(PRWEB) July 31, 2006
Without an efficient asset and resource management system to manage physical assets such as those at UCCA, it would be a logistical and administrative nightmare trying to keep track of which student has loaned which piece of equipment, and which equipment has been lost, stolen, or is need of repair. This process becomes even more complicated to manage and track when students take equipment out of the country when carrying out overseas projects.
Integration and Data Headaches
The University College has recently been established following the merger of the Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD) and The Surrey Institute of Art & Design. As with the merger of any organisation this has raised data integration and management issues.
Equipment at UCCA used to be booked using one of two methods:
1) Paper-based system looked after by UCCA staff which had to be manually processed and was very difficult to keep up to date
2) Single store systems available only to booking staff
Defining the Needs
Alan Nash, Deputy Technical Co-ordinator for the University College for the Creative Arts, wanted to make life easier for both staff and students. He knew there were a number of IT systems available, which could help solve the asset management problems the college faced, but none of them quite lived up to expectations. So what were the college’s requirements? Nash says he needed:
An asset and resource management system that was easy to use
- A means of tracking all assets and ability to obtain an audit trail of where assets are located at any given moment, whether a piece of equipment was being repaired, how often it had been taken out of service due to repair and who it had been loaned to
- A solution that would allow for all related and associated documentation to be electronically stored alongside each individual asset
- To be able to use images on screen to provide visual support to on screen text
- A system that could give and keep details of the value of assets for insurance purposes
- Advanced search capabilities that enable assets to be located and found quickly
- A system that would provide the ability for students to self-book equipment within a secure authorisation framework, therefore freeing up administrative time
- A system that would provide trend analysis and reporting in order to provide a better asset management forecast e.g. when should certain assets be replaced? What is the return on any capital investment?
- And finally a flexible and secure system, which could be accessed from anywhere over a wide geographical area
GOSS Creates the Solution
UCCA looked at a number of possible solutions and decided on GOSS and their Intelligent Asset Management (iAM) solution. The company currently provides UCCA with their Content Management System which manages the University College for the Creative Arts website http://www.ucreative.ac.uk. UCCA has developed a strong working relationship with GOSS, with both organisations understanding the others needs. GOSS therefore seemed to provide the perfect fit, owing to its bespoke solutions and experience with a number of public and private sector organisations. Working closely with GOSS Nash was able to get the solution he wanted, specifically written and implemented to meet the University College’s asset and resource management requirements.
The benefits of the bespoke solution are:
- Ease of use
- Minimal training required for users
- Use of web technology to enable users to access the system and make bookings with a personal log-in and profile from anywhere in the world
- Flexibility – anything can be deemed an asset, from people to video cameras, and it can also track maintenance schedules and asset lifecycles
- Bookings and workflow can be scheduled
- Seamless integration with other UCCA systems
- Real time automation of the data management process, meaning that UCCA are able to keep records up-to-date
- Real-time information about which resources and assets are available to users
- High levels of security; permissions can be controlled and access restricted to certain areas of the system by administrators
- The system allows relevant documentation to be electronically stored alongside assets
- Time and cost savings
- Extensive reporting function and the ability to create audit trails
Secured Resources and Assets
Security is an important part of the GOSS offering. Nash explains why, “Security is of paramount importance as we are dealing with nearly a million pounds worth of assets. The ability to assign competency levels to assets ensures that expensive equipment is only available to those users who are authorised to do so. Students can look on-line at all the assets available to them and we can then authorise the loan”.
iAM – An Effective Asset Management Solution
So what does Alan Nash think about the system?
“I think the GOSS asset and resource management solution is an extremely good system”, comments Nash and adds, “We have had systems before but they have been very limited in their functionality. In this day and age we require intelligent systems that facilitate efficient work flow processes and enable effective use and deployment of all our resources”.
The GOSS iAM solution delivers a wide range of functionality that can be used in a variety of ways in order to ensure maximum return on investment. As Alan Nash says, “One of things that we wanted the new system to do was to provide an audit of all asset failure breakdowns, which we have not been able to track before. This would help us in forecasting future expenditure, and provide us with a better idea of when an assets life cycle is coming to an end. The new system will provide us with a reporting function that really does assist us in our management and procurement processes”.
The GOSS solution provides UCCA with the wherewithal to provide a first class service to its users that provide quick and easy access to those resources and assets required by users to undertake and complete projects that require technical equipment from a single system.