by Ameeta Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, VFA, Inc.

Every organization struggles to keep pace with the ongoing changes in their facility portfolio. Projects are completed, new requirements are identified, and priorities change. Yet you and your staff probably have limited time to maintain your data. An effective facilities capital planning and management strategy addresses continuous change by ensuring that facilities data is always current.

Organizations must put processes in place to ensure data are continually collected, updated and centrally stored without excessive manual work. Relevant information such as completed work order reports, new requirements or project tracking forms can be used to update the system. It is also possible to automate the process of updating the requirement data (such as data exchange with an existing work order management system).

Re-assessments are also important to ensure that new needs are identified and progress is monitored. Industry best practices for re-assessments are to gather data on 25% of the facility portfolio each year so that the entire portfolio is assessed over four years.

In order to make the best facilities capital planning decisions, it’s critical to ensure that you have an accurate foundation based on up-to-date facility condition data. How are you managing the data maintenance process today?

See how Facilities Assessments from VFA can help.

ReNew Canada

By Keith O’Leary, Director of Product Marketing, VFA, Inc.

I attended the National Association of State Facilities Administrators (NASFA) 2011 National Conference and Expo last week in Colorado, where the focus was squarely on the issue of budget challenges. With most states experiencing continuing budget shortfalls and facing the repercussions of fewer resources, the need for more cost-effective methods for capturing facility condition data was clear. A case in point is a Southern state that recently lost several assessors due to budget cuts, but has the facility staff and knowledge to use a guided self-assessment tool to collect the condition data needed for budgetary justification.

One of our clients, James Madison University, spoke at the conference about their experience in leveraging VFA.auditor, Web-based guided self-assessment software, and a centralized database to decrease costs and double their efficiency in data collection. Response to the session generated interest among the states in attendance as well as in subsequent roundtable discussions.

How are you gathering the facility data you need to get project funding?

Today’s Facility Manager

by Ameeta Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, VFA, Inc.

Capital spending on property, plant and equipment represents a significant investment for most organizations. How well these capital dollars are aligned with strategic business goals can dramatically influence an organization’s success. Yet the process of evaluating capital needs is usually subjective and political in nature, and it is difficult to effectively link capital allocations to specific organizational goals.

A structured and consistent approach to prioritizing capital needs, using accurate facility condition data and consensus-based criteria that support strategic objectives, results in a capital budget that can be defended and is more likely to be funded.

How do you develop your capital budget – and how bullet-proof is it?

By Ray Dufresne, Vice President, VFA, Inc.

Across markets and geographies, VFA sees our clients facing the issue of aging buildings coupled with recent economic challenges. This situation has resulted in increased deferred maintenance, negatively impacting the condition of these facilities and increasing the costs to improve condition. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken. The only way that is possible is to gather objective data on the current condition in order to make informed decisions regarding these facilities.

This and other trends are highlighted in the recently released IFMA (International Facility Management Association) Facility Management Forecast, “Exploring the Current Trends and Future Outlook for Facility Management.” I participated in a two-day IFMA workshop last fall, with colleagues whose areas of focus included real estate, government policy, sustainability, risk management, technology, and workplace issues, to discuss and prioritize industry trends, resulting in this report.

What trends are you seeing in the industry and how are you preparing to address them?

Date: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: Approximately 45 minutes
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

Fees: This webinar is complimentary

Are you struggling to understand the condition of your facilities?
Are you confident that every facility is optimized to support your business mission?
Are you at risk of misallocating or losing funding due to old or inconsistent asset data?
Are you developing budgets based on insufficient data?

If this sounds familiar, join us for a live complimentary and hear how the Virginia Department of General Services established, analyzed and validated its facility data using VFA’s guided self-assessment solution.

Guided self-assessments allow organizations to use their own staff to gather condition information on facility portfolio assets. Guided self-assessment data provides quick, affordable budgetary estimates, enabling you to focus on Full Condition Assessments (FCA) on mission-critical buildings.

 You’ll hear how the Virginia Department of General Services was able to:

  • Leverage existing facility resources to quickly assess assets of all types and sizes
  • Cost-effectively capture data on all assets
  • Rapidly deploy a standardized process across their entire portfolio
  • Ensure data was being collected on all assets
  • Streamline capital budget creation, requisition processing and reconciliation of expenditures

David McGreevy, Virginia Department of General Services
Scott Cormier, VFA, Inc.
Keith O’Leary, Director, VFA, Inc.


Dates: October 26 – 28, 2011
Expo Open: Wednesday 11:30 am – 4:30 pm, Thursday 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Venue: Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix, AZ

Come visit us at Booth #1804!

Susan Buchanan will be presenting “Sustainability on a Budget: Meeting Competing Facility Needs with Fewer Dollars” on Friday, October 28th at 2:45 pm.

Current Trends in Facilities Capital Planning and Management
A VFA User Forum and Networking Event 

Dates: September 14 – 15, 2011
Venue: Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa
Victoria, BC

Share insights with other VFA customers, talk to peers, and learn how to obtain the greatest value from your capital planning and management system at our annual User Forum in Victoria, BC.

Learn more and register today.


Dates: September 12 – 14, 2011
Expo Open: Tuesday & Wednesday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Venue: Delta Regina Hotel
Regina, SK

Come visit us at Booth #11!

Susan Buchanan will be presenting “Sustainability on a Budget: Meeting Competing Facility Needs with Fewer Dollars” on September 14, 2011 at 9:30 am in the Campania Room at the Delta Regina Hotel.