Eight members of Physical Plant began this week as a new Zone Team that will maintain and repair most of MIT's facilities east of Ames Street.
For the next six months they will be testing and perfecting new ways of responding to customer needs, including finding and repairing problems before customers even see them. Cocaptains for the pilot program are Joe Gifun and Dennis Baron who led the redesign team and have explained its development at a series of meetings for customers on the east campus.
The new East Zone Team, comprised of volunteers from different trades (including three new maintenance mechanics), has headquarters in Rm E20-103. Like the teams in custodial services, this group will receive training in team skills that will help them function as a cohesive unit.
In surveys and focus groups, MIT staff members have stated repeatedly that work done by Physical Plant was consistently as good as, or better than, that of outside contractors. But the process of getting work done has been hindered by communication and scheduling difficulties, conflicting responsibilities and fragmentation of work, often resulting in higher costs.
In the new arrangement, work that needs to be done will be viewed as a process requiring the skills of various trades applied cooperatively. Development of the zone team approach was carried out as part of Physical Plant's strategic plan and MIT's reengineering effort. It embodies customer feedback, best-practices information and process mapping.
"This new approach is evidence of the willingness of Plant personnel to explore new ways of doing things," said William R. Dickson, senior vice president. "The Plant's strategic planning effort brought forth the flexibility required for undertaking this reengineering effort."
Not included in the pilot program are all east campus housing buildings and buildings leased to MIT. E23 and E1 are not being included in the beginning. During the pilot, off-hours coverage and backup will be provided by Physical Plant's Central Operations. The information below is a quick reference for east campus customers.
Repair and Maintenance Fact Sheet -- East Campus Zone Pilot starting 8/14/95.
Participating in the pilot include: Buildings E10, E15, E17, E18, E19, E20, E25, E32, E33, E34, E38, E40, E42, E51, E52, E53, E56.
Team Members: Edward Dimond, Edmond Gosselin, David Hingston, Jose Magalhaes, Paul Motroni, Brian O'Keefe, Eupremio Piccinonno, Robert Zarella.
Team's Location: Shop is in E20-103
Emergency Service: Life safety-Dial 100
Work Hours: Normal service is M-F, 7AM-3PM. For building emergency or service required after hours or on weekends and holidays call FIXIT.
Communications: Phone number is x2-1497. An automated voice mail tree has been installed to direct your call. You may also direct questions to
To Request service: Fill out form via the WWW:
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 16, 1995.