The summer holidays are nearly upon us and for many multi-academy trusts (MATs), thoughts will be turning to development. Summer provides a valuable opportunity to reassess the organisational practices that connect the academies within a MAT, as well as time to make improvements ahead of a new academic year.
A central system that unifies and streamlines management can be a revolutionary investment for a MAT. But, while the many benefits may be clear, MAT directors may worry that adopting such software simply isn’t possible without considerable upheaval. After all, how could the process of digitally recording and tracking every asset, premises, contract and policy across a large number of academies, each with its own managerial challenges, be anything other than painstaking and laborious?
The answer lies in effective and collaborative asset management implementation.
An invaluable investment
Without visibility and communication throughout a MAT, academies cannot hope to make the best use of its resources or form a joined-up approach to administration. By its very nature, a multi-academy trust is designed to enable a number of like-minded schools to work together for the benefit of all, but without a support system to unite them, a MAT seems destined to fall short of this aim.
MATs need standardisation across the board, in everything from their policies and procedures, to their inventories and compliance checks. With every academy able to access a ‘single, real-time version of the truth’, asset management software can dramatically reduce the time and money spent coordinating contracts, tracking assets and carrying out routine maintenance.
Even seemingly small details, like the names of asset categories from school to school, have an impact on the smooth running of a MAT; mismatching terminology can easily lead to inaccurate records and unnecessary replacement costs. On the other hand, an up-to-date MAT-wide inventory ensures asset deployment in all the right places and concurrent depreciation.
Implementation in conjunction with asset management
It’s not difficult to see the worth of asset management software for MATs, but can it really be implemented easily and cost-effectively? It can be tempting to opt for a self-implementing system to keep costs down, but the time it takes to get it up and running, not to mention the risk of using it to less than its full potential, often make such software a false economy.
Asset management solutions worth the investment should include a bespoke implementation service as standard, starting with onsite asset discovery that catalogues every room and asset across your MAT swiftly, professionally and with no disruption. Our auditors can populate your inventories for you, or work with your teams to help them manage the asset discovery process, which includes full photo documentation, barcoding and valuation.
We can also attend academies within your MAT to provide pre implementation consultancy days and post onsite training for your staff. Pre consultancy days cover everything from setting up categories and smart data fields for preventative maintenance and compliance checks, to creating user accounts and setting up mobile apps and reports, to ensure the MAT sees the trust-wide view they need. Both of these services aim to make sure your teams are confident in taking the system forward, and every ongoing subscription comes with access to free online training, so new staff, new features and software updates never slow you down.
“When we signed up for Parago, I don’t mind saying that I thought going around all of the schools and trying to list all the items was going to be a bit of a nightmare – but it absolutely wasn’t. It went very, very smoothly,” says Mark Harris, finance director of Kent Catholic Schools Partnership.
“That hands-on approach was really the best level of training. I can’t speak highly enough of the Parago staff who helped implement the program.”
So, if a new asset management system is on the summer to-do list for your MAT, don’t let implementation concerns put you off. With the right software partner behind you, you can start benefitting from a centralised management solution, expert training and ongoing support in no time. Get in touch with us today to find out more.
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