Making the Case for Centralized Facilities

Bowling Green State University saves more than $1M a year through consolidation

Background

Bowling Green State University is a public research university in Ohio. In 2008, following suit with other peer institutions, facilities leadership began to centralize facilities operations on campus. The goal was to lower costs, unify facilities standards, establish more consistent preventative maintenance programs, and improve staffing and resource efficiencies. With such an ambitious need, and growing backlog, Bowling Green needed a way to monitor the success of departmental changes and ensure that savings were used to ease the burden of deferral.

Analysis

Using longitudinal tracking and peer comparisons, facilities leadership was able to “right-size” staffing and budgets for a new comprehensive facilities organization. The predictive analytics provided by Sightlines provided enormous visibility. Nearly half of BGSU campus space (48%) was constructed between 1960-1970, generally characterized by lower-quality construction. Using Sightlines’ 10-year prediction model, BGSU was able to break out current needs, 10-year renewal needs, and modernization and infrastructure needs. They further explored current needs by system, and discovered that nearly half of the $290 million was HVAC-related projects. Armed with this knowledge, facilities was able to properly direct savings to projects that both reduced backlog and lowered ongoing maintenance needs.

Results

Although the decision to centralize was made prior to working with Sightlines, the partnership provided critical benchmarking and analysis that has maximized the financial impact of that centralization.

  • BGSU realized savings of $6.6 million over a 5 year period. Consolidating departments has allowed them to complete work at lower costs and improve their output.
  • Using predictive modeling, BGSU was able to identify possible buildings for demolition or renovation and estimated that the impact on DM–based on the current capital plan–would decrease by an estimated 18% over the next 6 years.
  • Planned maintenance increased 158% from FY11 to FY15. A significant up-tick in the number of work orders has led to greater identification of PM opportunities.