April 4, 2017

Purdue Profiles: Ben Dispennett

Ben Dispennett When Ben Dispennett, director of building services, isn't outside with his family, coaching soccer, leading Bible studies or educating 4-H participants on woodworking, he is working with the Business Process Reengineering team at Purdue. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download image

When Ben Dispennett, director of building services, isn't outside with his family, coaching soccer, leading Bible studies or educating 4-H participants on woodworking, he is working with the Business Process Reengineering team at Purdue.

He has a bachelor's degree in business management from Purdue and began his career at the University in 2008.

What do you do as director of building services and as part of the Business Process Reengineering team?

As director of building services, I get to lead an amazing department of dedicated staff focused on maintaining clean, safe and healthy spaces in the academic and administrative buildings. The department has about 350 full-time staff members across a day, evening and night shift. Custodial services are our primary support to the University but other services include locking/unlocking facilities, carpet cleaning, snow removal and emergency cleanup. My role is focused on ensuring that support services are meeting the University’s operational requirements and that these services are being supplied in the most cost-effective manner.  

On a temporary reassignment, I have had the opportunity to join the Business Process Reengineering team with a role in the Enterprise Asset Management portion of the project as a functional lead. This project team focuses on improving business processes related to the repair and maintenance of the University's facilities. There are a number of campus maintenance departments and staff members collaborating on this project. As functional lead, I help coordinate task completion and represent this group’s requirements as the process is redesigned.

What inspired you to pursue this career path?

I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I have always been drawn to anything business-related. Tackling challenges and improving processes is something that motivates me each day. The facilities industry also has been very rewarding as improvement efforts are typically seen in the short term and also evidenced in the long-term stewardship of the facilities.

Why is this work important to Purdue faculty and staff?

Purdue faculty and staff often wear many "hats" and can feel bogged down by lengthy, complicated administrative tasks.  Many of our processes have been established for a long period of time and are usually intertwined between multiple departments. The time and effort caused by these processes keeps us from contributing our highest value.

This work is important because it aims to unravel and eliminate non-value-added tasks and instead, reinvest our time and talents toward efforts that advance the University's objectives. Personally, I think we will be able to accomplish our goals to a greater extent and will find that our workday is spent on more rewarding activities.  

What is your favorite part of your work?

I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of departments over the last nine years and have really enjoyed working with the staff here at Purdue and having the ability to think creatively about our business processes. There is a very collaborative spirit among Purdue employees and I enjoy seeing us accomplish some amazing objectives together. 

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu 


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