August 21, 2015

Top Stories


First Quarter budget forecasts puts us on target and allows us to hire


Our financial reports are out! The good news is that savings from salaries and materials for the first three months of our fiscal year total $125,000. As discussed in our May town halls we have a significant savings target to help the University increase investments in teaching and research. But as you may recall we also discussed that we were anticipating to be under budget in our monthly cash flow particularly due to vacancies in the organization.

This under expenditure was creating some room in our budget and, therefore, we could do some strategic hiring. This didn’t mean that we would simply hire back crews to historic levels but rather we would look for a balance of right sizing our crews and creating a few new positions that would improve our systems around purchasing, asset management, technical review in the mechanical maintenance area, data analytics, and would reinforce our supervisor ranks with many new head and subhead roles. You’ll notice the posting boards have been full for the past month with many open positions in all areas of the organization and this trend will continue for another month. Over the next few newsletters we’ll take some time to introduce new positions and discuss why they are so important to our organization.

So the next piece of good news is that projecting forward to the end of the year, and including the costs of these new positions, we are forecast to come in on target. Keep an eye on our thermometer in the main USB hallway, and as always, keep your big and small bright ideas coming sharing your bright ideas at


Dedication in what we do delivers exemplar customer service

With his keen eyes and his handy smartphone, our Building Services Worker Harvinder Nagra reported that an interior secured-access door in the Kenny Building was not latching properly and that he was able to pull it open. By recording the door as it closed, he helped Mechanical Maintenance determine that the after-hours change in air pressure differentials was affecting the latching mechanism. As a result, the Locksmith Shop serviced the latching component and increased the pressure in the door’s auto-closing mechanism and now this area is secure all night long.

This is a great example how our systems are interlinked and sometimes it takes many people to solve a problem. Thanks to Harvinder’s persistence and dedication, Building Operations was able to resolve the problem much to the delight of the client.


Read what the media is saying about us: subscribe to the FRO Daily Media Scan

Every day, FRO Communications publishes an email that contains a quick scan of the stories in the news that are directly relevant to our work here in Building Operations.

If you would like to know more about the stories in the news that are influencing operational decisions on campus, you can subscribe online (and unsubscribe at any time).


e-Pro training now moved to the Building Operations website

The training videos for e-Pro, our online procurement solution, have permanently moved from the Payment and Procurement Services (PPS) website to the Building Operations website staff tab under the Managers & Heads section.  Access to the videos on the the Payment and Procurement Services (PPS) website will be discontinued in the near future.


Asset Information Collection Pilot to start at FNH building


Over the past few weeks, we have landed on a solid list of assets (Systems & Equipment) we need to gather information on so we can operate, maintain and keep track of them better. This asset list is the foundation for the next few steps. Templates to collect information on assets (from the list) are being developed and we will leave the copies up in the hallway and build on this good work.

We will start to collect data in and around one building as a pilot so that we can learn from this and improve on asset collection efforts. The Food, Nutrition and Health (FNH) building was selected because it is a medium-sized core building that is 33-years-old. This facility has multiple uses; classroom, labs, theatre, office space. It has undergone building renovations and addition which will prove to be a challenge in collecting asset information.

We recognize that there are some shops that already have great information on systems and equipment they operate. In these cases, we will be using the data readily available and consolidate information. So if you have spreadsheets with information, we will be coming to you for that.

Once the pilot is complete, we will review lessons learned and decide how best to proceed with collecting all other assets across campus, i.e., by building or by system or by equipment type; keeping in mind what assets Municipal and Custodial teams need.

Our goal is to collect information on Assets that helps us design programs to maintain them more effectively. Stay tune for more details on the pilot as we finalize the plan to move forward.


Take action with your heart health—take a free cardiovascular risk assessment

Cardiovascular disease affects the heart and blood vessels, and results in heart attacks, strokes (in the brain) and angina (chest pain).  The good news is that most people can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke through awareness, knowledge and healthy choices.

Starting in August, UBC Health, Wellbeing and Benefits in collaboration with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, invite UBC faculty and staff to participate in a unique project called CAMMPUS (Cardiovascular Assessment and Medication Management by Pharmacists at the UBC Site).

Learn more about CAMMPUS and join a short presentation and discussion on August 25 and September 30.  Click here to register.


Quick Updates


EAOS UPDATE: This month we welcomed Mark Lindsay and Marcus Drozdzik to the technical team


Leaving UBC: Jim Brock and Karl Fox


NPS score remains at 87% with 10 new promoters last week.


Joining UBC: Jacky Kong, Juno Acharon, Herbert (Jun) Zhang