Case Study

Suffolk University optimises space usage with MRI Workplace Central

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Suffolk University is a prestigious academic institution. The campus includes classrooms, residence halls, labs, offices, athletics facilities, and event spaces that together span just under 1km. These facilities support nearly 5,200 undergraduates and over 2,000 graduate students across three schools, all laid out on 1.6 million square feet and 10 geographically dispersed buildings.

Business Challenge

Ashley Lindsey, the Director of Facilities at Suffolk, was tasked with managing the university’s sprawling properties but was struggling to do so with a homegrown system and spreadsheets. Without AI capabilities, the system could not automatically retrieve data points on seating trends across the different properties, and it wasn’t managed on a singular centralised system.

“It was basically a repository of outdated data that didn’t reflect how we were actually using the space. I couldn’t run reports, there was no user interface, and it didn’t allow me to add fields that would capture the data I needed.”
Ashley Lindsey, Director of Facilities
Suffolk University

MRI Space Scheduling went live in June 2021, to coincide with the government’s original plans of lifting lockdown. Commenting on the project, Maeve shares:

Solution

Ashley and the team at Suffolk, with the support of ROI Consulting Group, implemented MRI Workplace Central because of the solution’s deep analytics capabilities for space utilisation and the rapid implementation that allowed them to promptly start managing their space without delay. Workplace Central enabled Suffolk to leverage real-time data to strategically consider how to best use their space across their 10 properties.

“I was very impressed by the implementation speed. Workplace Central was a much-needed addition, so it was a bonus that we were able to start using it so quickly.”

Immediate Business Impact

Working side-by-side with ROI Consulting Group, Suffolk University got MRI Workplace Central up and running in just four weeks. The implemented solution enhanced Suffolk’s space optimisation tactics so they could best decide how to improve their properties’ space usage. Ashley’s team was able to get the data and reporting they needed to measure space usage and determine the best course of action for their properties.

“Workplace Central goes beyond basic utilisation by allowing us to categorise different types of space, which is extremely useful. With that capability, we have data points that weren’t available to us before.”

Granular Visualisations

Workplace Central gave Suffolk University deeper insight into their spaces through different visualisations. Space Utilisation’s color-coding and categorisation for floors and desks made it easier to identify vacant and underutilised space, which helped them make improvements to their spaces in real-time.

Real-Time Data Collection

Before Workplace Central, Ashley’s team used out-of-date data collected from disparate spreadsheets. Workplace Central’s data capturing functionality made it easier for her team to capture data from different sources such as booking check-ins and badge swipes to better understand how their space is being used.

Optimisation through Reconfiguration

Workplace Central has made it easier for Ashley’s team to plan, manage, and execute changes on space allocation based on variables that impact space usage, such as seasonal changes. As their departments’ programming changes, they’re able to understand how space usage in certain areas has shifted, allowing them to analyse and optimise how that space is used.

Learn more about MRI’s wider Workspace Central suite or request a demonstration.

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