From the desk of…VP Kyu-Jung Whang

In the January 20th issue of Pawprint, I provided an overview of the initiatives underway in the Facilities Services division as part of the Administrative Streamlining Program (ASP). The seven key areas of focus included a team dedicated to zone management. Headed by John Kiefer, Lori Barry and Karen Muckstadt, the initiative will implement a system that aligns staff with specific buildings in order to develop expertise within that area of campus while also maintaining consistency in standards for the entire campus.

We will be implementing the first phase of zone management in Zone 1, the contract colleges facilities, by the end of this month. Understanding that this is a new process that will bring about changes for staff who request and perform facilities-related needs, the following Q&A is meant to address questions that we have received and may arise as the process is implemented in subsequent areas of campus.

Q. How is a “zone” defined and determined?
A. Zones are designated areas of campus within which it has been determined there are efficiencies to be gained by focusing and combining facilities-related services. There are many types of zones: trade crew zones, building care zones, grounds zones, unit facilities zones, campus manager zones, etc. The purpose of organization at the zone level is to aggregate work such that it can be done by full-time, professional facilities staff and to dedicate that staff to specific areas of campus to foster partnerships and improve familiarity with facilities.

Q. How many zones will there be?
A. There will be three “main” zones: the Student and Academic Services zone, the endowed zone and the contract colleges zone. A campus manager and a zone facilities manager (ZFM) will head up each zone except in the case of the endowed zone, which will be split into two parts with each headed by a campus manager and a ZFM. We also expect there to be two trade crews per zone headed by a crew perintendent.

We don’t expect to change the existing building care and grounds zones. Criteria for establishing the trade zones includes balancing the number and gross square footage of buildings with the appropriately sized trade crew; arranging the zone so that each unit facilities office will work with only one trade crew; and selecting buildings that are proximate to one another.

Q. How will academic and administrative units determine the base level of services and can they be customized?
A. Service Level Agreements are the mechanism by which the scope of services will be mutually agreed upon. The Governance and accountability team is tasked with developing criteria for Service Level Agreements for the overall division of Facilities Services and for the units. The level of service will be a product of the needs of the units balanced with the expected level of service that FS can provide with the resource levels established for various services. It is important to note that the base level of services offered will be consistent across campus. Units will have the ability to buy a higher level of service if they feel that is required. Units are encouraged to discuss customized service levels, within certain limits, to meet their unique needs.

Q. How is this tied to the budget models?
A. Zones will be deployed using existing personnel within Facilities Management and the units and funding will follow the person in their new role. Other management costs around the new structure will be borne out of the overall funding strategies. Our goal is to balance additional costs with savings through efficiencies and reduction of duplications.

Q. What is the role of the “Zone Facilities Manager” and “Campus Manager”?
A. Key attributes include:

Campus Manager (CM)

  • A strategic partner with the units in the zone on all facilities matters, including topics such as facilities master planning and capital planning. CMs are not expected to be involved with the day-to-day operations within the zone; however, they will serve as an important link between the unit facilities directors and the vice president of Facilities Services.
  • Serves as a resource at a strategic level to the units in the zone on procurement of the diverse services provided by the Facilities division.
  • Zone Facilities Manager (ZFM)

  • Serves as a technical resource and partner for unit Facilities Managers in the zones to maintain spaces in a manner consistent with the programs they support. The ZFM’s role will encompass all maintenance-related functions, including preventive, corrective, planned maintenances, grounds, building care and program upgrades. The ZFM will have knowledge of all maintenance and program work that is occurring in his or her zone.
  • Works with zone crew leads and unit facilities staff at a strategic level to insure quality and consistency of services provided by central facilities crews.
  • Q. When is the zone management scheme going to be deployed?
    A. Some components are already are being deployed, such as the pilot trade crew and the campus manager roles. Zone 1 (contract colleges) will be implemented by the end of March and we are intending to have all remaining zone structures fully operational by the end of this fiscal year.

    Q. How will we know if we saved money?
    A. One of the indicators being used to track costs is the comparison of the number of trade people engaged in corrective and preventive maintenance prior to zone management, and those after implementation. As part of the ASP process, the number of trade staff in the Shops dedicated to corrective and preventive maintenance has been significantly lowered over a two-year period.

    I encourage you to contact me at kw253@cornell.edu or the project manager, Kristie Mahoney, at km285@cornell.edu with any questions or concerns that you may have as we deploy these strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our organization.