January 7, 2020 – Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), a private, technology-focused research university in Chicago, IL selected and launched Planon Universe, an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) initially in April 2018. Phase one of the project included a rollout to all faculty and staff, transitioning from its former work order system to improve the user experience. The system improved communication throughout the Illinois Tech community, allowing for a more efficient processing of work requests, and more streamlined workflow processes overall. In addition, the system incorporated financial transactions through its integration with Illinois Tech’s current ERP software application, which maintains student, alumni, financial, and personnel records.
In the Fall of 2018, Illinois Tech rolled out phase two, which provided system access to university housing students and provided customized Planon self-service forms aligned with the use of the residential spaces on campus. This gave students living on campus a direct connection to the people who could take action on their requests and needs. Previously, student work requests from Housing were routed through a third-party system, then manually entered into the university’s work order system. This caused delays, miscommunication, and lack of confidence from users that requests were going to be completed.
The rollout of Planon’s IWMS has significantly reduced work order cycle time, improved communication, and has helped the facilities department become more reliable and predictable. It has also increased transparency through the use of automated and custom notifications and has given students the ability to search their work request history. “Planon has served as an excellent two-way communication mechanism. We have seen a reduction in the frequency of students using other outlets such as social media, to express their concerns,” said Kevin Gallagher, Assistant Vice President (AVP) of the Facilities Operations and Maintenance department.
The third phase of the rollout was implemented in October 2019 and has made Planon available to all Illinois Tech students. “This will give us the opportunity to better understand what is important to our students and provide the ability to track and categorize deficiencies. This will help us make data-driven strategic decisions which will help us prioritize where to invest in repairs and renovations,” said Gallagher. “The system really gives students a voice, which ultimately will lead to increased student satisfaction and retention, and enhancement of the university’s reputation overall.”