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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Tip of the Month: SpaceView Geography

Ever heard of SpaceView?  It is an amazing tool.

SpaceView is a web based employee locator nestled within the firewall of a corporation.  Its concept is simple: keep the information about employees simple and accessible.  Completely automated SpaceView requires minimal maintenance.  Automated AutoLisp routines create the Drawing Web Format (DWF) files each night.  The employee data information is retrieved through a lie query to the CAFM database.  This simple yet effective web-based tool provides such information as vacancies, upcoming moves, furniture layout, organization ownership, telecommunication assets, and conference room and lab location.

With the addition of redlining capabilities, planners can communicate moves, adds, and changes through the web.  Other components include an online work order system with email notification and web-based move requests.

This week we’re sharing a brief SpaceView Geography training video, brought to you by our CEO & Managing Director Bob Stephen.


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Welcome to Salt Lake!

We have some awesome news!  We are beyond thrilled to announce the official opening of Robert Stephen Consulting LLC’s Salt Lake City, UT location.  Thanks to some great support from our home office location in San Ramon, CA, we were able to broaden our horizons with this new office space.

This expansion is an amazing addition to our location in the East Bay.  We feel very lucky to finally have an office in beautiful downtown Salt Lake City. Who wouldn’t enjoy doing their day to day tasks and meeting clients and potential clients with a gorgeous view of the Wasatch Mountains?Downtown Salt Lake City has so much to offer, as well, with many restaurants and beautiful attractions.

If you or your company are located in Utah or the greater Salt Lake area and are interested in learning more about CAFM Software like ARCHIBUS, or are interested in bringing our ARCHIBUS User Group Training to you don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@rsc2lc.com!  We’d love to hear from you.


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AutoCAD Advantages: RSC AutoCAD Interface

Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC maintains AutoCAD tools that help manage drawings for our staff and clients.  We’ve recently updated the RSC AutoCAD interface.  Here are some of the new features:

  • Simplified AutoLoader installation (for ACAD 2013 and above). The RSC commands are available on the ribbon, as toolbars, and as drop down menus for access in classic view.
  •  All the Hatch and Query Text commands function against the HQ database.
  • New icons.
  • All ARCHIBUS Smart Client ribbon functionality has been migrated into the Classic View.

To showcase a single tool, you can view an example of the List
Layers
function in action.

This tool helps with drawing clean up by providing a list of layers inside the drawing.  This list  can then be edited with any AutoCAD tools.  You can merge layers (LAYMRG)  in this  list with the standard layers or delete (LAYDEL) them entirely.

Disclaimer

These tools have been collected and developed to improve the
workflow at RSC and to provide a starting point for adding client specific
customizations.  They range from ho-hum to awesome.  Some of them
work flawlessly, and just how you expect.  We are constantly striving to improve the ways we help clients.

Special Thanks to:

Lee
Mac Programming

AfraLISP
The Swamp.org

And many others!


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How to Better Your Reporting

This is not the first time we’ve shared an article on reporting.  Quality reporting may be one of the most important things a Facilities Department can do!  The facilities management industry rapidly prioritizes data collection, management, and storage, and, because of this, reports must be accurate.

High quality, efficient reporting is vital for your company to grow, and IWMS’s play an integral role in reporting success.  An IWMS helps promote data accuracy, increase productivity, reduce cost, and effortlessly share information throughout a company.  Users can see what changes need to be made and more strategically plan for the future, making a direct impact on the bottom line. So, here are a few tips we have for better reporting:

Determine What to Track

The first step in successful reporting is to determining what to track.  Make a list of resources to manage, and make relationships between those resources.  For example:

  • What resources are you managing?
    • Costs
    • People
    • Space
    • Time
  • What does your boss need to know?
    • Cost per Area
    • Headcount changes over Time
    • Occupancy vs. Capacity
  • What are you trying to show with the data?
  • What point are you trying to make?

Once you have this information, you can create an idealized report.  An effective idealized report will direct strategic decisions that effect the bottom line.

Creating an Idealized Report

There is no standard list of what to track.  The information that matters most will vary from one company to another, thus the need for idealized reports. For example, tracking furniture won’t make sense for a publicly
traded corporation that considers the furniture depreciated the moment it is purchased, but tracking furniture does make sense for a company that is owned by a single private owner because of how taxes are assessed. Perhaps tracking employee locations through audits is useful as it will indicate how much capacity is available and how much is needed, unless 
your company tracks moves.  Tracking moves allows you to track churn rate, which indicates expansion and contractions.

IWMS and Excel Can Work Together

Excel is a great tool for developing an idealized report.  It is fluid and easy to work with, allowing users to quickly create a report that gets the point across.  Often it is used as a central reporting tool before moving to IWMS. We often get the question, “Can I export this to Excel?” This question has significantly more depth than just a “yes” or “no” answer.  If a facilities  manager is asking this question, it can indicate one or all of the following scenarios:

  1. A need for a report that is generated frequently.
  2. That the information provided from ARCHIBUS needs to be filtered or enhanced in some way.
  3. That the person asking the question has a strong grasp of the abilities of Excel, but may not understand the capacity of ARCHIBUS as a reporting tool.

That being said, don’t let your team spend too much time and energy manuallly creating reports in excel. Monthly reports should come directly from an IWMS.  Using an IWMS for reporting will keep all reports up to date and reduce processing time. When determining whether to transition to an IWMS, consider the total cost of a report:

  • How long does it take your team to produce this
    report? 
    • X #of hours
  • How often does your team produce this report?
    • Y frequency
  • How much is your team paid per hour?
    • Z cost/hour
  • X*Y*Z = cost of the report

An IWMS application, like ARCHIBUS, will generate the reports in a fraction of the time.  You will see the ROI in the long run by creating an ARCHIBUS report up-front. But, if you or your team want a specific excel report automated in ARCHIBUS, it can easily be created. Over time you will save money if the report can be created for less than the total cost of developing the report by hand.

In following these foundational guidelines, you can have greater success in your reporting.  By planning out your idealized report, you can ensure you and your team are tracking the right information and communicating correct statistics to help reduce overall cost.


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