VFA.auditor Product News

New Look – Enhanced UI

  • Inspired by VFA FacilityView but with its own personality – other HTML5 apps will be jealous.

Multiple Photo Linking Support

  • Systems and Requirements everywhere will rejoice – now each can have up to 6 linked photos!

Mobile Survey Submit

  • Now users can submit their completed surveys right from their Mobile device … giving them more time to update their Facebook status.

Splitting Existing Requirements

  • Sometimes 1 needs to be 2 when 30% has been completed – makes perfect sense right?

Photo Storage Status

  • After extensive research we discovered it was better to tell users how much storage they actually have before they run out – who knew?

For more details about the features listed above, check out What’s New in VFA.auditor v4.7.

Don’t have VFA.auditor yet? Learn more about it!

Assessing a Variety of Classrooms

University of Texas at Austin

UT Austin Belo New Media Building

Data Drives Facility Condition Improvements at UT Austin:  VFA’s original work at UT Austin gave University planners the data needed to prioritize and fund key facility improvements.  Subsequent re-assessments of those same facilities have quantified the impact of improvement efforts, showing, in an objective, measurable manner, that critical needs are being met. Now that’s how you spell credibility. Check out the Belo Center for New Media – these were some fun classrooms to assess!

 

We’ll be posting more assessments roundups periodically so follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to get our latest updates.

Look what we’ve been up to!

We’ve been busy this year at VFA! Check out some of our recent facilities assessments. You can also get updates on our completed projects by following VFA on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Wilfrid Laurier University – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Wilfired Laurier Cold Regioins Building

VFA wraps up assessments for Wilfrid Laurier University, part of a multi-year contract with the Ontario University System that stretches back over ten years & includes over 2600 Assets across 21 Universities. The current work at Laurier covers 89 academic, residential, and support facilities located on their Brantford, Waterloo, and Kitchener campuses, as part of the regular updating of their database first created in 2002. A number of new Assets were added to the Laurier database, including cost models for their new “Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science” research facility (pictured).

Tarleton University – Stephenville, TX

Tarleton Univ Dairy Complex

VFA is helping Tarleton State University take its facility capital planning program to the next level.  Working together, the two organizations assessed 3,340 systems over 60 buildings. The data resides in VFA.facility, a dynamic Asset Database that can be searched, analyzed, and reported on by TSU facility, planning, and finance teams to guide capital planning and operational decisions. The database can store data on a wide range of facilities, even dairy complexes like Tarleton’s state of the art Southwest Regional Dairy Center!

 

In an October webinar, Skip Smith, VP Supply Chain, Physical Asset Services for Catholic Health Initiatives and past president of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE), discussed 5 key steps to take your facilities career to the next level. You can watch the webinar here with the full audio and presentation.

Michelle Ervin, the editor of Canadian Facility Management & Design, covered the webinar and detailed the five steps in this article entitled “Becoming a Chief Facilities Officer.”

 

Here they are:

1.       Build Credibility

Building credibility through excellent performance is crucial for developing the Chief Facilities Officer mindset. This will help you gain respect and influence within your organization.

2.       Thought Leadership

Beyond doing a great job, the CFO should always strive to improve. This can be achieved by taking courses, such as those sponsored by professional associations like IFMA, or by keeping current with industry trends. A CFO should be knowledgeable in both strategic approaches to facilities management as well as particulars such as the latest sustainable materials.

3.       Innovation

A CFO should be creative, looking for new and innovative ways to utilize their facilities management expertise. These new processes should also, in turn, be linked the organization’s larger goals. This feeds back into point number one: innovating processes will improve credibility, influence, and respect for the Chief Facilities Officer position in the organization.

4.       Communication

Communicating facilities management objectives and goals to stakeholders, internal and external, is extremely important. By relating these objectives to the larger organizational mission, the CFO is able to present their ideas in ways that resonate with decision-makers and demonstrate their right to a seat at the executive table.

5.       Involvement

Finally, it is important for a CFO to build relationships inside and outside the organization. Leverage networking opportunities through the industry associations, and internally, regularly meet with stakeholders in order to understand their needs, getting out in the facilities to raise his or her profile and that of the department.

Looking for more information like this? VFA is running webinars through 2014 on all things facility management. You can keep track or see what webinars are upcoming on our webinar page. All webinars are free to attend, so why not check a few of them out?

 

Dates: September 23-25, 2014
Venue: Fairmont Empress & Victoria Convention Centre, Victoria, BC
Agenda: click here
Register: click here

Join us in beautiful Victoria for a welcome reception Tuesday evening, an all-day forum on Wednesday and a half-day Thursday, featuring customer speakers and the opportunity to hear directly from VFA executives.

 

Questions? Need More Information?
Please contact Julie Cunniff at jcunniff@vfa.com or (617) 772-8229

Canadian Facility Management & Design

We’re bringing you our Fun Friday series early this week in celebration of Thanksgiving! Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts is a historic landmark as well as the living legacy of the first settlers of New England. Plymouth, spelt with a ‘y’, is actually the modern spelling, and the not-for-profit museum pays tribute to the original settlement by keeping the original name. Nevertheless, using the original name is not the only way the spirit of history is kept alive: the facilities continue to resemble those of the original colony.

When most facilities are managed, there are generally two goals in mind.

  • Maintaining the current structure in good condition
  • Improving the facility to keep up with compliance and/or modern standards

Grist Mill
Historic buildings add a level of complexity; these unique assets are important to include in a facility condition assessment (FCA). The condition of a 17th-century Grist Mill should be evaluated to ensure that any potential issues are flagged.

The famous facilities of Plimoth Plantation, site of the first Thanksgiving, were vital to the survival of the colonists and their families. It’s wonderful that we can still see this historic location, preserved through the centuries.

Happy Thanksgiving from VFA to you!

Date: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 30 minutes
Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

Establishing an Ongoing Facilities Capital Planning Program – Part 2: Enhancing the Program
How Berkeley Lab Transformed the Role of Facilities Capital Planning

With technology, process change and stakeholder buy-in, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has taken facilities capital planning and management to the next level, delivering strategic value in line with the Lab’s mission and goals.

Join us for this complimentary webinar and hear how Ken Fletcher, Deputy Director of Facilities, used process redesign, sophisticated data analysis and innovative technology to successfully transform facilities capital planning into a strategic initiative that supports the critical mission of Berkeley Lab.

Speaker: Ken Fletcher, Deputy Director of Facilities, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Register Today

Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 30 minutes
Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

Establishing an Ongoing Facilities Capital Planning Program – Part I: Getting Started
How to Be At the Right Time in the Right Place…With the Right Information

Join us for this exclusive webinar to learn how Marco Benitez, Director of Analysis, Assessment, and Risk Management at Florida International University, developed a data-driven capital planning process based on the University’s strategic goals.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify both immediate maintenance needs and long-term capital investments
  • Prioritize competing facility issues in a transparent and fair process
  • Increase funding with a defensible capital planning strategy
  • Create an ongoing program

Speaker: Marco Benitez, Director of Analysis, Assessment, and Risk Management, Florida International University
Register Today

Also, check out our upcoming webinar schedule.

Energy Assessment Service

We’ve been busy here at VFA. We introduced our new product for holistic insight into a facility portfolio, VFA FacilityView™, earlier this month, and today we are proud to announce a new addition to our assessment services: the Facility Energy Assessment Service. This service is designed to help facility, energy, and sustainability managers to cost-effectively integrate energy conservation measures into their facilities capital plans.

VFA’s Facility Energy Assessment Service enables you to:

 

  • Capture energy data alongside facilities condition data to leverage your assessment investment
  • Uncover energy savings potential and ROI that results from making these investments
  • Integrate energy investments into capital plans and budgets to get a holistic view of your capital planning needs

The results delivered are consistent with ASHRAE Level 1 and 2 energy audits, while including the lifecycle analysis that is core to a robust facilities capital plan.

Want to learn more? Check out the Facility Energy Service Assessment page.