Facilities Capital Planning Supports the BBC’s Strategic Goal to Create a Digital Broadcasting Future

BOSTON, MASS. and READING, U.K.— June 16, 2009 –VFA, Ltd., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced an ongoing strategic relationship with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). In October 2007, the BBC outlined its ambition to become the most creative organization in the world through the delivery of “Creative Futures.” This initiative covers five key themes for the organization: quality and innovation, value to all audiences, on-demand, building a “Digital Britain,” and becoming the most creative place to work. From a workplace perspective, BBC’s responsibility is to provide safe and sustainable environments that are appropriate, flexible and cost-effective for the delivery of a digital future.

Prior to working with VFA, the corporation faced challenges in developing a long-term budget based on current data and future funding requirements. In addition to this, the BBC needed both an immediate and long-term view of funding requirements to assist in decision-making and the formulation of its Corporate Property Strategy. In 2008, VFA audited 127 properties across 48 campus sites in the U.K., and imported data for the rest of the estate—a total of about 483 sites and 62,000 square meters. The organization deployed VFA.facility® capital planning software as a Web-based, central repository of facility data to support the collection and management of a wide range of asset information that creates a unified planning environment to assist in critical strategic decisions. Today, VFA.facility is an integrated part of daily portfolio management.

“An organization’s facilities are one of its most significant assets, but managing the wealth of information related to those facilities and their various building systems is an ongoing challenge—particularly for organizations with large and geographically diverse portfolios such as ours,” said Gary Hills, Head of Capital Development, BBC. “With our goal of delivering a digital future, the BBC needs the capability to obtain detailed and comprehensive condition data that enables us to prioritize budgets and to forecast needs as far out as two decades, allowing us to prepare for future challenges and avoid unplanned expense.”

With all facility data in one location, the BBC is able to gain a complete view of its overall portfolio—by campus, asset or system. VFA.facility allows the broadcaster to track spending and allocation of funds, the impact on maintenance and repair, and the relation to capital expense. On a daily basis, linking and synching software applications allows facility managers to better pinpoint where dollars are allocated; by connecting work order and asset data/capital planning systems, an audit trail of expenses is created which can be used for both planning and reporting purposes.

“Facilities are not only a necessary business investment—they are a vital component to achieving an organization’s mission and ensuring its future growth and success,” said Jerry Kokos, CEO of VFA. “We are pleased to be able to support an organization like the BBC in its effort to make facilities capital planning a critical aspect of their overall strategy.”

Vice President Hector Boirie to Discuss Improving Capital Expenditure and Asset Management

BOSTON, Mass. and SEATTLE, Wash.— June 15, 2009 –VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and spend management, today announced that Hector Boirie, Vice President, Capital Management at Sisters of Mercy Health System, will present at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s ANI: The Healthcare Finance Conference in Seattle, Wash. The focus of this year’s conference is the current economic and healthcare climate, featuring sessions on cost savings, efficiency, revenue and capital strategies. Boirie will address how the Sisters of Mercy Health System is using VFA’s capital spend management solution to gain control of its capital spending.

WHO: Hector Boirie, Vice President, Capital Management, Sisters of Mercy Health System

WHAT: “Improving Capital Expenditure and Asset Management: Sisters of Mercy Health System Case Study,” is a 75-minute break-out session that examines Sisters of Mercy Health System’s capital management process.

WHEN: June 16, 2009
2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PDT

WHERE:
ANI: The Healthcare Finance Conference
June 14 – 17, 2009
Washington State Convention and Trade Center
Seattle, Wash.

DETAILS: Health systems are spending millions – even billions – of dollars on routine and strategic capital projects, but they traditionally have limited visibility and control of why, where and when capital spending occurs. Boirie will identify the advantages of a strategic top-down capital planning methodology, as well as process challenges and areas of change required to more effectively allocate capital, define capital programs, manage capital projects and measure capital assets.

Sisters of Mercy Health System deployed the Web-based VFA.spendManager® capital spend management solution to gain control of capital spending by enabling all stakeholders to document, forecast and track activities related to capital expenditures. VFA.spendManager enables organizations to manage the entire capital spending process, streamlining capital budget creation, requisition processing, purchasing and reconciliation of expenditures. Sisters of Mercy Health System now benefits from a proactive and collaborative capital management process that provides enterprise visibility and control of all planned, budgeted and actual capital expenditures.

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New Business Intelligence Capabilities in VFA.facility 9.0 Enable Users to Put Facility Data into Action

BURNABY, BC– April 27, 2009 –VFA Canada Corporation, the leading Canadian provider of solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the release of version 9.0 of its flagship software product, VFA.facility® for May distribution in the Canadian market. The latest release includes business intelligence capabilities enabled by embedded tools from IBM Cognos, including new reports and dashboards that allow users to view key performance indicators about their capital assets and easily access additional detail.

VFA.facility provides a central source of facilities information along with sophisticated tools for capital planning and budgeting. The latest release builds on these capabilities to provide customizable reports and dashboards to help executives gain business insight from facilities data, enable better prioritization of requirements, and support organizations that manage facility portfolios across multiple geographies.

“In today’s uncertain economy, organizations must carefully prioritize capital improvement projects and be able to make compelling funding requests,” said Susan Anson, general manager, VFA Canada. “The latest release of VFA.facility gives organizations even better tools to understand the needs of their facility portfolio, prioritize capital needs and provide various stakeholders with the information they need, when they need it.”

New features in VFA.facility 9.0 include:

  • Report Center: A new reporting environment lets users view reports in multiple formats, organize them in public and shared folders, schedule them to run at specific times, and automatically email reports to recipients they specify. Users may create and modify reports with a simple drag-and-drop interface using the optional report authoring tool.
  • Dashboards: New homepage dashboards provide a graphical, interactive view of key performance indicators and the overall state of the portfolio. In addition to the dashboards provided with version 9.0, users may create their own dashboards using tables, graphs, dials and more, and easily share them with others.
  • Enhanced Budgeting: Users may now use an expanded set of fields within VFA.facility as criteria for ranking capital needs, including data fields in Regions, Campuses, Assets, Systems, Requirements and Prime Actions.
  • Multi-Currency Support: Local currencies may be used when viewing information about regions, campuses and assets, while reports may be rolled up in a standard site-wide global currency.

“VFA Canada is committed to providing customers with the tools they need to make optimal decisions about facility spending and capital planning,” Anson said. “VFA.facility 9.0 lets decision makers see the information that is most important to them in a concise, actionable format, and helps them turn data into business insight for short and long-term planning.”

Sustainable Facility

Green Assessment Integrates Sustainability Initiatives into the Capital Planning Process

BOSTON – March 31, 2009 – VFA, Inc., a leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced completion of a green facility condition assessment of 18 buildings and nearly 530,000 square feet of real estate at Salem State College in Salem, Mass. VFA identified potential green opportunities on campus, providing the college with a strategy for achieving both traditional capital planning and sustainability goals.

Like many higher education institutions, Salem State College had recognized the importance of understanding the condition of buildings in its portfolio, prioritizing projects during the capital planning process, and establishing defensible funding requests through traditional facility condition assessments from VFA. Using the guidelines of LEED®-Existing Building Operations and Maintenance, VFA has now delivered recommendations for green actions and established a sustainability baseline for the campus.

“Salem State College is committed to operating and maintaining sustainable buildings in order to provide a productive and healthy environment for students, faculty and staff,” said Stephen Keyes, Director of Campus Development, Salem State College. “It is critical that we are prepared to pinpoint the specific projects that could positively impact the sustainability of the campus so that we are prepared to execute on those projects when funding does become available.”

In conducting the green building assessment of Salem State College, in conjunction with a facilities condition reassessment, VFA was able to focus on low-cost, easily executable initiatives that deliver a short-term payback and provide tangible improvements to the quality of the work environment, as well as identifying long-term initiatives with more wide-ranging impact and extended payback. The use of a performance scoring system allows Salem State College to compare buildings with one another and set benchmarks to monitor each building’s sustainability progress over time in the following areas:

  • Optimization of energy performance;
  • Conservation and protection of water;
  • Enhancement of indoor environmental quality; and
  • Reduction of impact of materials and operations on building sites and the environment.

“With the establishment of a sustainability baseline, Salem State College has laid the foundation for a comprehensive green implementation plan,” said Jerry Kokos, president and CEO, VFA, Inc. “Our Green Building Assessment is just one of the ways that VFA demonstrates a commitment to help higher education organizations readily integrate green facilities programs into their overall capital planning and project definition process.”

New Business Intelligence Capabilities in VFA.facility 9.0 Enable Users to Put Facility Data into Action

BOSTON – March 9, 2009 – VFA, Inc., a leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the release of version 9.0 of its flagship software product, VFA.facility® for April distribution in the U.S. market. The latest release includes business intelligence capabilities enabled by embedded tools from IBM Cognos, including new reports and dashboards that allow users to view key performance indicators about their capital assets and easily access additional detail.

VFA.facility provides a central source of facilities information along with sophisticated tools for capital planning and budgeting. The latest release builds on these capabilities to provide customizable reports and dashboards to help executives gain business insight from facilities data, enable better prioritization of requirements, and support organizations that manage facility portfolios across multiple geographies.

“In today’s uncertain economy, organizations must carefully prioritize capital improvement projects and be able to make compelling funding requests,” said Melanie Ziegler, senior vice president of product development at VFA. “The latest release of VFA.facility gives organizations even better tools to understand the needs of their facility portfolio, prioritize capital needs and provide various stakeholders with the information they need, when they need it.”

New features in VFA.facility 9.0 include:

  • Report Center: A new reporting environment lets users view reports in multiple formats, organize them in public and shared folders, schedule them to run at specific times, and automatically email reports to recipients they specify. Users may create and modify reports with a simple drag-and-drop interface using the optional report authoring tool.
  • Dashboards: New homepage dashboards provide a graphical, interactive view of key performance indicators and the overall state of the portfolio. In addition to the dashboards provided with version 9.0, users may create their own dashboards using tables, graphs, dials and more, and easily share them with others.
  • Enhanced Budgeting: Users may now use an expanded set of fields within VFA.facility as criteria for ranking capital needs, including data fields in Regions, Campuses, Assets, Systems, Requirements and Prime Actions.
  • Multi-Currency Support: Local currencies may be used when viewing information about regions, campuses and assets, while reports may be rolled up in a standard site-wide global currency.
  • U.K. English: VFA.facility now supports U.K. English in addition to U.S. English, French and German.

“VFA is committed to providing customers with the tools they need to make optimal decisions about facility spending and capital planning,” said Jerry Kokos, president and CEO, VFA, Inc. “VFA.facility 9.0 lets decision makers see the information that is most important to them in a concise, actionable format, and helps them turn data into business insight for short and long-term planning.”

American School and University