Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) already had an asset management solution, but the program wasn’t providing any real time or efficiency savings.

Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) already had an asset management solution, but the program wasn’t providing any real time or efficiency savings. Despite its scepticism of implementing another system, Parago managed to win the trust over, demonstrate what an asset management system should be and show the incredible changes it can make.

An introduction to CMAT

CMAT was formed in 2011 with the clear vision of providing high quality and dynamic education for all at the heart of its communities. “As a trust, we truly value the success of every child and we place the sharing of excellent education practice at the core of this value,” says Pete Evens, site manager of CMAT.

“We are committed to improving the quality of education and life in the county of Cambridgeshire, and its immediate surroundings.”

The trust operates from hubs in Cambridge and Peterborough and its staff, pupils and families are spread across the entire area. While the values of each school are the same, their locations make them different – for example, those in rural villages are bound to need fewer, and potentially different, resources than the schools in innercity estates.

Like any trust, CMAT needs an asset management system in place to ensure its assets can be tracked across multiple sites. It must be accurate, easy to use and accessible.

CMAT’s previous asset management system

According to Pete, the trust relied on another asset management system in the past, but it simply wasn’t up to scratch.

“Basically, it wasn’t very user-friendly,” he says. “To get everyone across the trust to use Parago and introduce it to their busy day-to-day schedule, the system had to be easy to populate and manage.”

Introducing Parago

Implementing an asset management solution is about a lot more than installing the program and leaving the academy to it. Parago’s introduction begins with two days of onsite training, involving all of the site managers and several members of the site teams.

“Everyone picked up how to use Parago fairly easily with Nick, our trainer, going through the processes in an interesting and informative way,” Pete explains. “We had already been given log-in details and passwords, and each school already had its virtual map of classrooms etc in place and made up by the team at Parago. This allowed us to hit the ground running.”

Pete described the training as “excellent” and the efficient support team was an added bonus, as it means there’s always someone available to answer any questions or queries the trust’s employees may have.

How Parago compares

Not only is Parago’s asset management solution easier to use, it’s capable of doing a lot more than CMAT expected.

“I did wonder how Parago would compare, but from our initial training day it was obvious that with a little hard work we would reap the benefits from it,” Pete states. “Parago is very intuitive and with the bonus of mobile phone and tablet apps, it makes it portable around site too which is a must.”

He adds that the excellent back up from the support team has made using the system a pleasure. “Any questions or issues that arise are very quickly answered and resolved and we have yet to find anything to stump them!”

Pete also cited the benefit of having asset management software that is updated regularly. Whenever changes are made, Parago’s users are notified immediately, and the technical team are always happy to listen to a user’s suggestions for improving the system. If they believe an idea is worthwhile, they’ll implement it.

What difference has Parago made to CMAT?

It may be too soon to collate any hard data about the impact Parago has made, but Pete makes it clear the trust is very happy with the positive effect the software has had so far.

“It’s early days to show any defined impact Parago has made, but it has made our working lives easier by providing a central location for all of the service contracts, room specifications and assets,” Pete notes.

“We are now in a position to asset manage all our schools across the trust and along with the site maintenance helpdesk in place, the ability to produce a whole range of reports at the touch of a button and the promise of more improvements, I would have no problem with recommending Parago to anyone.”

Would you like to know more about what Parago could do for your academy or school? Get in touch with us today – we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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