the document, but most have been able to access the information they need simply by logging in and navigating to the information they require. “Our users love the system because it is so easy to use,” said Porostosky. “It’s so easy for our users to get the data they need out of the system that customer satisfaction is high, which is very important us.”
OSU defines several types of Evolve FM users, including:
Planning Group Users:
These users deal with people who want more space or a long-term planning understanding.
These users do a lot of reporting to satisfy state and federal requirements as well as external customers.
These users primarily view drawing based information.
“Internally, we have deans and administrators who are looking to see how much space their particular organization has while they try to understand their growth and whether they can justify getting more space,” said Porostosky. “We also have facility maintenance people who need to access to certain layers in facility drawings via the web so that they can see things like shutoff valves and life safety information.”
OSU is adding more drawing based layered data into their CAFM system because it is easy to access and view drawings and layers via a browser using Evolve FM. This allows users to quickly get at the information they need from day to day – because it is so easy, OSU does not have to train them in how to use Evolve FM.
OSU facilities drawings are a combination of Revit and AutoCAD files. The Wexner Medical Center is entirely in Revit; the rest of the campus is currently in AutoCAD but will likely transition to Revit over the next few years. “The fact that Evolve FM deals with both Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD file formats transparently, converting them to lightweight flash files, is a significant benefit to us,” said Porostosky.
“All the Medical Center drawings are currently in Revit. From a design standpoint, having everything in 3D is very helpful for doing renderings and trying different layouts so that a space can be visualized to determine what it will actually look like. Once we are satisfied with the design, we bring the drawing (AutoCAD or Revit) into Evolve FM where we track and manage spaces.”
Evolve FM Plan Room
Before Evolve FM, OSU had an old database solution for storing archived drawings and documents. People did not use it much because it was too hard to use. Plan Room provides OSU with an easy-to-use tool to search, find and open archived documents and drawings.
“The Medical Center staff really love Plan Room because they can find the information and documents they need so quickly and easily right from a browser,” said Porostosky.
Conclusions: Satisfied Users & Annual Software Savings of Over 50%
Evolve FM frees the OSU facilities team from being the gatekeepers. “People can get their own data whenever they need it without asking for help from the facilities department,” said Porostosky. A good example would be the OSU research group: they take the available space data and look at grants for researchers.
“That is all happening with almost no interaction with the facilities department; it’s pretty much a self-service operation, which is just the way we want it to work.”
“From a cost of software perspective, we are saving well over 50% annually compared to what we would have spent to try and sustain the enterprise IWMS solution we initially acquired,” said Porostosky. But the major benefits that OSU sees center around customer satisfaction. “Our users love Evolve FM! They use it heavily, it has the features they need, and they find it easy to learn and use. They talk it up to their associates which, of course, leads to even more people in our organization wanting to use Evolve FM. We think that is the biggest win for TheOhio State University.”