We see the cost of living rising all around us, sometimes faster than we can hope to keep up. Universities are no different. Even as tuition increases each year, it becomes harder for schools to fulfill funding requests as budgets are stretched farther and farther. Yet with rising enrollments and aging infrastructures, facilities teams are challenged to build a persuasive argument for more funding is greater than ever. The Ontario University System, with more than 80 million square feet of facilities across 19 universities, is a leader in strategic facilities capital planning. The sheer size of their facility portfolio alone posed a challenge, but since implementing a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) program eleven years ago, funding has increased by an average of $80 million. We are excited to invite you to attend our “How Ontario University System Supports the Educational Mission with Effective Capital Planning,” a live webinar on Thursday, February 28, 2013, to see just how these universities are succeeding.

You’ll hear how the Ontario University System:

  • Gathered defensible data on existing facility conditions and deferred maintenance
  • Built a persuasive argument for additional funding
  • Leverages best practice facility management tools across the entire portfolio
  • Provides consistent and comprehensive data to the Ontario University Presidents, Governing Boards, and the provincial government

The Ontario University System will share its best practices in facilities capital planning that led to increased funding and support for the educational mission.

Register Now

Ontario University System will Share its Best Practices in Facility Capital Planning that has led to Increased Funding

BOSTON—February 27, 2013—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced it will host a complimentary webinar on how effective facility capital planning can help support a university’s educational mission on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET.

Darryl Boyce, assistant vice president, Facilities Management & Planning, Carleton University, will present “How Ontario University System Supports the Educational Mission with Effective Capital Planning.” The Ontario University System, with more than 80 million square feet of facilities across 19 universities, is a leader in strategic facilities capital planning. Half of the System’s funding comes from the provincial government, and with challenges such as rising enrollments and aging infrastructure, the System needed a comprehensive, system-wide approach in order to build a persuasive argument for more funding. Since implementing a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) program 11 years ago, funding has increased by an average of $80 million.

During this 45-minute live webinar, attendees will hear how the Ontario University System:

  • Gathered defensible data on existing facility conditions and deferred maintenance
  • Built a persuasive argument for additional funding
  • Leverages “best practice” facility management tools across the entire portfolio
  • Provides consistent and comprehensive data to the Ontario University presidents, governing boards and the provincial government

Those interested in the webinar can register here.

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

Mobile Technology Increases Efficiency at College’s Facilities

We have officially entered the mobile world. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism just released a survey that more than a third of U.S. adults employ mobile devices as their main platform for reading news. Forbes states that global mobile traffic represents nearly 13% of all Internet traffic in 2012. In this new mobile environment, it is imperative that businesses reflect the changing environment to match consumers’ needs.

Here at VFA, we take pride in the fact that we continue to innovate facilities capital planning solutions and adapt to current technologies year after year. Our facility self-assessment application, VFA.auditor Mobile™, has a tablet-style user interface that allows facility managers to gather consistent data at a faster rate. The software’s mobile capabilities and connection to VFA.facility® lets organizations shift their time spent collecting data to time spent analyzing results.

One practical application is taking place on college campuses. James Madison University utilized VFA.auditor Mobile to easily and effectively capture facility condition data. Using VFA.auditor on the Apple iPad has resulted in significant productivity gains for the college and allowed for a smooth integration of the facilities capital planning planning process into the University’s strategic planning efforts. JMU has been able to successfully manage their data using an in-house assessment program that keeps facility condition data current and actionable, allowing the university to focus on managing their growing facility portfolio and meeting state mandates.

Mobile devices provide a new and exciting platform that offers an endless array of opportunities for any business or organization, but has particular value for facility teams who act as stewards of the campus. To learn more about how JMU and other schools collect up-to-date data for self-sufficient facilities capital planning, register now for this upcoming live webinar on March 13.

 

To connect with VFA, please follow us on Twitter at @VFAINC.

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 45 minutes
Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

With capital becoming increasingly scarce, FM professionals are challenged to be as effective and efficient as possible. With the right to solution to capture, maintain and analyze your data, you can help ensure your organization’s facilities are running smoothly over the short term while also planning for the long term.
 
In this webinar, you’ll learn how to leverage the latest VFA technology to develop a strategic, proactive plan for the future of your organization. We’ll take an in-depth look at the value of a comprehensive Facility Capital Planning Solution and provide insight into VFA’s exciting new software functionality.
 
Join this live webinar to learn how a Facility Capital Planning Solution can enable you to:

  • Effectively capture the right level of data for your planning needs
  • Empower your staff to gather and maintain data with VFA’s Mobile Assessment solution – VFA.auditor
  • Visualize and navigate Facility data in a new way with VFA.facility Maps (New feature preview)
  • Leverage VFA.facility Reporting to better analyze facility condition and prioritize the most urgent deficiencies
  • Report on the impact of spending levels on future condition

 

Date: Wednesday, March  13, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 45 minutes
Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

Higher education facility departments are looking for the right approach to obtain and maintain current facility condition data – one that meets their needs and budgets.  The Four P’s (Program, Process, Productivity and Planning) of self-sufficiency can provide a framework.

Attend this live webinar and learn how universities such as Florida International University, Dalhousie University, and  James Madison University are successfully employing the Four P’s to:

  • Establish an evergreen strategy for facility data
  • Create a workflow that gets the most out of facility staff knowledge
  • Increase productivity, reduce manual processes, and stay on top of the most pressing facility needs
  • Leverage data for enhanced strategy planning that impacts the entire organization

 

Deborah Lyon to Support VFA’s Growth in the Healthcare and Biotechnology Sectors

BOSTON—February 13, 2013—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the appointment of Deborah Lyon as business director. In her new role, she will be responsible for developing new business with clients across the healthcare and biotech markets in the Western U.S.

Leveraging nearly 20 years of sales and management experience, Deborah will foster VFA’s relationships with the healthcare and biotech organizations that rely on VFA to gather accurate condition information and create defensible funding requests for deferred maintenance and renewal. Lyon comes to VFA from Informedika, where she spearheaded onboarding of healthcare professionals and laboratories as a director of client development.  Her background includes extensive solution sales experience as a sales director with industry leaders such as Verity, Keyfile, and Epoch Systems.

“We’re pleased to have Deborah join our expanding team as VFA continues to grow its leadership position in the U.S. healthcare market,” said Rodger Morrill, vice president of U.S. sales, VFA. “She brings solid sales and delivery experience to VFA through her background of both top-down management and ground-up development. Her unique skillset will undoubtedly help VFA customers maximize their investment in facilities and infrastructure and meet their organizational goals.”

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

Building a Process Map Can Help Fully Utilize Valuable Facility Data

BOSTON—February 12, 2013—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced it will host a complimentary webinar on building a process map to help implement facility capital planning on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET.

Ray Dufresne, vice president, VFA Consulting, will present “Are Your Processes Holding You Back?” Current facility condition data alone doesn’t ensure excellent capital planning, budgeting or project implementation results. Good data must be part of an overall program designed and implemented to optimize its use. By examining current processes, organizations can create a plan that is aligned with mission and goals while incorporating industry best practices.

During this 45-minute webinar, attendees will learn how building a process map can help:

  • Identify the strengths and challenges in current processes
  • Fully utilize your valuable facility data
  • Implement a coordinated approach to capital planning throughout your organization

Those interested in the webinar can register here.

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

Dates: Tuesday, March 12- Thursday, March 14, 2013
Venue: Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD
Booth: #1839

Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 45 minutes
Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

The Ontario University System, with more than 80 million square feet of facilities across 19 universities, is a leader in strategic facilities capital planning. Half of the System’s funding comes from the provincial government, and with challenges included rising enrollments and aging infrastructure, the System needed a comprehensive, system-wide approach in order to build a persuasive argument for more funding. Since implementing a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) program eleven years ago, funding has increased by an average of $80 million.

During this live webinar you’ll hear how the Ontario University System:

  • Gathered defensible data on existing facility conditions and deferred maintenance
  • Built a persuasive argument for additional funding
  • Leverages “best practice” facility management tools across the entire portfolio
  • Provides consistent and comprehensive data to the Ontario University Presidents, Governing Boards, and the provincial government

register & find out more

Successful facilities capital planning is an ongoing process. This series of blog posts has covered the seven steps of facilities capital planning and management, which include defining key strategic goals and objectives; gathering accurate data through a Facility Condition Assessment or employing a guided facility self-assessment solution; and using the Facility Condition Index to make objectively sound investments. The next step is prioritizing capital projects using consistent criteria, followed by demonstrating the impact of funding on facility condition through funding scenarios, ultimately leading to the creation of defensible budgets. But like most processes, the final step in facilities capital planning and management is the most crucial.

With all of that previous work, it is vital to keep the momentum going! At this point, data maintenance and re-assessment are key. Organizations must put processes in place to ensure that data are continually collected, updated and centrally stored without excessive manual work. Industry best practices call for re-assessments to gather data on 25% of a facility portfolio each year so that the entire portfolio is assessed in its entirety within four years. Both data maintenance and re-assessment are much easier with a centrally-stored and accessible database, which enables fast retrieval of existing data, the ability to monitor progress, and an approach for uploading re-assessed data in only a few steps.

Prioritization strategies should be reviewed annually to ensure that they remain current with organizational objectives and goals. Finally, regular updates should be provided to senior management and administration to keep awareness and engagement active over the long run.

With this formula, organizations across all industries can reap the rewards of strategic facilities capital planning. This process allows the development of a longer-term perspective on capital planning with accurate multi-year forecasting.  It provides for a consistent approach to evaluating a facility portfolio and allows for objectively sound investment decisions while reducing risk overall. It also makes significant cost savings possible, and ensures that facilities are consistent with the organization’s needs and standards. When facilities capital planning efforts align with an organization’s mission and objectives, capital investments can be optimized to deliver value and results.

What are your organization’s objectives? How can you ensure that your facilities continue to support those objectives?