Capturing costs in Dorm Maintenance

Case study on how Trinity University is improving their facility management to capture more than $90,000 in lost capital.

Services

The ability to operate with a full Windows OS, opens up many doors to data export, getting right into the database for quick data management, or even bringing a mobile printer along to print repair lists right on site.

-Chris Sawallich,
Coughlin Services



Case Study: Using UMT Audit to inspect and regulate damages in dormitories
The Challenge
To capture more than ninety thousand dollars in lost capital due to damages incurred by students over a residential period.

Coughlin Services, hired by Trinity College, is a contractor assigned to repair and replace damages in dorm rooms or dorm furnishings after students move out. Performing inspections on paper for each dorm room and manually generating reports to bill students was taking too long to complete. Due to this lapse in time and lack of direct evidence, more than ninety thousand dollars was being lost annually in unresolved claims.

“We were working a ‘pen and paper’ system, we definitely needed to upgrade” stated Chris Sawallich, operations management and consulting specialist at Coughlin Services. Coughlin Services needed to streamline their data collection efforts in a way that would provide access to damage evidence and relevant documentation faster.


The Solution
Coughlin Services and Trinity College selected UMTAudit™ to develop a custom dorm inspection software program that streamlines their data collection and holds students accountable to damages through accurate reporting tools and photographic evidence.

“UMTAudit™ seemed like a very logical decision because of the mobile capabilities” said Sawallich. Coughlin Services uses UMTAudit™ on a tablet pc to conduct dorm room audits, allowing the group to collect information digitally and attach relevant photos to specific damages. Sawallich says that “the ability to operate with a full Windows OS, opens up many doors to data export, getting right into the database for quick data management, or even bringing a mobile printer along to print repair lists right on site.”


The Results
Through the consulting help of Coughlin Services and the capable reach of UMTAudit™, Trinity College is now able to bill students who vacate dormitories in a timely and effective manner.

Using UMTAudit™ they have set up a billing process that begins when students check in at the beginning of their term. When students move in they will be required to conduct an inspection with a supervisor or RA. At the completion of the inspection there is documented evidence of current damages. Attached to this inspection are any relevant photos as well as a digitally captured signature of each student. As students check out of their dormitories at the end of the term, they repeat the inspection.

Damages cited in the end of term inspection are collected along with supplementary photographs and each student’s signature is required before they vacate the premises. Having this dual accountability allows the university to bill students for damages at elevated levels of confidence in cost recovery. Moreover, UMTAudit™ also allows Coughlin Services to use the information collected in the access database to improve how they sort and assign work orders.

“The access database integrated with UMT Audit is astounding for data sorting” says Sawallich. Immediately upon entry into the database, each damage is assigned to a contractor along with the building name and the room number. This allows Coughlin to easily print out a complete work form, outlining each damage, its description, as well as location for each contractor.


The Future

The next phase for Coughlin will be to use UMTAudit™ to integrate the students’ move in reports, along with the move out inspections. This will cut the time management needs to cross reference disputes to damage claims. Furthermore, Coughlin Services also has plans to implement a bar coding system into the dorm inspection audit/database that will allow the group to track the location and condition of dormitory furnishings.

This addition will complete an effective transformation of the damage repair and replacement process, aid in the collection of lost funds, and improve the quality of furnishings for future students.
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