10 Keys to a Successful IWMS Integration: Pt. 8, Working in the Relationship Arena

This week we are excited to bring you Part 8 of our 10-Part series on successfully implementing an IWMS.  In this article we will discuss how to maintain a healthy relationship arena.

 

In any situation that requires collaboration, tense relationships may exist between any given parties involved. An IWMS system may span many, if not all, departments in a company, and those installing the IWMS must work with and get permission from many department heads. If the relationship arena between departments in a company is not healthy, the IWMS installation can be slowed down, inefficient, or stopped completely.

What is the Relationship Arena?

The relationship arena is a term we use at RSC to refer to the teamwork between departments in any given company and/or between the company and the third party installing the IWMS. Ineffectual teamwork within the relationship arena may lead to a slower IWMS installation. For an IWMS to be installed as quickly and efficiently as possible, quick and efficient communication and collaboration needs to happen. This will be hindered if the relationship arena is not healthy and functioning, or in other words, if there is a breakdown in teamwork because of strained relationships between departments.

How To Maintain a Healthy Relationship Arena

In earlier posts, we talked about the irreplaceable value of an Internal Champion. For a more defined role of an Internal Champion, please see article 1 of this series.

As discussed above, two key elements of teamwork are communication and collaboration; the Internal Champion will be able to shine, not only because of his/her ability to communicate in the vernacular of many departments, but also because of his/her ability to collaborate with different individuals. If the Internal Champion can help with effective inter-departmental teamwork, the IWMS installation process can be moved forward with minimal to no inefficiencies.

Even if a relationship arena is not functioning at its best when the third party arrives to install the IWMS, the Internal Champion should be able to help facilitate the installation because of his/her leadership skills and willingness to cooperate, creating an environment of teamwork, building a positive relationship arena.

The key role of the Internal Champion here is mediation — not only does working within a relationship arena require strong communication skills, but the ability to help others when a problem arises. This latter ability can look like helping two team members solve a disagreement, protecting a company from aggressive, third-party sales, negotiating between departments, etc.

The Result of Having a Healthy Relationship Arena

Together, with the support of the Internal Champion, as well as the roles that each team member play, the companies involved in installing the IWMS can create a synergy and unity based on compromise and understanding that will move the installation along smoothly.

Once good teamwork is established, the tasks that need to happen to install the IWMS can be completed as efficiently as possible. Consequentially, your IWMS will operate as you need it to because no important piece of information will have been lost in the process of working as a team.


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Friday Training Follow Up: Smart Client Extensions for AutoCAD

Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC provides free 30-minute Client Training session every Friday at 10:00AM PST.  RSC prides itself in providing learning opportunities for our clients.  We feel that if our clients know the system better, we will able to work better with them to discover and implement the solutions that they need.

Last week Matt Ritzman discussed AutoCAD, specifically Smart Client.  Below is an overview of the training.

Smart Client Extensions for AutoCAD

Background
Smart Client Extension for AutoCAD tends to install fairly easily. Most of the time issues arise when there’s a copy of Overlay installed on the same computer. Also, 20.x versions of Smart Client had difficulty switching away from Smart Client, and required editing the registry to allow AutoCAD to run with a regular profile.
Compatibility
The Smart Client version determines the compatible versions of AutoCAD allowed.
  • The version of Smart Client DOES NOT have to match the version of Web Central.
  • As an example, you can have Web Central 21.2 installed but run Smart Client 22.1, if you are on subscription.
  • If you are on subscription, you can install any version of Smart Client you like; it doesn’t require a database backend upgrade.
  • Generally, Smart Client is compatible previous versions of AutoCAD:
  • Smart Client 22.1 (which just came out 1 month ago) is compatible with AutoCAD 2016 (which came out last April).
Here’s the matrix for the some of the most recent versions:
Smart Client
21.1
21.2
21.3
22.1
ACAD 2009
yes
no
no
no
ACAD 2010
yes
yes
yes
no
ACAD 2011
yes
yes
yes
no
ACAD 2012
yes
yes
yes
no
ACAD 2013
yes
yes
yes
yes
ACAD 2014
yes
yes
yes
yes
ACAD 2015
no
no
yes
yes
ACAD 2016
no
no
no
yes
Troubleshooting
  • Smart Client needs to have an installation AutoCAD set in Preferences
  • Check that the profile is “Smart Client Extension for AutoCAD”
  • Support file search paths should have only Smart Client path information (paths should look like this: C:/Program Files (x86)/ARCHIBUS/2X.X NOT C:/Program Files (x86)/AFM2X.X).
  • Smart Client Path should be first in Support file search path
  • Use APPLOAD to be certain that only the routines you intend are being loaded.
  • Use CUILOAD to check which menus are loaded.
  • Use CUI to check which menus are visible
  • Sometimes the ribbon won’t load. To get it to show up type: RIBBON
  • If the ARCHIBUS Ribbon panel does not show up type afm_disable into the command line and press enter. Then type afm_enable into the command line and press enter. The ARCHIBUS panel should now display in the ribbon.
  • Sometimes the drop down menu won’t show up. Most of the time you can just set the workspace to AutoCAD Classic and that will solve the problem.

Additional checks for RSC tools:

  • Need to have RSC_SC_Main.lsp in the Startup Suite
  • Need Plotter configuration to be consistent across all computers using the system.
Registry Edits
Versions 20.X of Smart Client didn’t release control of AutoCAD. An adjustment to the registry was required. To simplify registry edits, a batch file (*.bat) can be created.
AutoCAD without Smart Client Extensions

 

REGEDIT4
; @ECHO OFF
; CLS
; REGEDIT.EXE /S “%~f0”
; Start “” “C:Program FilesAutoDeskAutoCAD 2012 –
Englishacad.exe” -p std
EXIT[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareAutodeskAutoCADR18.2ACAD-A001:409ApplicationsAfmOverlay]
“LOADCTRLS”=dword:0}}}}
AutoCAD with Smart Client Extensions

 

REGEDIT4; @ECHO OFF
; CLS
; REGEDIT.EXE /S “%~f0”
; Start “” “C:Program FilesAutoDeskAutoCAD 2012 –
Englishacad.exe” -p “Smart Client Extension for AutoCAD”
EXIT[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareAutodeskAutoCADR18.2ACAD-A001:409ApplicationsAfmOverlay]
“LOADCTRLS”=dword:2

 

This is the code for AutoCAD 2012. You will have to change the pathing for other versions of AutoCAD. Acad.exe will be in a different directory location, and you’ll need to change the R18.2ACAD-A001:409 portion of the registry key.

 

AutoCAD with Overlay

REGEDIT4; @ECHO OFF
; CLS
; REGEDIT.EXE /S “%~f0”
; Start “” “C:Program FilesAutodeskAutoCAD 2012 –
Englishacad.exe” -p Overlay
EXIT[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareAutodeskAutoCADR18.2ACAD-A001:409ApplicationsAfmOverlay]
“LOADCTRLS”=dword:0

If you’d like to know more about this particular training, email us at training@rsc2lc.com

We’d love to have you join us for this week’s training on MicroView/SpaceView: SV Moves  this Friday, February 26, 2016.
Please register by clicking on this link and follow the instructions:
Registering is required to receive a confirmation email and a link to the training.

 

Our weekly client trainings are held Fridays from 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM PST.  This is an opportunity to learn more about an area of ARCHIBUS that you may not be familiar with.
We look forward to seeing you there!

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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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5 Things a CEO Can Learn From Vistage: Pt. 2 — Tools for Effective Communication

This week we are excited to bring to you Part 2 of our series on The Five Things a CEO Can Learn From Vistage: Tools for Communication.

Most of life’s problems arise from an inability to communicate effectively. But why is that? Why is something that seems so simple, in reality so difficult?

Clear, concise, effective communication is a talent. It is something people must work at to develop. Luckily for you, I have some tips on how to make your communication 100% effective. It starts with this simple fact: Not one person or culture communicates the same way.

This truth was illustrated to me during a monthly session with my Vistage Chair Lance Descourouez. He began with a question which I will now pose to you: What are the chances a person would tell you there was food stuck in your teeth? Or that a particular outfit is unflattering?

While I would hope my family and friends would truthfully point out the broccoli in my teeth or unflattering shirt, Lance explained that kind of communication wouldn’t happen across every culture.

Consider the Relationship

When we communicate with associates at work, it is generally to get a task done or convey important information. But it isn’t as simple as that. During any given communication, one must always consider the relationship.

Just as I count on family to tell me about food in my teeth, I count on colleagues to be transparent in our interactions so that we can complete projects and accomplish our goals. With that transparency however, comes the hard truths. Conversations that are vital to success, but potentially difficult to have.

Think with me for a moment; how likely is a trusted colleague to tell you a hard truth? On the other hand, how likely is a new hire to point out that same issue? And how likely is it for that new hire if you’re the boss? In my experience, there are only a handful of people with the gumption to speak up in that situation – and that’s in our culture, one where people are known to speak their mind.

Communicating Across Cultures

When communicating cross-culturally, the line grows even fuzzier.

Going back to the example of the unflattering shirt Lance introduced, many Asian cultures value the relationship higher than the task. As such, they would likely reassure you your shirt is just fine, especially if you were an Elder or Boss. Wear that same unflattering shirt in Europe, you’d be advised to change post haste because the task is of utmost importance. Then there are other areas, like in Latin America, where they try to find a balance between the relationship and the task, and you would likely be given a noncommittal answer on your shirt.

Not one approach is better than the other. They’re just different.

The Key Is Understanding

The key then is to understand how to navigate through these truths to come to the appropriate conclusion.

Looking at these cultural differences – or even those within our own corporate structures, we have to remember that there are communication differences that can affect the answers we get – even if we’re all speaking the same language.  We need to be aware of where our audience is coming from, how they communicate, and how they weigh the balance between tasks and relationships.

It’s this kind of insight that has made me an absolute fan of Vistage and their program.  It’s absolutely changed how I see and approach communication.  It’s as we implement these tools that our communication turns into 100% effective, allowing us to get the job done well while valuing our partners.


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5 Reasons Your Company Needs a Painted Picture: Pt. 2 — Creating your 3-Year Goal Plan

This is part 2 of a 5 part series on “The 5 Reasons Your Company Needs A Painted Picture”
 
If you haven’t read the Painted Picture post, please do so!

When I first realized, through Cameron Herold’s Painted Picture, that the vision I had in my head wasn’t conveyed consistently or clearly to my business associates, I sat down and began to write. It took me a couple of weeks as I focused on making the vision and goals in my painted picture visible and understandable.

Setting Your 3-year Plan

Everyone talks about their 5 and 10-year plans, and those are good to have. However, a 3-year plan is my “secret sauce” to making business goals achievable. Five or ten years is too long to dedicate to a project without seeing results. I have found that a 3-year plan is just right.
Think of your 3-year plan like a puzzle. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a thousand tiny puzzle pieces. First collect all the edge pieces and build the border. Once the frame is established, you separate out the pieces by color, image, and so forth until you little by little piece the image together. When you implement a 3-year plan, your team is
more focused on analysis, review, and on seeing results.

 

Sharing your vision and your 3-year plan

Once I’d written out my vision and goals in great detail, I had my staff read my notes. That brought a tremendous amount of cohesion to the group. Suddenly, they saw what I saw. They understood. They began to ask focused questions. But the best part was seeing that they finally saw how seriously I take our growth, standards, and having fulfilling lifestyles.

We encourage questions as we continued to “paint the picture” for my business. We set up thought provoking quizzes to determine comprehension levels. We continued to paint the picture. And we make sure everyone is on the same page. It wasn’t an overnight training, but it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made as a company.

 

In fact, it is just like the puzzle. It’s going to take time. It’s going to be an iterative process to get all the pieces in their proper place. But with your 3-year goal plan as a guide, you will successfully complete the image.

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