One of my clients recently told me that the reason they decided to pursue an IWMS solution over 2 years ago was due to a University mandate to “begin treating space as an asset.” That is a simple statement but the message behind it is very powerful. The University’s leadership had decided to make a fundamental shift in the way they approach their space and facilities. An asset is proactively assessed, managed and planned for. Your assets are an investment. Investments must be properly managed.
The idea itself isn’t revolutionary. The first sentence of the first page of the FICM manual states that “along with its human resources, financial assets and intellectual cache, space is a primary resource of an educational institution”. The overarching idea of that first page is this: if you don’t have accurate and defensible space data, you can’t truly know if you have the proper resources to fulfill your mission as a higher education institution. So why don’t more universities adopt a similar view of their space?
There is no simple answer. Higher Education institutions are under a lot of pressure today, some would even go so far as to say they are facing a crisis. There is tremendous competition in higher education and the cost structure has dropped significantly. Students now have more choices than ever.
However, crisis leads to innovation and more and more universities will inevitably come to the same conclusion: space must be viewed and treated as an asset. Universities must truly understand the cost of doing business and a large part of that is understanding their space. The ability to easily capture an accurate snapshot of your space as it is today, understanding the utilization of your space, and having good data to plan for the future is and will continue to be a critical part of an efficiently functioning higher education institution.
Want to see how our Higher Ed clients are approaching space management? Download our Higher Education Datasheet.