ARCHIBUS Success Story

Surpassing the Standards at the University of Tartu

Established in 1623, the University of Tartu in Estonia has historically housed an impressive amount of research, especially in the fields of neurology, astronomy, geo-botany, and archeology. Today, the university strives to maintain its reputation as an international meeting place of the minds, commissioning new academic centers to achieve this goal. It chose ARCHIBUS to help maintain both new and older facilities, preserving them for future generations while satisfying today's rigorous facilities management standards.

CIFM as a Contingency Clause
As a symbol of its world-class status, the University of Tartu planned to build a new biomedicum to accommodate research and studies in the natural sciences. The university secured a loan from the World Bank to build the facility, on the condition that the university acquire a Computer Integrated Facilities Management (CIFM) system to guarantee the successful functioning of the building (yes, even the World Bank understands the importance of a good return-on-investment). This mandate seemed like the perfect opportunity to extend the value of an FM system to other areas of the university, including the 143 other buildings on campus.

The university’s new biomedicum was financed on the condition that the school implement a CIFM system

Around the same time as the biomedicum construction, the Association of Estonian Facilities Managers and Maintainers (EKHHL) elaborated a national standard designed to improve facility maintenance across the country. This standard, called EVS 807:2001, contains seven groups of activities that generate costs for property owners, including preventive and on-demand maintenance work; housekeeping; construction; ownership costs such as taxes; utility costs; and security services. In addition, the standard includes activities that represent income for the building owner, such as receivable rent and payments to cover the costs of the aforementioned activities. The University of Tartu was interested in implementing the standard-and capturing data on all the activities it includes-as a pilot project in the new building.

A Maintenance Fix
Meanwhile, the university's FM department was anxious for an automated FM system, too. According to Heiki Tamm, ARCHIBUS Project Manager at the University of Tartu, the accounting system was not designed to provide operating costs for each building, and even determining general cost data could take up to two months. The biomedicum's maintenance journal was kept in a Word® document and was not updated very frequently, making it very difficult for staff members to evaluate maintenance activities, their statuses, and their associated costs. Plus, with this information residing only in the minds of the FM department's ten members, there was no central overview of activities or processes and no hope of tracking trends to evaluate spending.

A Flexible Solution in the Native Language
Careful consideration revealed ARCHIBUS as the university's best option. It offered an interface in Estonian, as well as local support in the university's time zone. Furthermore, the system could be easily customized to accommodate the Estonian FM standard's specifications. After installing ARCHIBUS, with the help of local business partner and consultant Reminet, Ltd., the university is not only satisfying the conditions of its loan and of the national standards, it is also improving the speed and quality of its operations.

With ARCHIBUS, capturing the costs related to building activities as outlined in the national standards is effortless. Now, electricity costs can be easily captured and reported, in order to ensure departments are charged accordingly for their use. The university has in fact surpassed the national requirements, adding more cost categories in ARCHIBUS to meet their needs. For example, users can capture costs associated with water supply systems, broken down into distinct categories. These costs can be assigned directly to centers or prorated among leases and departments of the building as needed. Now, according to Tamm, prorating costs and indicating incomes requires just a few clicks of a mouse. "We now have a better overview of costs per building, which increases our efficiency levels," he says.

The university also uses an FM Web Central interface for costs, which enables input of costs over the university's intranet. "It was essential to rearrange the flow of invoices payable," says Tamm. "Now every facility manager can put the received invoices directly into ARCHIBUS using FM Web Central. They then mark that they have accepted the cost and pass the invoice on to the accounting department. The interface also enables approval of scheduled costs, making the approval procedure more comfortable for the senior FMers."

Maintenance personnel are also happier, now that the maintenance journals are in the ARCHIBUS Building Operations Management module. The university uses FM Web Central to record problems and solutions, so the information is centralized and always up-to-date. Help desk reports are visible to all university users, allowing them to monitor the status of their work requests.

Stretching the Standards
Taking its cue from the success of the cost accounting and maintenance programs, the university intends to expand the ARCHIBUS system to other areas, such as using the Building Operations module as a help desk for computer issues and tracking the university's telecommunications. In the meantime, the university continues to satisfy-and even exceed-the expectations of its lenders, its accounting department, and its national standards.

Vital Statistics

University of Tartu
Tartu, Estonia
Facilities Facts:
143 buildings measuring 2,400,000 square feet, 300,000 of which is ARCHIBUS/FM managed
ARCHIBUS/FM Applications:
Real Property & Lease Management
Space Management
Overlay for AutoCAD® with Design Management
Furniture & Equipment Management
Building Operations Management
FM Web Central
Room Reservations
Impetus for Implementation:
Needed FM system to manage new facilities; lacked a reliable, centralized source of FM data
Benefits Gained:
Satisfied national standard for facilities management; enhanced turnaround time of invoices; access to a centralized, up-to-date maintenance record
Future Plans:
Enhance use of Building Operations Management application as help desk for computer problems, implement Telecommunications & Cable Management applications (both projects in pilot phase)
Business Partner:
Reminet, Ltd.
Web Site:
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