Dashboards: What are they and why do you need them?

Today we’d like to share with you all a little bit about why ARCHIBUS Dashboards in Web Central are so amazing.

“Dashboards”, or ARCHIBUS Page Navigation, is one of the methods that can be used for accessing ARCHIBUS views as well as job specific data such as workflow actions, notifications, and the views that you can access frequently.  Once the Page Navigation is set up, users can set their Navigation Method under My Profile/Navigation to determine whether they want to access ARCHIBUS views using the Process Navigator or the Page Navigator. 1

What’s Cool About Dashboards

The purpose of Dashboards is to have one page with all the views you use most.  Your job becomes easier with Dashboards because it displays all the information you need on a daily basis in one place.  You can say goodbye to the days of searching through the entire IWMS to get the pieces of data most important to your job.

Dashboards make the system easier to start using with little training.  They also help you use the system more efficiently with customizable views for specific individuals based on their ARCHIBUS Role and what their needs are.  Certified Buildings, Environmental Assessments, and Hazard Abatement are incredibly important to the Environmental & Risk Manager while RentableArea, Lease Renewals, and Portfolio Management Compliance are essential to the Director of Real Estate.  You can set up different profiles within Dashboards so each department can see what’s specific to their area of work.

Here you can see two different views.  One of the following Dashboard view is for the Environmental Sustainability and the other is for Portfolio Manager.

Environmental Sustainability Dashboard View
Portfolio Manager Dashboard View

You can clearly see how each dashboard view can be specifically customized depending on the data that an individual needs to see and the views they need access to.

The biggest benefit to using the dashboards, besides the ease of navigation, is to have all the performance metrics available.  With the performance metrics, you can:

  • Manage all of your work from a single page.
  • Execute a strategy by crystallizing vision and direction into measurable actions.
  • Continually measure the alignment of actions to goals.
  • Improve teamwork and organizational performance by building momentum toward visible, well defined, objective goals.
  • Identify over- and underperforming locations, processes, departments, and
  • Set clear expectations for staff, and make staff accountable.
  • Improve operational execution through focus on KPIs.
  • Obtain detailed diagnostics on all aspects of real estate and facility operations.
  • Move from “fighting fires” or attending to the squeakiest wheels, to tasks that will further the organization’s overall strategy.

These are just a few of the reasons why you need ARCHIBUS Dashboards!  They make any job that involves IWMS significantly easier and provide accurate data and trends to help keep multiple departments running smoothly and positively impact your bottom line.

Most of the information in this post comes from our very own Ryan C.  Ryan is amazing with CAD, PHP programming, AXVW programming, and anything ARCHIBUS.  He is truly exceptional when it comes to building operations and ARCHIBUS’ Building Operations Console.  Some believe he may knows more about it than ARCHIBUS themselves!  He is definitely one of RSC’s greatest assets.  We couldn’t imagine going a day without him!

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All You Need to Know About Going Green: Pt.1

Interested in going green?  Not quite sure where to begin?  You’ve come to the right place! Today we’d like to share with you some key information and successful tips on going green with our very own Mario Sanchez-Palacios, a LEED Accredited Professional (AP).

It is no secret that going green is becoming more of a priority for everyone.  There are great environmental benefits as well as impacts on a company’s bottom line.  So why aren’t more companies taking that first step to go green?

Going green can be costly.  But it doesn’t have to be!  With a great IWMS, like ARCHIBUS and a hand to guide you, going green really can be simple.

What is LEED?

The United States Green Business Council developed LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, to help change the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated.  LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. It is the most widely recognized and used green building program across the globe, certifying 1.5 million square feet of building space each day. Over 130 buildings satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their project.

A LEED AP is an accreditation that demonstrates that an individual understands the complicated LEED green building principles and concepts.  A LEED AP is capable of managing a LEED project and helping projects acquire the appropriate number of points to gain either certified, silver, gold, or platinum building levels.

Where to Begin

There are a few types of Rating Systems that apply to Corporate Real Estate:

  1. Building Design + Construction (BD+C)
  2. Interior Deisgn + Construction (ID+C)
  3. Building Operations + Maintenance (O+M)

Each rating system is made up of a combination of credit categories.  The number of points a project earns, determines the level of LEED certification (Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum).

Since not all companies are ready to build, rebuild, do a complete interior fit-out, or do major renovation, the LEED Rating System easiest to start with is Building Operations + Maintenance.  O+M “Applies to existing buildings that are undergoing improvement work or little to no construction; includes Existing Buildings, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers, and Warehouse & Distribution Centers.”  1

A few of the applicable credits categories with their corresponding credits for O+M include:

  • Location & Transportation
    • Alternative Transportation
  • Sustainable Sites
    • Rainwater Management
    •  Light Pollution Reduction
    • Heat Island Reduction
  • Water Efficiency
    • Outdoor Water Use Reduction
    • Indoor Water Use Reduction
    • Water Metering
  • Energy & Atmosphere
    • Energy Metering
    •  Refrigerant Management
  •  Materials and Resources
    • Waste Management
    • Purchasing
  •  Indoor Environmental Quality
    • Green Cleaning
    • Indoor Air Quality Management
    • Interior Lighting
  • Innovation
    • LEED AP
  • Regional Priority
    • Specific Credits based on location

A company can earn points for many, many things like: How close the building is to public transportation (BART, Subway, Bus, etc.)?; Does your building have bicycle parking?; Do your windows have reflective blinds?; Is your building eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR rating?; Are 50% of the products and materials your company uses (pens, paper, etc.) or 75% of furniture made from recycled material, bio-based materials, wood, etc.?;  Do you maintain your HVAC systems?; Do you use green cleaning products, materials, and equipment?;  Do you recycle?; Do employees have the ability to control the lighting in their work space? Survey employees/building occupants on their typical transportation patterns once every 5 years; Shade 50% of paved areas; use pavers instead of cement; Install a vegetated roof; Perform waste reduction and recycling program; and many more!

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What’s wrong with my AutoCAD file?

AutoCAD used to have a reputation for crashing and corrupting files regularly.  Talk to any long time CAD user and you’ll hear plenty of horror stories.

The program has gotten much more reliable, but it is still very complex, and there are a lot of moving parts, so I am often consulted on drawing problems.

There are a lot of tools for investigating what’s in a drawing.  One of my favorites is the QSELECT command. QSELECT provides a console to create a selection based on various criteria.

Certain objects tend to be problematic:

  • Points
    • Since they don’t print, points can be placed anywhere.  They often throw off the drawing extents.
  • Blocks
    • Blocks are extremely useful, but blocks can also become corrupted.  It is worthwhile to keep track of your blocks and know what blocks are supposed to show up in your drawing.
  • Attributes
    • Attributes are ALWAYS supposed to be contained in a block.  If you have an attribute outside of a block, it should be deleted.
  • Proxy objects
    • Proxy objects are created by add-ons to AutoCAD.  They can become corrupted or they may not render properly in a version of AutoCAD that doesn’t have the add-on.
  • Splines
    • Splines are not always rendered properly.
  • 3D shapes
    • 3D shapes add a lot of extra data to the drawing.  It is an extra burden that can cause a drawing to render slowly.  I prefer to remove them when possible.
  • Empty text
    • Text and Mtext containers without text inside can increase the size of a drawing with no benefits.  Recently the PURGE command was adjusted to deal with empty text objects.

By using filtering abilities in QSELECT you can find, adjust, and potentially delete individual items that cause drawing issues.Like what you read?  Subscribe to the blog and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest to keep up to date with the latest news from Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC.

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

This phenomenal article was brought to you by our very own AutoCAD Wizard Matt R!  Matt is our go to guy for all things AutoCAD.  Matt is always willing to help out no matter what the task or assignment is.  His knowledge and expertise in AutoCAD is one of the many things that makes him an invaluable member here at RSC.

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10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 2 — Appropriate IT Collaboration

A month ago, we shared an article with the first key to a successful IWMS integration: having an internal champion.  This month we are thrilled to share with you part two of this 10-part series, appropriate IT collaboration.

Different Worlds Are Involved In an Integration

When an IWMS is being installed and integrated, several departments are involved within the company that is being integrated. The departments that are usually most closely associated with this are either Corporate Real Estate (CRE) and/or the Facilities Management Department (FM). Appropriate IT Collaboration requires that these internal departments communicate effectively with the IT Department.  When both departments
work together and understand one another, the IWMS runs optimally.

Ever since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which directs reporting accuracy,  IWMS integration has become an area of more importance than before.  This shift in importance on a corporate level has made IWMS a tier one software within many companies.  When a system becomes a tier 2 or tier one within a company, IT controls where it is installed and who has access to it.  In this case, IT will also control the tailoring and customization of the IWMS.

Challenges In Communication Between the IT World and the IWMS World

One of the most common scenarios that can create miscommunication within an IWMS implementation is the differing vocabulary that is used between departments. The vocabulary between the IT world and the IWMS world can cause confusion because they each have their own acronyms, vocabulary, and jargon. At times, this can feel like people from different countries using their respective native tongues to speak to each other; neither person will understand the other because of the language barrier. There must be at least one person that can speak both languages in order to facilitate the conversation and accomplish what both parties desire to accomplish. In this same way, communication between IT and IWMS worlds can be facilitated by someone who is familiar with both worlds and their respective jargon.

Aside from any “language” barriers, IT also has a rigid upgrade and tailoring process.  This process can often be viewed as slowing down an implementation, which is not the case.  IT’s attention to detail minimizes risk and protects the costs of IT support, unnecessary downtime, and the software.

While the process is time consuming, the protection it provides is irreplaceable and necessary. The best way to have a completely successful integration is to communicate effectively between all worlds so everyone can feel comfortable about the implementation.

Another common scenario is the conflict that can occur between departments’ goals. Many IT departments have their own “road map” in order to determine what types of technology they will and
will not support.  As with any business decision, they have a direction on which they will focus and methods with which they intend to support
their decision. IT’s goal in this is not to be difficult or make an
integration more complicated.  They are simply trying to protect their
road map and provide a cost effective IT environment, just as any good
Cost Center would. From the moment the roadmap is created and onwards, someone must ensure the IWMS fits into and can be supported by IT’s road map, or that the IWMS is supported by the 3rd party vendor.

What Does Appropriate IT Collaboration Look Like?

In order to communicate effectively between different worlds, or departments, we suggest having an internal staff member work as a middle man. This person can be your assigned Internal Champion, a business analyst, or anyone who is able to breach the gap in communication between the two worlds. Putting a team member in place that can do this is one of the essential steps to ensuring that your IWMS is integrated smoothly and can accomplish everything that it was put in place to accomplish. In addition to this, communication will be more effective and completing tasks will be more efficient.

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Featured: IWMS Daily

We are grateful yet again, to have an article featured on IWMS Daily, a daily IWMS article internet newspaper created by Steven Hanks.

Check out our article in their paper here.

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