Pt. 1 Managing CAFM Information Systems

When looking into an IWMS, most companies focus mainly on technology. This is completely natural; companies want to “touch” the software and get a “feel” for what it will be like. Technology is only 20% of the implementation, though.  Oftentimes, time and energy are focused solely on this 20%, while the remaining 80% goes untouched.  To have a successful IWMS implementation, attention needs to be given to all aspects of the process, which is broken into three parts: the business process, the relationship arena, and the technology.  

Business Process

A business process is simply defined as the way you as a company accomplish work. RSC examines what is working, what is not working, and what are nice-to-haves.  When these are defined, analyzed, charted, and agreed upon, a clear path to success can be accomplished.  RSC understands that business processes are not always easy to change and should not need to be changed to fit a technical solution.  We focus on making sure the technology fits the desired process.  For these reasons RSC has always recommended ARCHIBUS as the solution because:

  1.  it is designed from best practices,
  2.  it is open architecture,
  3. tools are provided to allow process modifications, and
  4.  it leverages existing tools used by your IT department
    (i.e. MSSQL, AutoCAD, etc.).

This model allows staff, existing Business partners, or other Consultants to assist in tailoring the application to meet Business Processes. Other IWMS software solutions may require Vendor staff (at a high price) to make these changes. Often the request may not be fulfilled because the request simply does not fit the roadmap of the IWMS Company.  RSC will diagram the workflow so the system will be configured in a way that will fit your business process best.

Relational Environment

All organizations have political drivers. They may range from cost constraints, manpower needs, higher priorities, or specialized operations. Recognizing these drivers is a key factor in successfully implementing IWMS. Each department or cost center may have various and sometimes conflicting drivers.  A clear understanding of additional process and data needs will need to be driven from within the organization’s leadership. If the desired outcome is left to the individual department or cost center managers without a clear understanding of the desired results the likelihood of having a successful implementation and achieving those desired results is reduced.In layman’s terms:  RSC helps multiple departments within a company work together for a common cause.  Examples of this include collaboration with an HR department and with IT.

  1. IWMS use HR systems (e.g., Workday, People Soft, etc.) to put people into the space.  This can be done manually, but would be a waste of time to re-enter the names and employer identification of all employees within a company when the information is already entered and available within the HR system.  Whatever information is entered into the HR system is synchronized to the IWMS automatically.  Often times, trouble ensues when reaching out to the HR department.  Due to the sensitivity of information contained in the records, HR is hesitant about releasing their information.  The IWMS does not need Social Security Numbers, pay rates, or personal addresses,  it simply requires the employees full name and employer identification number in order to assign each employee a desk, seat, and resources (e.g., phone, computer, internet connection, etc.).
  2. IT departments are phenomenal at what they do.  They are experts at understanding what technologies they use and how to use it.  Rarely, however, do they understand why facilities or corporate real estate need a complex IWMS.  It is vital to have a translator between IT and Corporate Real Estate to explain the importance of graphical interfaces versus excel spreadsheets.  IT needs to understand the IWMS as well as ensure it is on the server and running 24/7.

Bridging this arena can be complicated, which is why RSC is devoted to creating a smooth transition.

Technology

The technology selected must be flexible enough to maneuver the Business Process and Political Environment.  Installing, populating data, and writing reports are all just a smaller portion of the successful IWMS implementation. Too often a company will focus on the features of the technology and ignore the business process and politics.  RSC works with our clients to determine the technology features that are most important to our clients, our client’s desired business processes, and the current political climate to ensure the right goals are met.Not only will RSC ensure our clients have a great IWMS, but that transition into the software is seamless so the system can work the way it is designed to.


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