Case Study: Saint Rose & Usherwood Partnership Assists Campus

managed IT Services | Usherwood

In Albany, NY is the liberal arts university the College of Saint Rose. The university serves both undergraduate and graduate students and was originally founded in 1920 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The college strives to offer a diverse setting as a private, co-ed, independent educational institution, and focuses on the mission of preparing students for their careers as well as the life ahead of them.

Needing New Facilities Management

Thirteen years ago, Saint Rose’s previous facilities management contract was coming to an end. Having a tight transferring schedule, Saint Rose displayed a request for proposal (RFP) to numerous local vendors for a potential new facilities management company to work with.

“We knew a lot about the College of Saint Rose, and we knew that they were in a facilities management contract with our competitor,” Lou Usherwood, CEO of Usherwood Office Technology, said. “Facilities management is simply an all-in type of contract that if you were going to play for the contract, you had to understand that you were going to have your staff on site. You’re going to run a U.S. Post Office on site at the college.”

Similar to their previous contract, the university was looking for a “one stop shop” vendor to turn to. Proposals were received, presentations shown, and a team from Saint Rose was deployed to different vendor sites to test offered equipment. From there, meetings were made to decide who Saint Rose would be extending a contract to. “At the college, you were going to have to deliver boutique style services that frankly, a majority of folks in our industries didn’t know how to provide. We had to gear up our organization so that if in the event we did win, we were going to be able to handle the business,” Usherwood said.

The offer ultimately went to Usherwood Office Technology. Pat Buckley worked at the College of Saint Rose for twenty-one years and was present when Usherwood came onboard with facilities management. “Everyone was impressed by the Usherwood team, the equipment, and the proposals they put forth.,” Buckley said. “Their proposals were more in depth than the additional vendors reviewed.”

Once onboarded, Usherwood had to be quick with establishment, as Saint Rose had narrow room to make the transition from the old contract to the new. “We had an organized deployment that we had put together that was going to put us through that campus fast and furious,” Usherwood said. On the day the old contract ended, Usherwood rolled in with their equipment and flooded the campus with a team to get everything established and fully operational on the same day. Afterwards, team members scheduled appointments with staff at Saint Rose to properly provide training for the equipment.

“Their expertise and technology from the first contract to the current contract has been nothing less than excellent. Every contract we’ve had, they make sure we have all the technological support we need,” Buckley said. “Everything was seamless, everyone was in place. The equipment was here, ready and staged. The implementation was planned months in advance, and everything was flawlessly planned out.”


Implementing Easier Access for Students

Usherwood manages a fleet of 120 multifunctional copiers, desktop printers, and scanners to the campus. In addition, software allowing the faculty to electronically submit jobs to the print shop are offered, as well as software that tracks the usage throughout the campus. An additional service provided includes mobile printing, where faculty and students can print directly from their mobile device or their tablets.

A major goal Saint Rose was looking to address with their new contract was the integration of IDs students would be able to utilize for meal plans, dorm access, printer access, etc. Saint Rose also wanted to ensure students could be charged back for print jobs immediately after use.

On occasion, students would find issues with their ID cards when trying to perform print jobs. When this occurred, they turned to the Usherwood team in the copy center on campus. Rather than forwarding the student to a different department, the Usherwood team analyzed the issue. If the student found themselves in a time crunch with their task, the center printed for the student. The team then worked with the internal IT staff to establish where the issue stemmed, and how to proceed.


Establishing a Relationship with the Campus

With the establishment of a new facilities management contract came the campus growing accustomed to the new changes. Once Usherwood learned to navigate the campus, departments, and the overall culture of the university, Saint Rose goers began to recognize the Usherwood team as part of the campus and as a helping hand. “It lightened our responsibilities. Departments wouldn’t call me directly at that point forward. They would contact the copy center, and they would know how to handle situations or who to reach out to.” Buckley said.

Students started to see Usherwood as campus employees rather than a separate entity. Lou Tubolino, Director of Production Systems at Usherwood, has witnessed the growth of Usherwood’s relationship with the Saint Rose campus.

“We've been on campus for over ten years and the biggest evolution I see is that we've become part of the culture of the college.” Tubolino said. “Over time, we've really made a big effort to get to know the people on campus. We have regular meetings with department heads. We get involved with strategy meetings; we have weekly meetings with the purchasing department to address any open issues.”

The impact of the partnership has shown very positive results from both sides. Students and staff of Saint Rose have even made the effort of expressing their gratitude for Usherwood's assistance to the community by gifting items such as flowers, cookies, and donuts here and there. “Usherwood knows customer service is very important and they’re always willing to be there for the campus community, and the campus community shows up for them as well,” Buckley said.


Expressing Commitment to the College of Saint Rose

With any commitment, it’s essential to stay on top of all matters to ensure the utmost service quality. Over the years, Usherwood has strived to strategize with key departments on campus, especially with the IT Department. Usherwood has stayed heavily involved with the department in new projects and initiatives, so if any issue arises with printing, the staff can collaborate to solve those problems daily.

Commitment to clients is a huge priority for Usherwood. “What's really helped us is that the success of these contracts is a support mechanism that we have behind the scenes with Usherwood. We have such a great support system in terms of service. IT supports even simple things like if a piece of equipment needs to be moved on campus. Our delivery staff is very professional,” Tubolino said.

Quality customer service is another way of exhibiting Usherwood’s enthusiasm for assisting clients. Site Manager of the Print Center and Mailroom at Saint Rose, Elizabeth Kerry, makes an effort to walk around the campus to get to know the people and ensure their comfort with coming to speak to the staff if needed. “I enjoy working on site. Working on site allows me to see how all the technology that Usherwood provides at college really benefits the students and staff here,” Kerry said.

Kerry has been working for Usherwood at the College of Saint Rose for over eight years and always practices good customer service. “The main goal of the Usherwood staff on campus is to service the students and faculty with whatever they need. That's what we want to help provide them with. If they need help shipping a package in the mailroom, we can find them the best solution,” Kerry said.


A Unified Partnership

The Usherwood team’s primary goal at Saint Rose is to always deliver great customer service, consistency, and deliverability. Usherwood’s establishment on the campus in 2010 has planted and nurtured a close, trusting relationship between the company and the Saint Rose campus. No longer is Usherwood and Saint Rose two separate entities. They have come together to form one, strong team with a united goal of assisting the students and staff to their utmost capability.

“In my time at Saint Rose, the Usherwood contract is probably the most important partnership that we have had. The Usherwood team has proved over the years that their partnership with the college is very important to them, and it’s extremely important to the college,” Buckley said. “They have proven they are not just here to service the equipment. They are a true partner of the college and have gone out of their way to assist. I don’t know if there would have been any other vendor that would have stepped up like Usherwood has.”

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About Darrian Breedlove, Content Writer

Darrian Breedlove is Usherwood's Content Writer. She manages Usherwood's message by integrating educational content into our company culture.