Case Study: Performance Excellence Improves Facilities Maintenance Services

Opportunity:  An esteemed East-Coast private university operated a large medical school campus, where extensive research was conducted in conjunction with numerous sister hospitals.  This campus included seventeen buildings, encompassing over 1.4 million square feet.  Behind the scenes of this prestigious institution, many activities were required on a daily business to ensure effective and efficient operation of these facilities.  Besides the fact that world-renowned medical researchers expected a comfortable work environment, some research experiments were highly dependent upon precise temperature control, and subject to losing years of research investment if power, heating or cooling systems failed.  Although a university-based, unionized department had been providing facilities maintenance services for several decades, the medical school was aggressively pursuing methods to obtain the highest quality and most cost-effective services, including the possibility of utilizing external contractors.  If the university-based service organization was to retain its position with the medical school, it would have to demonstrate that it could compete with the private sector to provide the highest quality and most cost-effective services.  This would require substantial process and performance improvement across many disciplines, and would require a culture change to emphasize customer satisfaction over internal preferences.

Performance Excellence Audit:  Interviews with customers and members of the Facilities Maintenance organization, and examination of work processes and critical incidents, identified numerous problems and opportunities for improvement:

Operating and Management Process Improvements:  


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Revised: April 13, 2008.
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