Facility Chat with Josh Duran
Texas State University’s Josh Duran, Ingress Management Supervisor, Facility Operations, receives about 700 key requests and 700 work orders per day. Located between Austin and San Antonio, the university has the unique distinction having the country or state’s highest square footage per student ratio, with about 40,000 students and growing.
That’s a lot of emails. How many folks do you have on your team?
Josh: We’ve got two locksmiths and one access control technician. Our team handles lock and key access. Other teams handle HVAC and electrical systems.
Why so many requests?
Josh: This is a busy season for most of us: new semester starting, dorm move-ins, new faculty, and staff. Customers are emailing (our generic department email inbox) and calling in by the dozens, requesting status updates for their requests that they just put in.
How do you prioritize the work?
Josh: We’ve got two categories of requests. First are safety and security. For example, if a student is trapped out of their dorms. Or if doors aren’t secure. Our second priority is helping professors who need key access to certain areas of campus.
About how much time does it take to handle each request?
Josh: About 12 minutes per request. Then another 30-40 minutes going to their rooms. Plus, there’s paperwork for each request to keep an audit trail. We’ve all been working overtime. We’ve analyzed the workflow which is broken into micro-tasks such as cutting keys and macro-tasks. Lock changes are the biggest requests. Supply shortages also add time to the process.
How does your team manage the stress of being so busy?
Josh: We say it’s like shoveling snow when it’s snowing. When we have free time, we all keep journals, and we write with our non-dominant hand. It’s a technique that helps us decompress and de-stress.
In what ways are you looking to streamline your processes?
Josh: We’ve developed templates for accessing requests, an idea that came from one of our technicians. We’re also looking into developing phone credentials for students for a greater sense of security. Most of us tend to take better care of our phones.
What else is happening on campus in the facilities management department?
Josh: We’ve been struggling with retiring workers and recruitment. It’s hard to find applicants who meet the basic requirements. We currently have positions open. When retiring workers leave, so does institutional knowledge.