Customer Spotlights

Improved Facilities and Student Service with Electronic Room Inspections

With the implementation of StarRez's Electronic Room Inspections, Maine Maritime quickly reduced its budget and improved efficiencies across their academy.
Maine Maritime Academy
Maine Maritime Academy
Located on the bold coast of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy houses nearly 1,000 students in traditional residence halls and apartments, but their third type of housing is a bit unique. “During the Fall semester about 75 students reside on a ship named the Training Ship: State of Maine,” says Janice Folk, Director of Residential Life and Student Activities. The moves led to a lot of extra paper.
“It’s not unusual for students to have several room changes in a single year since they are moving on and off the ship.  In our paper-based system this created thousands of Room Condition forms, which were stored in more filing cabinets than I care to admit.  At the end of the year, it was nearly impossible to track who had actually caused a damage or which RCR was the most recent.”

Janice Folk, Director of Residential Life and Student Activities.

With the implementation of StarRez and electronic Room Condition Reports, Maine Maritime quickly cut down on their printing budget and started removing file cabinets that housed the substantial student files.  Students typically live on campus for at least the first few years, so by graduation files overflowed with Room Inspection forms.

Electronic room inspections lead to better budgeting

During summer RA training, student staff visit each room and ensure the items are in acceptable condition before students arrive.  RAs use the StarRez app on iPads as they go room to room.  The iPads replace the former method of a clipboard and paper forms. Once a student arrives, an email is sent with instructions on completing the room inspection form online. The electronic form already includes the RA’s notes and gives students the opportunity to accept the condition of an item or make comments.

As students move throughout the year the old inspection is reviewed upon checkout and, when necessary, damage charges are created.  Photos are also taken of the damage. The electronic process created more accurate and efficient billing. Students are given 72 hours to dispute the charge. “Photos make all the difference in the world,” says Folk. “It’s much harder for a student to argue a charge when you have a date stamped photo of the damage.”

With more accurate billing, also comes better budgeting. “Since we’re able to accurately track damages and bill accordingly, we have the funds to replace the broken or damaged items,” explains Folk. The maintenance team also appreciates the accurate tracking as it generates an accurate inventory of damaged and broken items. Maine Maritime creates reports based on the completed inspections, which are regularly shared with maintenance.

Health and safety inspections

In addition to room inspections at move-in and move-out, Maine Maritime utilizes StarRez to conduct monthly Health and Safety inspections. Instead of tracking the condition of specific inventory items, these inspections focus on cleanliness and safety. Similar to the Room Inspection forms, Health and Safety inspections were previously tracked on paper forms. In addition to the monthly inspections for traditional students, weekly inspections are conducted for residents in Maine Maritime’s Regiment program.

Transparency through technology

The move to electronic Room Inspections created transparency by replacing the paper-based process.  Students see exactly what they’re responsible for and provide an electronic acknowledgement.  Damage charges are assessed quickly when necessary.  Paper and Excel are rarely used anymore. Folk found that students were very receptive to the change.

“Students love tech.  This is the experience they expect.”

Janice Folk, Director of Residential Life and Student Activities.

Ann Morgenstern
Ann has been with StarRez supporting higher education housing operations for over 10 years. She loves the education sector and working with our communities.

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