Conversations with Bob: Why is IWMS essential today?

Megan: I’ve seen a lot of articles about how IWMS is a break through technology and now more than ever, with the way corporate real estate and facilities management is growing and changing, that IWMS is essential to a successful business. What are your thoughts on that?

Bob: I absolutely agree. Today’s world is changing. The U.S. used to be a global financial area as well as Japan and Europe but the world is now becoming a global economy. With technology, people can work from anywhere at anytime. We’re a virtual company. All my staff either work on site or at home. Larger companies are starting to have their staff work remotely. Understanding where groups of people are, how much square footage you have, and how much you actually need is imperative in today’s fast changing world. You begin to understand that what used to be the norm of 250 sq. ft. per person which included the common area and their office now is down, in some companies, to 50 or 60 sq. ft. per person. Why? Simply because the person isn’t there all the time. They can work from home. They’re on the road. All you really need is a desk to touchdown. They don’t actually need a space to put a picture of their family, they’ve got it on their phone or their laptop. These systems allow companies to reduce their geographic footprint as far as physical buildings go, but to still understand what they need for the amount of staff they have and where their staff are. I’ve also done things like heat maps. In London I have three satellite offices and there are 35 employees. Doesn’t it make sense for us to consolidate that into one floor and not have three satellites and pay three leases but bring them into one and only pay one lease? It really helps them to make strategic decisions like that.

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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:]

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

*This entire article was written and provided by ARCHIBUS.

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Client Testimonial

We love this client testimonial from Kathleen at County of San Bernardino.


Kathleen: The background of my organization is we have approximately 11 million square feet of leased and owned space, approximately 1,300+ buildings, both leased and owned. My responsibilities include keeping track of all the building square footage, all the occupancy for the buildings. As of late I have become involved in the conversion of our current ARCHIBUS system to an out-of-the-box system.

The first time I used ARCHIBUS was in 1985, at the company I was with formerly. And it was just to track space. It was to know, exactly, at this moment in time, who sits where and who’s going to pay for that space. Now, it’s very similar to that,  but obviously on a much grander scale. But we also are doing facilities management, real-estate management, condition assessment, and several other things. 

The applications we currently use are space, first and foremost, one of the biggest ones. Then, I think, next, would be the facilities, the building ops management system. And we use real-estate, we use condition assessment.

Our main goal, with the implementation of the building ops is to be able to track capital assets and their conditions and develop a capital plan based on those assets so we can forecast in the future what the count is going to spend and what equipment will need to be replaced.

Beginning next fiscal year, which is in July, we will be responsible for providing capital investment information to to the CEO of the county.

My role has changed. Well, I came to the county six years ago when they didn’t have me. So, my role has been, initially, to get space so it was running completely correct and to implement the drawing side of things. I have, you know, polylined millions of square feet of drawings and got those up and running with the allocation of the space, but with the implementation of the facilities side of things, I’ve taken on a lot of those responsibilities, just to be an overseer, if you will, of the ARCHIBUS function because I’m so familiar with it. I’m able to interact with the other departments better to help them get through it.

I think my organization definitely sees my role differently. It came from just doing space, which was a small portion, realistically, of the entire system, to being responsible for the facilities side of things, the implementation of the real-estate side of things, and the space included. So it’s grown, vastly. I’ve become more of a supervisorial position, I think, than an actual doer, worker-bee type. So, that’s a good thing.

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