Summer comes in January in Middlesex when it starts planning its intensive 12-week summer vacation building maintenance, alteration and extension programme. This marks the start of the "outsourcing season".
Martin Hadland, head of estates services, has contracted out building maintenance and construction project management to Cyril Sweett Project Consultants in order to get everything finished before the start of the next academic year.
Mr Hadland and his five staff manage a Pounds 3.5 million annual budget for Middlesex University's 1.3 million square feet of estate on nine north London sites. The team is also responsible for all major new build and refurbishment programmes. For the size of the estate and its Pounds 3.5 million annual budget, staffing levels are surprisingly low with only six building-related personnel; two chartered building surveyors, (Mr Hadland is one and the buildings and estates manager the other), an environmental services manager, an engineer, a buildings manager and an information manager who runs the CAD. The low staff count is due to outsourcing.
To supplement his permanent staff, Mr Hadland uses outsourced professionals as required. "Last year we had a project manager seconded to us from Cyril Sweett. This summer as we have a heavy design workload, we will have an architect on secondment. It is where we need extra short-term resource. That is the whole point of outsourcing. We use external professionals as we need them. It keeps our headcount and overhead costs low and gives us the specialists we need when we need them."