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Mount Gould Hospital – Qube Planet CAFM software the system of choice

Qube Global Software has a proven track record within the NHS as a leading supplier of estates and facilities management software. With over 65 healthcare customers using Planet systems, Planet FM is often regarded as the system of choice for many NHS Estates Managers. Planet FM’s solid reputation, combined with its extensive NHS functionality, placed it at the top of the list when John Stewart began his evaluation for a new CAFM system for Mount Gould Hospital in Plymouth, Devon.

Simplifying maintenance

With over 20 years’ service in the Navy, John Stewart joined Mount Gould’s Estates Department tasked with implementing a computerised maintenance system. The Department is responsible for managing 82 buildings across 19 separate sites in and around Plymouth. Mount Gould Hospital is the main site with just under 400 beds, but the Department also oversees the maintenance of several clinics and numerous private houses for longer-term patients.

John had been using Water Information Management Solution (WIMS) to manage the estate but he believed that it lacked the tools and the development he needed to perform his job effectively. He also used several separate databases developed in-house to capture cost information including one for committed expenditure and one for callouts. John found that data was often duplicated across files resulting in unnecessary data input time and inaccurate reports. This prompted a requirement for an electronic system to store this information centrally, yet at the same time be accessible to other users.

“I’ve set up a commitment expenditure report and programmed it to be emailed on a monthly basis to the Finance department.

I was unable to do this before and finance now implicitly trusts the accuracy of the information.”

John Stewart, Mount Gould Hospital, Plymouth

System review and selection

John reviewed several CAFM systems before selecting Planet FM in 2002 because of its strong links to the NHS, and its user configurability. All 10,000 of the estate’s assets were entered into Planet FM resulting in a comprehensive asset register. The register also stores details such as location, warranty expiry dates and a full repair and maintenance history.

Planned maintenance

Planned maintenance is one of John’s main responsibilities. Ensuring patient and staff safety is especially important in a hospital where failure to maintain a thermostatic mixing valve (for legionella checking) or a hospital bed correctly could have disastrous consequences. John is well aware that anticipating maintenance requirements in advance is more cost-effective than dealing with them retrospectively.

Planet FM stores detailed service procedures for contractors when undertaking a job and images can be attached for guidance.

A maintenance schedule is generated for every asset which is displayed visually on the job planning chart. Jobs can be scheduled to fit workload with available resources and the system sends out reminders to ensure jobs are not missed inadvertently. John uses the system daily and checks for trends in maintenance helping him to determine whether an asset should be repaired, refurbished or replaced.

Planet FM’s Planned Maintenance module has enabled John to enter in several ‘opportunity jobs’ which can only be performed once the operating theatre shuts down. As soon as the theatre is out of action, John can ensure that all jobs listed are carried out.

Additionally, Planet FM is used for reactive maintenance tasks across the properties. Details of over 65 contractors are stored on the system, each with details of service contracts, call-out charges and schedule of rates. John reviews the list bi-annually to monitor contractors’ performance and cost history against agreed service level criteria enabling him to make informed decisions as to whether or not to renew contracts.

“Planet offered a highly flexible solution and could be customised to our specific requirements in terms of functionality and reporting.”

John Stewart, Mount Gould Hospital, Plymouth

Managing the FM help desk

John is responsible for managing a team of 4 Help Desk operators. Previously, caller information was recorded manually, work orders were paper-based and job details were stored in physical fi les. Planet FM has streamlined these processes significantly. Jobs are entered in real-time and everything has been simplified with the advanced search facility and the drop-down list of standard faults. A work order is generated which is then processed by the Supervisor. Once jobs have been carried out, job information is updated into the system and the job closed off. Every job is covered by a unique work order providing a detailed and precise job history. Callers can check the progress of their call until it has been resolved and are then asked to complete a feedback form commenting on the service they received. This enables John to monitor his team’s performance and make improvements if necessary. If the team are performing well, now he can prove it.

FM in numbers – reporting made easy

Another important element of John’s role is producing reports for his Finance and his management teams. Previously, John produced reports manually which was time-consuming and sometimes inaccurate. Planet FM has speeded up this process considerably. Many reports are included as standard within Planet FM and its flexibility has enabled John to customise reports providing him with exactly the information he requires. John has set up a commitment expenditure report and programmed it to be emailed on a monthly basis to his Finance department. John was unable to do this originally and Finance implicitly trust the accuracy of the information.

Planet FM has enabled John to streamline the entire maintenance process and he now has greater control over the properties he manages. Data is up-to-date and because it is all stored centrally, the amount of paperwork has reduced considerably. John’s team are all on-board with Planet FM and were surprised at how easy it was to learn. Joy, a Help Desk operator recalls, “Planet FM was so quick to grasp. Just one hour of training and we already had the basics of how to use the system!” Asked whether she would go back to using the old system, Joy remarked “Never!”

John was also impressed by the system’s user configurability continuing, “Planet FM offered a highly flexible solution and could be customised to our specific requirements in terms of functionality and reporting. Each of the members of our Help Desk team have developed their own filters so that they can search in a way that is most logical to them”. It’s fair to say that Planet FM has now become an integral part of Mount Gould’s FM process and John would highly recommend it.

What is Planet?

Facilities management software which has been implemented in over 300 organisations across industry, commerce, NHS and the public sector. We focus on developing IT solutions that deliver real business benefits and provide the information that facilities mangers and FM contractors need to optimize their operations.

If you need to divide your buildings, assets and staff into separate regions or client contracts, Planet simply and efficiently filters your data. Local users work only within the data of their assigned area whilst global users have access to all areas for centralised reporting, help desk functions and stateof-the-art mobile solutions.

Planet will enable you to:

  • Provide a responsive facilities help desk
  • Manage planned and reactive maintenance
  • Keep control of your contractors
  • Optimise your use of space
  • Provide web-based facilities information to customers
  • Ensure a safe working environment
  • Quote and invoice clients
  • Provide your workforce with mobile data tools

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