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A modern-day workbench on the Dunedin campus

Tuesday 16 July 2019 9:59pm

A new web-based system called Workbench is keeping track of maintenance work on the Dunedin campus, and will be used by authorised staff.

A new maintenance system for the Dunedin campus not only keeps people who request the work up-to-date with progress but keeps staff safer and saves printing more than 50,000 pieces of paper annually.

The new Workbench web-based tool was created to deal with more than 17,000 requests a year and a further 18,000 planned maintenance activities and is a customer-focused collaboration between Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Property Services Division, ITS Director Mike Harte says.

Staff no longer have to print out job requests – including multiple-page requests – because staff can see the requests on their computers or phones.

Staff can also easily update the job’s status so people who requested the work can see its progress, along with the University of Otago Facility Managers who look after the buildings, he says.

The system automatically requires trades staff to do a quick safety questionnaire before starting every job, to ensure they have considered possible risks.

If any areas could contain asbestos, warnings will automatically be displayed on the system, along with links to relevant documents, Mr Harte says.

Workbench lets University Facilities Managers who look after the buildings:

  • Assign the request to a trades team coordinator
  • See who is working on the request and their progress

For trades staff coordinators, Workbench:

  • Provides an easy way to let the person who requested the work know about its progress
  • Is the new way to assign requests to individual trades staff
  • Has created an easier way to see what staff are doing and prioritise their workloads
  • Means attachments can be added to job requests

For trades staff, the system lets them:

  • See the work they have to do and update the job’s on their mobile phone or tablet
  • View files of information about buildings
  • View the locations of buildings
  • Enter timesheet information

Property Services staff put many hours of work into helping to develop the new system and testing before it was introduced. The ITS staff involved are in a range of teams – Business Systems Enterprise Resource Planning, the Business Systems Group, Information Systems Development and Information Systems Support Group, Mr Harte says.

Both ITS and Property Services are members of the Operations Group, which has three top priorities:

Enable – the University to achieve its visions and mission
Engage – with our students, each other, our customers and externally
Experience – of our students, our customers, and externally to be outstanding