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The Portolan Group recommends that medium to large districts create a Support Services Group within the structure of their Physical Plant Operations.

It is important to keep in mind that a Support Services Department exists to support all activities and functions of physical plant management, including those related to custodial, landscaping and maintenance operations.

The following represent the roles and responsibilities typically associated with a Support Services Department within the larger Physical Plant Operations Division:


  • Linkage with district-wide budget department and systems
  • Linkage with district-wide procurement and warehouse departments and systems
  • Preparation and dissemination of rolling quarter budget reports
  • Monitoring of purchased service contractual agreements and expenditures
  • Monitoring of procurement of supplies and materials for the division
  • Division-wide budgetary analysis
  • Preparation of YTD and projected expenditures and budgetary compliance
  • Coordination and analysis of annual division budget



  • Linkage with district-wide Risk Management, HR and training departments/systems
  • Budget and financial
  • Job skill
  • Safety
  • Tracking individual employee training records
  • Tracking compliance with mandatory training

Work Planning, Estimating and Scheduling

  • Create, implement and monitor a sound work order methodology that allows for accurate tracking of productive and non-productive labor, materials and parts
  • Coordinate all work planning, estimating and scheduling and track the same for accuracy and timeliness
  • Coordinate planning and design needs with Facilities Department and any outside contractors
  • Coordinate best practices and methods for parts and material picking and running – monitor the same
  • Coordinate standard plans with maintenance trades
  • Coordinate code compliance/permits/etc as needed


  • Identification of division-wide metrics for data-based decision making
  • Tracking and reporting of identified metrics on a routine and pre-planned basis
  • Analyze metrics related to division decision making
  • Track state, regional and national benchmarks for K-12 physical plant management


  • Coordinate payroll-related issues with district payroll department
  • Coordinate position summaries
  • Coordinate posting and hiring practices with district-wide HR
  • Coordinate employee relations issues with district-wide employee relations department



  • Coordinate all division systems for maximum interface with district-wide ERP
  • Monitor all division systems for compliance with district-wide technology policies and practices
  • Coordinate the division CMMS for maximum data retrieval and integration with ERP system
  • Train division staff in use of district-wide and division systems and technology
  • Plan for the continued reduction or elimination of desktop-based input, reporting and duplication of effort (Excel, Filemaker Pro, etc)
  • Assure that all managerial and supervisory staff have access to all needed systems and information

 The Portolan Group, Inc is the nation’s premier provider of school district support services consulting.  Please feel free to contact us at www.portolangroup.com or 1-87PORTOLAN.

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