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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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.


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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2nd Quarter BAATUG

Are you interested in learning more about ARCHIBUS?  Did you want to attend our first quarter event, but missed it?  Here is your chance!  On May 28th from 11:30AM – 2:00PM Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC. will host the 2nd Quarter Bay Area ARCHIBUS Training & User Group meeting at the Regus Business Center in San Ramon, CA.

This Quarter’s topic will be on Dashboards and Reporting in Web Central.
Our session will consist of a light lunch and refreshments, as well as an hour of training and an hour of round-table discussion.

To find out more information, please check out our evite:
Feel free to email or comment below with thoughts or questions.

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AutoCAD Advantages: Ready, Set, Break!

Here is a simple yet awesome tutorial one of our AutoCAD experts did on the break tool.

Hope you enjoy!


Matt: The break tool is kind of an odd tool. When you type in “break” at the command line, you’re given the prompt to select an object. If you select the object, it instantly asks what the second break point would be. If you click, you end up with this odd break with a space. Your first point is never what you would hope it to be. You can get around it and specify, very specifically, what your first and second break points should be. Break, once again at the command line, select your first object, and rather than pressing a second break point, type in “F”, you get your first break point. You can specify exactly where you would like it. Then it wants the second break point. You can clear out the whole segment by clicking the end, or you can click again at that first point. I prefer to use the keyboard entry “@” to break it into two pieces that join at one location. Now you can see one segment and the other segment. The doll and group menu, the architectural menu, has that series of command sequences all in a single button. Click the “break one point” button, and then select the object tasks for the first break point, click that, then it’s done. You now have a first line and a second line. There you go.

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What is IWMS?

So what is IWMS and why do we need it?  An IWMS or an Integrated Workspace Management System can be defined as a software platform that helps organizations optimize the use of workplace resources, including the management of a company’s real estate portfolio, infrastructure and facilities assets1.
The ARCHIBUS Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management model, shown below, covers the entire infrastructure’s life cycle, from acquisition to reassignment or disposal.

Image credit: ARCHIBUS

The expanded discipline of Infrastructure & Facilities Management, also shown below, groups all those activities under four main business competencies: Property, Facilities, Technology, and Operations Management, delivering all the processes from Real Estate Portfolio Management to Assignment and Redeployment.

Image credit: ARCHIBUS 

ARCHIBUS is the only solution available today that provides a holistic approach to Facilities and Infrastructure life cycle management. The ARCHIBUS family of tightly integrated applications and activities deliver comprehensive solutions and capabilities. This single solution is simple to install and use, scales to grow with your organization, and provides flexible cost-effective add-on options that extend its benefits throughout an enterprise.

Image credit: ARCHIBUS

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Thoughts? Questions? Comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear your insights.