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The University of Cambridge (UoC) Estates Facilities (EF) department manages a complex university estate with diverse facility types, from sophisticated research and teaching facilities to buildings of historical and cultural importance, such as the Fitzwilliam Museum. The overall size and composition of the estate is evolving, with facilities becoming more and more complex and stakeholders constantly requiring better performance, while controlling cost and managing risk.

To meet these challenges, the EF team decided to implement an Asset Management business model, and contracted The Woodhouse Partnership Ltd (TWPL) to provide support. Initially, the work involved assistance with two niche challenges, however it quickly became clear that a more integrated plan of action was required. TWPL worked with the EF senior management team to develop a prioritised transformation roadmap, for which a business case was made and approval obtained to implement an Asset Management System.

A key early action was to conduct an assessment of current practices against the requirements of the ISO 55001 standard for Asset Management, thus establishing a baseline against which progress can be measured. The UoC EF leadership team also recognised the importance of increasing asset management awareness and competence, and asked TWPL to provided IAM Certificate training for over 30 members of staff. This was followed up by a number of awareness sessions with other members of the UoC staff across the wider estates function.

EF is now implementing the roadmap with the help of TWPL’s highly experienced practitioners.  This includes developing an Asset Management System framework and manual, which is already proving valuable in identifying opportunities for efficiency improvement and better alignment.  Another key element of the programme is the creation of the Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) which defines the long-term objectives and the intended approaches to delivering them.

As the programme develops, the value-prioritised work plan will include management of outsourced services, developing an asset management performance scorecard, improving operation and maintenance manuals, and developing and delivering more appropriate asset information and data systems.

Christine Leonard who is heading up the programme for University of Cambridge EF said; ‘We see the implementation of an Asset Management System as a good approach to managing the many and varied challenges we are facing, as the size and complexity of the estate increases. This approach will enable us deliver our objectives in a sustainable and robust manner.

Alex Thomson who leads the TWPL support team added; ‘This is an important programme for the University of Cambridge and TWPL is delighted to be helping EF on its journey.  It is refreshing to see the ISO 55001 Standard being utilised in university estate management, and particularly one with responsibility for such iconic facilities. We believe that the University of Cambridge is in the vanguard in this respect, and we look forward to helping in further performance improvements through Asset Management.

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Julie Fowler, Marketing Communications

T: + 44(0)1635 298800