In most organizations, facilities represent the second largest expenditure behind human resources. This is a major factor in the evolution of the facilities management professional, who now plays an increasingly important and strategic role.

Facilities Capital Planning Webinar

If managed well, this shift can be a positive development for you, providing opportunities to grow and develop in your career and increase your contribution to your organization’s success.

During this 30-minute webinar you will hear Skip Smith, VP Supply Chain, Physical Asset Services for Catholic Health Initiatives and past president of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE), discuss  5 key steps you can follow to take your career to the next level.

When: Wednesday October 30th at 2 p.m. EST.

Where: Via Webex

This Facilities Webinar is completely free, so register today!

 

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern
Length: 30 minutes
Fees: This webinar is complimentary
Location: Available Online Using WebEx

Facing a budget crunch, many facility managers are being pushed to focus on energy savings opportunities as part of an organizational goal to reduce costs. But where do you start? How do you cost-effectively get the necessary data in order to make good decisions and deal with this challenge? Discover how taking an informative energy audit can arm you with the information to analyze energy-savings projects alongside deferred maintenance as a part of your overall facilities capital planning program in support of your organization’s objectives.

Frequent industry speaker and LEED AP Susan Buchanan will discuss how energy modeling as a key data source can inform  strategic facilities capital planning, solving a major challenge for facility managers.

Speaker: Susan Buchanan, LEED AP
Register Today

Also, check out our upcoming webinar schedule.

Facility Self-Assessment Programs Help Standardize Data Collection Process

BOSTON—October 28, 2013—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced it is featuring its facility self-assessment solution, VFA.auditor®, at the Midwest Region APPA (MAPPA) Annual Conference taking place October 27-31, 2013, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. VFA is exhibiting in Booth 20.

VFA helps higher educational institutions, from state university systems to private colleges, as well as public schools systems, to maximize their current investment in facilities and infrastructure while effectively planning for future needs. Universities, colleges and public schools need to demonstrate the need for funding and create capital budgets based on accurate, objective data. VFA.auditor offers facility managers an efficient and cost-effective way to gather reliable facility condition data across campus facilities and prioritize identified issues.

Combining the power of mobile technologies, including the iPad® and Android™ tablet, with the company’s extensive facilities assessment experience, VFA.auditor enables schools to utilize in-house resources to quickly and cost-effectively conduct assessments. VFA.auditor provides users with an extensive collection of intelligent surveys to rapidly and consistently collect data about the condition of facilities and major building systems. Integration with VFA.facility® capital planning and management software lets schools take advantage of robust prioritization, business intelligence and what-if scenario tools to develop a defensible capital plan.

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.

Don’t Wait Until the Heat of Battle to Assess Your Fortress’s Risks

With Saruman’s army of orcs descending on Helm’s Deep, an accurate facility condition assessment of the fortress could have helped King Theoden prepare for battle. Unfortunately for Theoden, the enemy identified the small culvert that allowed fresh water into the fortress as its weakest point. They then capitalized upon this weakness by placing a large explosive at the base of the wall. Luckily, Gandalf arrived with reinforcements as promised.

Don’t wait until the heat of battle to assess your kingdom; know the condition of your facilities ahead of time so you can identify areas of risk, prioritize projects, and get the budget you need to address problems.

Facility of helmsdeep

Image source: http://lucerne.wikia.com/wiki/Helms_Deep

Facility Management Lesson Learned

Whether you face forces of evil or forces of nature, know about your deficiencies before a weakness turns into a major battle.  Learn more about getting a facility condition assessment for your fortress.

New Blog Series to Focus on Famous Facilities From History and Fiction and the Issues Their Facility Managers Faced

BOSTON—October 24, 2013—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced it will be launching a new Foundations blog series, “Fun Fridays,” on October 25 focused on famous facilities, real or imagined, and the issues their facility managers faced.

While the language in the posts will be light-hearted, VFA will share lessons that can be learned from these facility managers as a strategic facilities capital planning approach can help organizations better manage facility assets and maximize the value of capital investments.

Posted twice a month, upcoming “Fun Fridays” topics include:

  • “The Lord of the Rings” and the facility manager in charge of Helms Deep
  • Challenges for Versailles’ facility manager, including a large portfolio, aging systems and angry mobs
  • “The Avengers” destroyed Manhattan: was Iron Man prepared for disaster?

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.

VFA Helps State and Local Government Agencies Create Requests for Facilities Capital Projects Funding

BOSTON—October 21, 2013—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced it is featuring its flagship facilities capital planning software, VFA.facility®, and its facility self-assessment solution, VFA.auditor®, at the 18th annual New Mexico Infrastructure Finance Conference (NMIFC), October 22-24, 2013 in Albuquerque, N.M.

VFA works with state offices of administration, education, correction, transportation and other agencies responsible for managing statewide facilities to maintain accurate information about those assets and create compelling requests for maintenance and renewal funding. Many county, city and local agencies rely on VFA solutions to optimally allocate limited capital funds, streamline the process of submission and approval of capital improvement requests to legislatures and other oversight bodies, and demonstrate effective stewardship of public assets.

VFA.auditor offers facility managers an efficient and cost-effective way to gather reliable facility condition data across facilities. It is a standalone solution for organizations that conduct assessments with their own staff or a complementary solution for those that also use third parties for assessments. Integration with VFA.facility lets organizations take advantage of robust prioritization, business intelligence and what-if scenario tools to develop a defensible capital plan.

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.

Fun Fridays is coming to VFA’s Foundations blog! Twice a month, we will be posting to our new Fun Friday series focused on famous facilities from history or fiction, and the issues their facility managers faced.

While the language will be light-hearted, we know facilities capital planning and management is serious business. Hopefully, some lessons can be learned from these facility managers and their facilities challenges, and you’ll enjoy the humor.

Some future posts to keep an eye out for:

  • “The Lord of the Rings” and the facility manager in charge of Helms Deep
  • Challenges for Versailles’ facility manager – including a large portfolio, aging systems, and angry mobs
  • “The Avengers” destroyed Manhattan – was Iron Man prepared for disaster?

If you have any ideas for the series, comment below or tweet us @VFAInc and your idea could be featured on our blog!

Remember, watch this space: the series will launch on Friday, October 25.

Prioritize Competing Projects and Make the Case for Capital Improvements

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, located in Boston. The mission of BIDMC is to provide extraordinary care, where the patient comes first, supported by world-class education and research. Facility managers at BIDMC began working with VFA about 12 years ago when they decided that they needed an infrastructure master plan. BIDMC has 2 main campuses with approximately 2.5 million square feet and an additional 1 million square feet in garage space. VFA conducted a full facility condition assessment and input the condition data into VFA.facility.


Ray Dufresne discusses his work with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

1. Prioritization – How do you know where to start?

One challenge, typically faced by most facility managers, is to decide what’s most important out of the long list of needs.  VFA.facility allows facility managers to objectively prioritize competing projects, and run scenarios to show the impact of different funding levels on facility condition over time. The condition assessment data is what fuels prioritization strategy. Once BIDMC’s data was collected and available for analysis, knowing where to start and what was most critical became clear. This allows BIDMC to avoid costly emergencies and it also allows them to have a longer term view of their projects from both a criticality and a funding standpoint.

2. Credibility – Why should we listen to you?

Using VFA.facility has streamlined BIDMC’s decision making process and given them the data to support their capital improvement plans. The reduction in emergency spending and the increase in capital spend efficiency instills confidence in the capital plan and also instills confidence in the BIDMC organization that they are focusing on the most critical priorities.

3. Funding – Why are you asking for this amount?

BIDMC has seen a dramatic increase in funding since implementing the solution. By creating a prioritization strategy supported by data, they gained credibility for their plans and more specifically, for their funding requests. They also spent what funding they were given more efficiently and were able to do more with what they were given. The embedded RSMeans cost data allows facility managers to estimate the cost of deferred maintenance projects and accurately project future funding needs. Over the past ten years, capital funding allocations have increased over 473 percent from $3 million in 2003 to $14.2 million in 2012.

The Future

BIDMC understands the importance of an ongoing assessment program to ensure that decisions are being made based on the most accurate information. We are currently working with BIDMC to reassess the main campuses as well as several satellite offices.  With current data, the facilities team can produce accurate budgets and continue to receive the capital dollars they need.

Learn More

Facility managers should check out HFM’s ‘Time to Build?’ Hospital Construction Survey for some interesting statistics on planned capital improvements in the healthcare industry.

VFA Assists Global Corporations in Strategically Managing Real Estate Assets to Support Business Goals

BOSTON—October 17, 2013—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced it is featuring its flagship facilities capital planning software, VFA.facility®, at the CoreNet Global Summit taking place October 21-23, 2013 in Las Vegas. VFA is exhibiting in Booth 322.

VFA assists global corporations in understanding the financial and operational risk associated with real estate assets, and in strategically managing these assets to support business goals. VFA has shown them how to consistently get the highest operational value out of their facilities and physical assets while being recognized for minimizing risk and expenses. VFA helps global corporations to identify critical risks and prioritize projects based on hard data; arm their people to make the most credible, defensible funding requests; and optimize budget use capital in alignment with business objectives.

Visitors to VFA’s booth can learn how VFA.facility enables global corporations to both manage information about facility assets and leverage that information in the creation of capital projects, plans and budgets. VFA.facility provides a secure central source of facility data, and gives facility managers, capital planners, financial analysts and executives the tools they need to make optimal decisions about facility spending, capital investments and long-term capital planning.

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.

Facilities Capital Planning at CoreNet Global SummitAs the leader in facilities capital planning and management solutions, VFA will be exhibiting at the CoreNet Global North American Summit from October 21st to October 23rd in Las Vegas. The Global Summit presentations and breakout sessions are facilitated by industry experts and will help attendees to expand industry knowledge, learn about game-changing technologies, share new ways to improve productivity and competitiveness, enhance the practice of corporate real estate at their organizations, and improve their leadership skills. CoreNet is also a premier networking group for corporate real estate and facilities capital planning, and the Global Summit includes numerous networking opportunities as well as the chance to join peers for a Corporate Real Estate think tank exchange of best practices, problem solving, and new ideas.

VFA will be exhibiting at booth #322, so stop by to discuss solutions to your corporate real estate challenges. VFA has shown dozens of global corporations how to consistently get the highest operational value out of their facilities and physical assets while being recognized for minimizing risk and expenses.

How? By enabling them to:

  • Identify critical risks and prioritize projects based on hard data
  • Arm their people to make the most credible, defensible funding requests
  • Optimize budget use capital in alignment with business objectives.

See you in Las Vegas!