Study reveals UK universities could save 10% on essential repairs and maintenance costs
Materials supply and management efficiency are key factors in reducing costs without compromising on student experience
Northampton, UK (June 2016) – A study commissioned by Travis Perkins Managed Services has revealed that universities across the UK could save 10% on their estates repair and maintenance costs through the implementation of efficiency drives, particularly around the procurement of materials.
The MindMetre study, Educated Savings, highlights that the total annual revenue expenditure on estates management by the universities sector has increased by 9% since 2011, currently standing at around £2.0bn. Repairs and Maintenance (R&M) represents 38% of that cost.
The study shows that, contrary to popular belief, the majority of universities still employ an in-house Buildings Repair and Maintenance unit, with only 12% outsourcing this function. An in-house workforce allows universities direct control over implementing cost-cutting and efficiency drives. The study suggests that the streamlining of R&M materials supply chains, with measures such as just-in-time stock management, improved price negotiation and transparent job scheduling, could significantly reduce expenditure and increase workforce productivity.
MindMetre’s report includes a study of 28 universities (23% of the top 120 universities), that have already implemented an estates R&M efficiency programme, achieving annual savings averaging 10%. The authors of the study expect that the overall financial benefit of such initiatives will continue to match the experience of other public services, including housing associations, local authorities and NHS trusts, which have seen in excess of 10% savings.
Stuart Hough, Managed Director at Travis Perkins Managed Services said: “We can see from both other sectors and the universities which have already implemented an R&M efficiency programme that reviewing the purchasing and management of R&M materials could have an immediate positive impact on UK university budgets. It is a non-contentious area to make cost and efficiency savings and easy to implement for the 88% of universities which maintain a DLO for R&M.”