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VFA.auditor® v2.3 Enables Rapid, Accurate Condition Data Gathering

BOSTON – March 14, 2011 – VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the release of version 2.3 of its guided self-assessment solution, VFA.auditor with mobile/offline survey support.

VFA.auditor is a Web-based guided self-assessment solution that provides facility and building managers with surveys to rapidly collect data about the condition of facilities and major building systems. With over 600 professionally engineered and designed systems included in the survey library, VFA.auditor leverages VFA’s building condition domain expertise to guide and standardize the collection of facility condition data. The surveys can be as wide-ranging or system-centric as needed. Additionally, guided self-assessments enable organizations to easily reassess condition and maintain existing data. Consistent data collection leads to less “stale” data, as well as the validation that previously captured deficiencies have been addressed.

This latest release of VFA.auditor supports the flexibility and versatility of condition data collection using mobile tablets. Mobile surveys speed data collection by providing a secure, offline means of data collection. Facility managers can create surveys and assign them to facility staff and property maintenance personnel who can check-out the surveys to a mobile tablet and walk the facility easily collecting data. For data maintenance purposes, existing building condition data is included in the mobile survey providing a quick and cost-effective method of assessing buildings that may have been deferred for budgetary reasons. Surveys and collected data can then be uploaded to the VFA.facility® database for review and analysis.

“The VFA.auditor support for mobile data collection is a natural extension of the content-driven survey solution that streamlines and expedites the overall management of the data collection process,” states Bill Olsen, VFA Senior Vice President of Development. “Real-time data collection in the field will minimize the overall effort, while also improving the accuracy of the data collected.”

VFA.auditor with mobile support continues to transform how facility managers and capital planners can utilize technology and software solutions to optimize the management of capital investments. Employing a guided self-assessment process, whether it’s a complement to a professional assessment or an alternative approach to capturing asset data, provides organizations with efficient and cost-effective options to best address facility condition assessments.

To schedule a demonstration of VFA.auditor v2.3 with mobile support, please visit the Demo Request page.

Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: Approximately 45 minutes
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

Fees: This webinar is complimentary

Accurate data about facilities condition and building systems forms the foundation for capital planning. Yet it is often a challenge to translate this data into actionable capital plans that address ongoing operations and future needs. In this webinar, you’ll learn how VFA.facility can help you analyze facilities data, prioritize projects, build capital budgets that objectively align with business objectives, evaluate different funding scenarios and report on the key performance indicators. 

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Methods for prioritizing competing projects based on organizational goals
  • Approaches for streamlining the capital budgeting process
  • Ways to use cost forecasting and scenario analysis tools to project the impact of different levels of funding
  • Techniques to integrate sustainability programs into the capital planning process
  • How  to create customized reports and dashboards with key portfolio performance indicators

 Who Should Attend?

Individuals responsible for: 

  • Management of Facilities, Real Estate or Real Property
  • Engineering and Operations
  • Capital Planning, Capital Budgeting, and Capital Asset Management

By Ameeta Soni

Despite 21st century technology and ever-increasing regulatory oversight, many large corporations are still not entirely sure of what buildings and infrastructure they own. Buildings and infrastructure can consume up to 30 percent of a business’ annual capital outlay; yet organizations are not accurately tracking the condition and value of their assets. Meanwhile, they continue to spend without prioritizing the most critical, at-risk projects.

If a company doesn’t know the value of its own property, then how can it prioritize renovations, sell off or buy the right assets, or give accurate valuation in an acquisition? Part of the problem is that many organizations have thousands of buildings covering millions of square feet. Frequently, however, it’s simply that the company is still using spreadsheets, disparate databases and a filing cabinet to track information on their biggest investment.

A growing number of corporations are approaching the problem in a new way:

  • Gathering accurate facility condition data;
  • Evaluating the value of assets with industry-standard cost data; and
  • Housing the data in the cloud, readily accessible for analysis and decision-making.

The millions of square feet of property held by corporations can be a significant source of operating leverage — provided that corporate real estate teams get a handle on strategic facilities capital planning and management.

Facilities Capital Planning Leader is Poised for Continued Success in 2011

BOSTON—March 9, 2011—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and spend management, today announced profitable growth and the addition of 43 new customers in 2010, including the State of Minnesota, British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Quebec CEGEPS (Colleges), New Mexico Public Schools Facilities Authority, the City of Burlington, Ontario, and University College London. Nurturing relationships with existing customers is also key to VFA’s success. The company signed a contract renewal with the U.S. General Services Administration, among others. Today, there are more than 500 organizations in the corporate, education, government and healthcare sectors using VFA’s software solutions to assist them in strategically managing their facility capital assets.

In 2010, VFA most notably announced the second generation of its facility self-assessment solution, VFA.auditor®, which enables organizations to quickly and cost-effectively capture key data about their facility portfolios using a web-based survey platform. The application uses a library of over 600 building system models to dynamically populate the survey content. VFA also released version 9.5 of its flagship product, VFA.facility®, with utility performance tracking used to identify which energy and water conservation measures will help meet sustainability goals; a new Seismic Assessment solution, which helps organizations to mitigate seismic risks; and a unique combination of VFA software, services and consulting called VFA SmartStart™ that provides facility managers with immediate insight into the condition and requirements of their facility portfolio.

“In an economy when facility managers must reconcile budgetary pressures with strategic concerns, self-assessment is an essential tool for maximizing and protecting the value of their facility assets,” said Jerry Kokos, CEO of VFA. “VFA is pleased that, in 2010, a growing number of organizations selected self-assessment solutions. Customers like the Maine Department of Education are using self-assessment to cost-effectively obtain facility condition information and make better-informed capital planning decisions. All of our solutions are aimed at helping organizations to optimally manage their capital assets while ensuring that they achieve their organizational mission.”

VFA was named to the Software 500, Software Magazine’s list of the world’s top software and service providers for the eighth consecutive year; and one of its customers, Ontario University System, was named a winner of the Real Property Institute of Canada’s Real Property Award for implementing a Facility Condition Assessment Program (FCAP) as part of an integrated Capital Planning and Management Solution (CPMS) from VFA Canada. VFA’s Energy Assessment Service was recently recognized with Building Operating Management (BOM) magazine’s Top Products Award.

To connect with VFA, please follow us on Twitter at @VFAINC, or visit our new blog, Foundations, which is aimed at providing information to readers that serves as a foundation for intelligent capital spending and facilities capital planning and management.

By Ameeta Soni

Given the substantial, ongoing impact of facilities on balance sheets and income statements, corporate real estate managers need to take a more disciplined approach to aligning real estate objectives with strategic business priorities. Once they understand how their current real estate portfolio aligns with their organization’s short and long-term business objectives, they can make more informed decisions about capital asset investments.

Successful corporate real estate managers are able to:

  • Quantify the value and liability of capital assets;
  • Identify critical areas of risk;
  • Give stakeholders visibility into the planning process; and
  • Prioritize projects to enable corporate capital investments that yield the highest returns.

Does your real estate portfolio support your business objectives?