10 Keys To A Successful IWMS Integration: PT. 7 — Proper Resourcing

This week we are proud to bring you Part 7 of our 10-Part series on successfully implementing an IWMS.  In this article we will discuss the importance of Properly Resourcing your IWMS and Facilities Department in an IWMS Integration.

In order to produce a plentiful harvest, a farmer must prepare his land, plant good seeds, fertilize, water, and weed the land. It is utterly impossible for plants to grow if they are not adequately taken care of.  The same can be said of business. If one does not put the adequate time, energy, and money into every aspect and department of their business it cannot succeed. Simply put: you reap what you sow.

Shoestring budgets will always fail

There is a fallacy that plagues many companies. It is this: any facility or department can operate on a shoestring budget. This is false.  In fact, it is extremely detrimental for a company and may end up costing you tens of thousands to millions of dollars.

The fact is, when any vital department, like Facilities Management, is not given enough money, people, resources, or time to accomplish their tasks or goals they are being set up for failure. Sure, it may be possible to operate under these circumstances for a while, but not without huge negative consequences. You will soon find your employees are less productive and overworked with extremely low morale.  Instead of the problem solving and innovative Facilities Team you hired, you’ll find your team is rushed and overexerted by constantly putting out figurative fires. With your “harvest” in mind, you must plan out what exactly it will take to reap all that you need, and provide all the resources it will take to successfully achieve your goals.

In this case, if you’re not appropriately investing in your Facilities and IWMS Software systems, you are going to reap failure, and it will cost you dearly.

Bringing in an IWMS

The best way to combat being under resourced is to bring in an IWMS. At first, The facilities department may be apprehensive that the system will create more stress for their already overtaxed resources. However, the benefits of an IWMS are clear once the system is in place.

One of the greatest benefits of an IWMS to any department is that it shows, in real time, with statistical and measurable proof, when any given department is under resourced. It outlines what can and will happen if the appropriate changes are not made.

In other words, an IWMS will identify why your team is overtaxed and how the issue can be fixed.

Remedying the Cost of Under-Resourced Departments

Once the company understands why it is vital that the Facilities department is properly resourced, changes will be made. That being said, it is imperative you put proper resources into maintaining the IWMS as well. When an IWMS is not adequately resourced, the data provided might be inaccurate. In order for an IWMS to produce valuable data, it must be kept current.

Remember, you reap what you sow.  If there are not enough people to input accurate up-to-date data, the reports generated by the system will be worthless.

At RSC we have seen first-hand, the benefits that come when companies properly resource their IWMS Systems. Here are a few examples:

  1. SGI – Saved more than $30 million dollars*
  2. PG&E – Saved $3 million dollars*
  3. Macromedia – Saved over $2 million dollars*

Fantastic results, such as those mentioned above come when companies are able to make strategic decisions based on current and accurate reports generated by their IWMS.

If these companies had nickel and dimed their IWMS systems, it’s likely their data would be inaccurate. If the data in the IWMS is inaccurate the reports generated will be of no value. Thus they would have never made the vital discoveries they had and therefore would still be unnecessarily spending millions of dollars each year.

Companies run more efficiently by resourcing their IWMS systems and listning the data they provide. These companies have the proper teams in place. They have an Internal Champion in place who understands the data and provides detailed reports by the end of each month. These companies have employees who consistently own and input accurate data, have thoughtful standards put in place, understand their business process, and know bigger is not always better.

In other words, companies like this get a 95-98% occupancy and vacancy accuracy rate and thus can do preventative maintenance on an unprecedented level.  With this kind of data, it is possible to make accurate and timely decisions about what equipment needs to be maintained or replaced. Gone are the days of epic failures and meltdowns.

What Proper Resourcing Looks Like

In order to make that kind of facilities magic happen, we recommend one person to devote to the IWMS for every 500 people you have on staff. This means if you’re company employs 1,000 people, you will need 2 IWMS System Specialists.

When you realize the absolute necessity of having an IWMS, you need to make sure you have the right resources in the right places so you can have the good, clean, accurate data. The only way to guarantee impactful, detailed reports that help provide you with the tools to make strategic decisions that will impact your bottom line with multimillion dollar results is to properly resource your Facilities department and IWMS. And because you reap what you sow, you will see some amazing results.

* The case studies mentioned earlier in the article may be found on our website in the drop-down links under “Services” *

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Success Story: Macromedia Designs a Better Real Estate Strategy

What can ARCHIBUS do for you? Here is a success story*, provided by ARCHIBUS, featuring one of our clients.

Macromedia Designs a Better Real Estate Strategy

Visit almost any  Web site and you’ll see Macromedia’s work in  action. As supplier and supporter of Internet technologies such as ColdFusion®, Flash™, and  Dreamweaver®, the company’s products are essential to interactive, modern communication. Like many other technology companies, Macromedia has weathered its share of growth, consolidation, and acquisitions in recent years. But thanks to ARCHIBUS, Macromedia has used these changes to its advantage by strategically applying space usage information to the company’s real estate planning process. As a result, Macromedia has saved millions of dollars through thoughtful consolidation and helped provide a more comfortable working environment for its employees—all with an eye towards the future.

A Company in Flux

Jim Morgensen, Vice President of Real Estate, Facilities and Services arrived at Macromedia when the company still relied on planners making physical rounds of the buildings. “Macromedia was a growing company at the time, with lots of moves, adds, and changes taking place,” he says. Despite the company’s high-tech image, planners were walking the floors, counting cubes and the people in them— not a very reliable way to develop a strategic plan for a dynamic company. Morgensen had already seen the value of facilities management software at his previous job at Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI). There, he used ARCHIBUS to create space efficiencies, ultimately discovering that 6-7 percent of the company’s space was either vacant or underused.

Given  his experience  at SGI, Morgensen  was able to recommend  ARCHIBUS as a way to increase Macromedia’s space efficiency as well. “I was used to having tidy monthly reports from ARCHIBUS on vacancies and occupancies,” he says. “Instead, we had a set of floor plans and employee counts, but neither were accurate. We didn’t know whether a space was occupied by a temp, a consultant, or in those days, someone’s dog! By bringing in ARCHIBUS, optimizing our space became almost instantly easier.”

Consolidation Pays Off

Macromedia began by creating accurate, defensible reports on the company’s space and infrastructure usage. “Early on, ARCHIBUS helped us identify excess space and find ways to put it to better use. Now that the company is back into growth mode, it helps us proactively plan for our future needs,” says Morgensen. Having accurate occupancy figures paid off quickly. Following a business acquisition, Macromedia took on a lease obligation for a building in Massachusetts. “After evaluating how each business unit in the building was using space, we were able to consolidate operations from about 225,000 square feet to about 80,000 square feet and sublet the rest, resulting in cost avoidance of approximately $2 million a year,” says Morgensen.

Macromedia was able to consolidate its operations to a lesser extent in some of its San Francisco buildings—a laudable achievement in that heated real estate market. “With ARCHIBUS, we were able to plan contiguous space for employees and arrange for shared space and infrastructure—such as software engineering labs— bringing our total real estate costs down,” says Morgensen. “In addition to the revenue potential we realized from subletting space, we saved money by writing off the costs of our real estate and associated equipment that was under obligation.”

Employee Tracking

Morgensen and his team work with Macromedia’s Human Resources (HR) department to track how and where employees work and the resources they require. “We’ve linked personnel records in ARCHIBUS with HR’s PeopleSoft® records,” says Morgensen. “New hires and terminations are fed into  ARCHIBUS to maintain accurate occupancy and vacancy figures.” Macromedia manages its internal move process via the customized  “Quick Move Process” developed by ARCHIBUS Business Partner Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC. “Our space records have never been more accurate,” says Morgensen. And thanks to a nightly sync between ARCHIBUS and PeopleSoft that updates Macromedia’s internal people finder, Macromedia employees no longer need to wander aimlessly in search of a colleague’s desk.

Synchronization with HR records yields other benefits, too. For example, a customized table in ARCHIBUS developed by Macromedia’s ARCHIBUS Business Partner associates key cards, physical keys, parking, and any training an employee might have (such as EMT training), with each staff member. With these tools, it’s easy for Macromedia to identify what needs to be collected from a terminated employee, as well as the workstation and parking vacancies that will become available.

ARCHIBUS also helped the HR department get a handle on the number of remote workers at Macromedia. Comparing an ARCHIBUS occupancy report with an HR report on all employees generated an accurate count of remote workers. Today, HR uses this information to justify and develop initiatives, such as ergonomic programs, for telecommuters. Meanwhile, Morgensen and his team have a better sense of spaces that are only being used on a part-time basis. The ARCHIBUS AutoCAD® Overlay with Design Management application has proven to be a very valuable tool to Macromedia’s planners in communicating space availability to end users. Managers can view the entire floor where their team resides and better plan their own team adjacencies, as well as adjacencies with other departments.

Information Made Accessible

Macromedia also uses SpaceView, a product from Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC, which makes vacancy and occupancy figures available on-line. Automated AutoLisp routines create the DWF files each night, so data is always up-to-date. A Data Condo™ from ARCHIBUS Business Partner AssistGlobal acts as a reliable Application Service Provider (ASP) for  Macromedia. “The Data Condo works really well, keeping our system running smoothly without requiring a lot of time and resources from our IT department,” says Morgensen.

As the company whittles down its real estate needs, Macromedia will soon handle its own lease administration services with the help of the ARCHIBUS Real Property & Lease Management application. And the new headquarters building that the company recently purchased will be an opportunity to implement the work order features of the ARCHIBUS Building Operations Management application. For all the future goals the implementation holds, Morgensen is still sold on the value of ARCHIBUS for optimizing the company’s use of its space. “The greatest value is that we can plan with certainty,” he says. “We can project growth and know precisely the amount of space and infrastructure  we’ll need. ARCHIBUS gives us a better way to measure our requirements and apply this knowledge to our real estate envelope.”

Vital Statistics

Organization: Macromedia

Location: San Francisco, California

Facilities Facts: 30 buildings worldwide measuring approximately 1 million square feet; 90% managed with ARCHIBUS

ARCHIBUS Applications: 

  • Space Management
  • Overlay for AutoCAD with Design Management
  • Furniture & Equipment Management

3rd Party Applications:

  • Space View from Robert Stephen Consulting; Data
  • Condo from AssistGlobal

Impetus for Implementation: Needed a system to maintain accurate space usage figures

Benefits Gained: Cost savings and avoidance of approximately $2 million per year due to consolidation; accurate occupancy figures enable enhanced strategic real estate decisions; integration with employee information leads to more relevant Human Resources programs

Future Plans: Bring lease administration in- house; add work order management functionality to owned buildings; track all telecommunications and cable infrastructure

ARCHIBUS Integration: PeopleSoft

Business Partners: Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC; AssistGlobal

Web Site: www.macromedia.com

*This entire article was written and provided by ARCHIBUS.

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Creating an Efficient, Simple Solution in Meridian and ARCHIBUS

Many of our clients use very technical and advanced systems and software in order to make their business run seamlessly. Sometimes, those systems don’t integrate like they should, though.

One of our clients uses Meridian to store their files and log changes made. For those unfamiliar with it, I’m oversimplifying, but it’s like Dropbox on steroids. It allows a team to save documents but it also saves any changes you make to the stored documents. This client also uses ARCHIBUS for their Management AutoCAD drawings. However, the two systems didn’t play well together. That created a headache and lots of extra work on a regular basis. The day finally came, though, when our client was ready to upgrade.


Turning an Issue Into an Asset

Together with Hagerman and Company, our team sat down to figure out where and how the systems could be integrated. It was a team effort and everyone did a fantastic job. I have to give a special shout out to Matt Ritzman, though, because he did an absolutely fantastic job for our client!

Our team set up a test environment (it’s always best to test in a separate space so that the real thing stays live!) and provided training on ARCHIBUS. Hagerman and Company provided software and expertise on Meridian. Together, we determined several key areas where data could be shared to improve efficiency and enhance the user experience.

Creating a Better Version for Today and Leaving Room for Future Enhancements

After the integration was complete, our client was thrilled. Not only were they now able to store ARCHIBUS facilities management (FM) drawings within the Meridian vault, but they could also access those files from either system (thanks to ARCHIBUS’s Smart Client Extensions for AutoCAD). The systems also synchronized information so that everything could be looked at in real time. Oh – and for the future? We’ve got the ability to add some pretty spectacular future enhancements:
  • Drawings opened from ARCHIBUS Smart Client could automatically “Start a Change” and     initiate the checkout process – just as if they were opened in Meridian.
  • ARCHIBUS could take advantage of Meridian’s revision history to restore drawings to a previous point in time.
  • Synchronization tools will allow us to track data flow between the two systems.
  • Meridian will be able to help produce and manage documents (work orders, manufacturer recommended procedures, leases, survey documents, and more).

Simplifying Life and Work for Our Valued Clients

Yes, our client asked for our help with this upgrade process, but it really was our pleasure to help them. Not only is their whole process now a lot simpler, it’s also better to use. They’ve let us know several times how much better their customized solution works – and how grateful they are for our help!
It’s getting that kind of feedback that keeps my team motivated, overachieving, and looking for new, creative ways to problem solve.

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Managing Your Facilities in a Modern World

I love my smart phone.  I have friends who still use flip phones.  When I ask them about it, I’m always a little careful.  People who use flip phones can be a little touchy.  If I ask why they don’t use a smart phone, they invariably tell me that the flip phone does everything they need; that they’re used to it; that they don’t need the complexity, bells, and whistles of a smart phone.  If I’m riding with them and use my phone to navigate, or use it to divide the tab at a restaurant, they’re very quiet.

I love Integrated Workplace Management Systems, ARCHIBUS specifically.  I know people who still use spreadsheets and a loose collection of other applications to manage their facilities.  They’re a little like my friends who use flip phones.  They say that spreadsheets do everything they need.  They’re familiar with spreadsheets.  They say they don’t need the bells and whistles that IWMS offers.  Fair enough.

A few months ago, I was visiting with a potential client to talk about implementing a comprehensive Personnel and Occupancy system.  We had a committee of people in the room.  Most were in favor of moving to ARCHIBUS.  A smaller group didn’t see the need.  That smaller group was comfortable with the current system of shared spreadsheets they had in place.

Each building on their large campus had an administrator who was responsible for maintaining the personnel locator spreadsheet and keeping it up to date.  They communicated by email or phone calls to coordinate their efforts, to be sure everyone had an appropriate work space and that there was no duplication.  We gathered the spreadsheets from a small sample of their buildings to do a pilot project, to show them how ARCHIBUS might help them.  When we loaded the data from the spreadsheets into ARCHIBUS, we got some interesting and surprising results.

Some enterprising staff members had taken advantage of the multiple sources of truth for employee locations.  Some had more than one desk or office in a building.  Some had offices in multiple buildings.
Without a single source of truth — an integrated Personnel and Occupancy system — it was impossible to stop people from assigning themselves the luxury of multiple offices.

Now, the Integrated Workplace Management System is fully implemented.  Some of those people still have more than one work space.  They have the political clout or the actual need for that flexibility.  But the space is managed and allocated to meet the goals and purposes of the organization, with consideration for the needs of individuals, of course.  The organization’s investments in real-estate, maintenance, and energy are being managed more effectively.  It’s easier to find people, to make connections, and collaborate.

My impression is that, in some ways, Integrated Workplace Management Systems and smart phones have a lot in common.  They help us manage our resources thoughtfully and purposefully in the face of complexity, change, and limited resources.  It’s possible to get along without IWMS or without a smart phone.  But why would anybody do that?

This week’s article was brought to you by one of our Executive Staff, Tawn.  Tawn is an incredibly valuable member of RSC.  He has 30+ years of experience in Architecture and provides useful insight.  His ability to communicate thoughtfully and thoroughly is one of his best assets

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Success Story: San Bernardino County

What can an IWMS like ARCHIBUS do for you? Here is a success story*, provided by ARCHIBUS, featuring one of our clients.

Largest County in Lower 48 States Explains Faster Real Estate Analysis/Planning at ARCHIBUS Users’ Conference, April 26 -29

San Bernardino County, California, uses ARCHIBUS Web Central, Yahoo!-powered SpaceView, Google Earth Maps to access data and images for improved decision- making

February 18 – Boston, Massachusetts

When architects and engineers for the County of San Bernardino, California go about making their facilities and real estate plans, they don’t have to waste valuable time searching for maps and can minimize the amount of time-consuming site visits to locations in the county’s over 20,000 square miles of desert, valley, and mountain terrain.

That’s because the County of San Bernardino, the largest county in the contiguous United States, has implemented a Web-based real estate and facilities management system that integrates online ARCHIBUS Web Central building information with Yahoo!-powered SpaceView and Google Earth maps.

The result is immediate Web-based access to real-time facilities and real estate information that supports faster and better decision-making, says the county’s Systems Development Team Leader Bruce Henson, a featured speaker at this year’s International ARCHIBUS Users’ Conference, April 26-29, at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Camelback Inn.

[Conference and hotel registration information: http://www.archibus.com/usersconf/]

The integration of facilities and geographic data can now, at the click of a mouse, let county planners and contractors view and analyze the use of 11,000,000 square feet of space in approximately 1,300 buildings the county’s currently owns or leases, the facilities it may want to renovate/combine/acquire, and the geographic context in which it all resides.

“We have five districts in the county, each with its own elected supervisor, so county personnel are always looking for ways to improve services to these districts,” Henson points out. “When it comes to a question of whether we need a new library or fire station — and whether it can go on property we have or on space we need to acquire — the system’s many capabilities, including drill-down features, make it an invaluable aid in forming better decisions.”

“In addition to faster access to information,” adds county Programmer/Analyst Heather Rice Petite, “the new system eliminated our old Access database, which required two hours of data preparation time per month to make facilities and real estate information accessible.” With the assistance of Kathy Cook, the county’s Asset Management Analyst, the system continues to grow in its depth and breath. Ms. Petite and Ms. Cook are also featured speakers at the 2009 ARCHIBUS Users’ Conference.

About ARCHIBUS, Inc.: ARCHIBUS is the #1 global provider of real estate, infrastructure, and facilities management solutions and services with expenditures for ARCHIBUS-related products and services exceeding $1.7 Billion (USD). With ARCHIBUS, organizations of all sizes and their outsourcing partners can use a single, comprehensive, integrated solution to make informed strategic decisions that optimize return-on- investment, lower asset lifecycle costs, and increase enterprise-wide productivity and profitability. More than 4,000,000 ARCHIBUS users collectively manage over 5,000,000 properties, with organizations reporting facilities-related cost savings as high as 34%. With over 1,600 ARCHIBUS Business Partners, local and regional support worldwide is available in over 130 countries and in over two dozen languages. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, ARCHIBUS, Inc. has pioneered real estate, infrastructure and facilities management software technologies since 1982 – when it developed the world’s first integrated CAFM (computer-aided facilities management) system. For more information, visit www.archibus.com.

*This entire article was written and provided by ARCHIBUS.

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