Facility Management Journal

By Ray Dufresne

This month marks the first anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti—reminding us that natural disasters can happen without warning, often causing serious damage. Every day our global infrastructure is threatened with the potential of flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes and more.

And, while having a short-term emergency contingency plan for natural disasters is important, facility managers know that the cost of major unplanned repairs is typically higher than planned maintenance or capital renewal projects due to their more urgent nature.  Lack of planning is an expensive way to significantly slow down an organization’s ability to react post-disaster.

In the spirit of disaster preparedness, facility managers need to think about:

  • Documenting the condition of your buildings’ “vital organs,” including fire, gas and water valves, elevators, storage tanks and any generators.
  • Cataloging your buildings’ equipment and furniture to help you recover faster and aid your insurance claims.
  • Reinforcing your property by adding generators if your operations cannot survive without electricity, fortifying the windows if a hurricane is on its way, moving valuable equipment away from the ground floors if you expect a flood, etc.

Having this type of accurate information in a centralized place can increase your response time in the days, weeks, and even months following a disaster. But, it is only the first major step in being prepared to respond.

What challenges have you encountered in your disaster preparedness efforts? How have you addressed them?

Provider of Facilities Capital Planning Software and Services Recognized by Building and Facility Executives.

BOSTON, Mass.—January 19, 2011—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and spend management, has been recognized for its Energy Assessment Service by Building Operating Management (BOM) magazine’s Top Products Award. Winners of the 2011 BOM Top Products Award include the most popular manufacturers and suppliers of the year, as determined by building and facility executives who participated in a national survey.

“VFA’s Energy Assessment Service evaluates potential energy conservation measures for a building or an entire portfolio and provides objective recommendations to reduce consumption and increase savings,” said Jerry Kokos, president and CEO of VFA, Inc. “We are honored to be selected from more than 500 products by industry executives as a Readers’ Choice winner. It is certainly a testament to our success in helping organizations identify ways to reduce energy use and to integrate energy savings initiatives into their overall capital plans.”

The Building Operating Management Top Products award-winners were selected by an e-mail ballot to readers of Building Operating Management. A total of 551 products appeared in the magazine or online on FacilitiesNet.com between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010. Readers were asked to select their choices for Top Products that met the criteria of innovation and usefulness to facility managers. Based on reader votes, 74 products were selected as Top Products.

VFA’s Energy Assessment Service will be featured in the January issue of Building Operating Management as a Top Products Award Winner. For more information, or to view the Top Product Award winners, please visit www.facilitiesnet.com/bom.

Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 60 minutes
Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

Given today’s economic conditions, how can facilities managers streamline their capital planning and budgeting processes?  With capital becoming increasingly scarce, you are under pressure to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of not only your facilities but also your organization’s overall capital plan.

What are the best practices that can help ensure that your facilities are running smoothly over the short term while you also planning for the long term?

During this live webinar, you’ll learn how to accurately gather consistent data and understand what methods and tools will allow you to:

  • Establish a benchmark for your current facility condition
  • View the impact of various funding scenarios on budget and condition
  • Prioritize projects based on organizational and strategic objectives
  • Develop defensible budgets backed by objective data

By Keith O’Leary

A recent survey from Duke University and CFO Magazine finds that CFOs of global companies expect a nearly nine percent increase in capital expenditures this year over 2010. I’m sure that they’d like to be able to rein in that spending, but it’s tough when they don’t have an effective approach for managing the process.

Successful capital spend management requires visibility and control at every level of a project, from budget creation and approval through requisition approval and procurement. In the face of intensifying regulatory pressures and changing technology requirements, which I’m sure are big factors in that nine percent increase, many CFOs are rethinking their spend management strategy. We find that they’re looking for a tool that provides an end-to-end, real-time view of the capital allocation and spending process, information they can use to make key decisions.

Putting in place tools for managing capital projects enables CFOs to reduce unapproved expenditures and account for how capital is managed and spent.

How is your CFO taking control of your organization’s capital spend?


Dates: Tuesday, March 15th – Thursday, March 17th
Time: Tuesday 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Wednesday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Thursday 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Venue: Baltimore Convention Center
1 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD

Stop by Booth #1172 to come see us and enter to win an Amazon Kindle!

Dates: Wednesday, March 23rd & Thursday, March 24th
Time: Wednesday 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm & Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Venue: The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel
425 Summer Street
Boston, MA

Stop by Booth #531 to come see us!

By Ray Dufresne

Access to new capital spending over the past year has been severely limited. Organizations have been understandably cautious about overextending and depleting their resources. When the inevitable economic rebound occurs, will corporations be strong enough to regain a solid footing?

The answer to that question will depend on what actions they take today. Forward-looking, strategic organizations are taking steps now to best manage the current economic situation and also prepare for the rebound to come.  As the economy continues to improve in 2011, it will be a strategic advantage to have readily available facility condition information that will enable rapid and decisive action. Gathering the necessary data after the economy improves will take time and result in critical delays.

For example, last year’s economic stimulus funds demonstrate a benefit to being prepared. To jump-start the economy, the federal government made billions of dollars available for “shovel ready” projects that could begin immediately. Agencies and state governments who were the most prepared were able to secure a larger share of the available money. Although the capital available to every organization will not be in the billions, those that are most prepared will be able to successfully leverage new funding.

Is your company ready to take advantage of the rebound?

Bringing the VFA Community Together

Join us for this year’s VFA Connections, the annual conference that brings VFA customers together to share insights, discuss product directions, and participate in interactive workshops and roundtables.

The VFA Connections 2011 program will include:

  • Case study presentations from a variety of organizations in the government, education, healthcare and corporate sectors
  • Birds of a Feather roundtable discussions
  • Ask the experts sessions for users of VFA.facility, VFA.spendManager and VFA.auditor
  • Previews of updates to VFA solution offerings

Conference Fees & Registration

VFA Connections registration fees all include continental breakfasts, lunches, and coffee and refreshment breaks during the conference, all conference registration materials, Sunday and Monday evening receptions, and transportation to and from the Monday night reception. REGISTER TODAY!.

  • Conference Registration Fee: $395
  • Registration closes on Friday, April 15, 2011

Hotel Accommodations

Conference attendees can take advantage of all the amenities of the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston. Reservations can be made by contacting Sonesta reservations directly at 1.800.SONESTA (766.3782) or 617.806.4200 and asking for Reservations. Participants can also email their reservation requests to the hotel at reservations@sonesta-boston.com. When reserving your room by phone or email, be sure to notify the hotel that you will be participating in the VFA Connections Conference. The deadline for hotel reservations is April 1, 2011.

A limited number of special packages are also available for government attendees. Please contact Nicole Rutledge at connections@vfa.com or (617) 772-8236 as soon as possible for details.

Questions? Need More Information?
Please contact Nicole Rutledge at connections@vfa.com or (617) 772-8236.


Dates: Tuesday, February 8th & Wednesday, February 9th
Time: Tuesday 7:30 am – 3:30 pm & Wednesday 7:30 am – 1:30 pm
Venue: Victoria Conference Centre
720 Douglas Street
Victoria, British Columbia

Come and visit VFA at Booth #19!