Supports Discussion on the Value Proposition for Real Property

BOSTON—May 29, 2014—VFA Canada Corporation, the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced it is attending the National Executive Forum on Public Property Symposium (NEFPP) as a Gold Level Sponsor on May 29-30, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario.

The theme of this year’s NEFPP Symposium is “A Different Value Proposition: Leveraging Public Real Estate to Achieve Community and Government Objectives.” Senior officials of federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, agencies, utilities and crown corporations use the forum and the information emanating from its annual symposium and fall working session as a key component in their own organization’s strategic planning process and the tactical programs supporting this strategy. VFA Canada is pleased to participate in the symposium’s key discussions on the value proposition of public real property.

VFA Canada works with governments that manage large, dispersed public property portfolios to optimize their investments in their facilities while meeting their objectives. VFA’s flagship software product, VFA.facility®, enables federal organizations to both manage information about facility assets and leverage that information to make optimal decisions about facility spending, capital investments and long-term capital planning.

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

About VFA Canada Corporation

Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, VFA Canada Corporation is the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and management. Over the past 15 years, VFA has shown more than 800 organizations around the world how to ensure that their facilities optimally support their strategic business objectives. Partnering with VFA, our clients have been recognized for delivering programs that impact the bottom line by aligning facilities capital plans with organizational objectives to reduce risk, lower costs, improve service quality and client satisfaction, and satisfy compliance requirements. VFA’s flagship software product, VFA.facility®, is used to manage more than 400 million square metres of real estate. For more information, please call 888-685-3757 or visit http://www.vfa.com.

VFA CapStar Award

VFA Canada Corporation announced that client Infrastructure Ontario received its 2014 CapStar Award for the innovative application of software technology or business process to support facilities capital planning and management. VFA President and CEO Jerry Kokos and Susan Anson, President of VFA Canada Corporation jointly presented the award to Infrastructure Ontario on May 5 during a ceremony at its 10th VFA Connections customer conference in Boston.

Infrastructure Ontario is an agency of the government of Ontario, Canada and is dedicated to delivering some of the province’s larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects, on time and on budget; managing one of the largest real estate portfolios in Canada and providing real estate services, such as asset management and property and land management.  Infrastructure Ontario also provides the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term financing to renew public infrastructure.  The real estate portfolio includes 5,300 buildings and structures (approximately 46 million square feet) and 150,000 acres of land.  About half of the facilities managed by Infrastructure Ontario are older than 40 years of age.

Jerry Kokos, Susan Anson, Ron Fraser
In addition to improved data and analytics, working with VFA also inspired changes in Infrastructure Ontario’s business processes. Best practices inherent in the platform along with insight and experience from VFA paved the way for process improvements, resulting in a truly comprehensive solution.

“VFA is pleased to recognize Infrastructure Ontario with the 2014 CapStar Award,” Kokos said. “We selected this organization from hundreds of VFA clients for demonstrating a leading-edge approach to facilities capital planning.”

jerry-susan-ron-capstar2

Jerry Kokos, President of VFA Inc., Susan Anson, President of VFA Canada, and Ron Fraser, Director, Capital Planning at Infrastructure Ontario

Ron Fraser, Infrastructure Ontario, and Susan Anson, VFA Canada

Ron Fraser, Director, Capital Planning at Infrastructure Ontario, and Susan Anson, President of VFA Canada

Focus on the Condition of Building and Linear Assets in Capital Budget Development

BOSTON—May 28, 2014—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 titled “Your Building AND Linear Assets – Get the Whole Story,” focused on the importance of considering the condition of site linear assets alongside building assets, on Thursday, May 29 at 2 p.m. EST.

When developing capital plans and budgets, most facility managers consider facility condition and deferred maintenance costs. But what about the unique needs of linear assets, such as steam, water, and electrical distribution systems, sidewalks, and parking lots? Attendees will learn about a holistic approach to optimize capital planning and management decisions by considering both building and linear assets. This approach makes it easy to collect, track, analyze, report on, and maintain data related to both types of assets. The result is a capital budget that truly accounts for the whole portfolio.

This webinar is part of an ongoing series around the theme, “Deliver Strategic Value From Your Facilities Capital Investment.” The series features one webinar each month with speakers including industry leaders and rising stars in facilities management. To view the schedule and register, visit http://www.vfa.com/news-events/webinars/.

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.auditor Product News

VFA.auditor v4.9 Key Features

Mobile Approval – Phase I

  • Now clients can enable select users to collect and approve facility assessment information right from the Auditor Mobile app.
  • New functionality detects when users are setup as both the Survey “Responder” and “Approver” – enabling an “Approve” button.
  • This feature will help our own assessment teams avoid a few extra steps in the Auditor workflow.

Updated Mobile Library

  • Although VFA library updates are instantly available within Auditor we wanted to highlight this new set of content that was made available a few weeks ago.
    • 200+ New System Models (Uniformat G) are now available when you re-load the Mobile Library (simply press the Load button in Settings)
    • 20+ New Uniformat Categories for quick navigation to the desired System model
    • Over 1,000 New Requirement Models empowering assessors with pre-configured, site related deficiencies, when assessing facilities.

Enhanced System Details and Interaction

  • New System Condition Field –  This new field was introduced in VFA Facility’s last release and is now available within Auditor.
  • Copy Support for Custom Systems – Up until now, Copying was limited to VFA Library-based or “Linked” Systems. This release expands the Copy feature to support any System (Standard or Custom).

auditor 4.9

System Condition Field

Enhanced access to “Split” Requirement feature

  • The “Split” Requirement feature is now accessible from wherever you have Requirement data – Asset Requirement List, System Requirement List, and Requirement details.

For more details about the features listed above, check out What’s New in Auditor v4.9 (PDF). Don’t have VFA.auditor? Check it out!

i-FM

Maintaining the condition of the 13,171 mile long Great Wall of China is no easy task.  Much of the Wall has fallen to disrepair since its creation more than 2,000 years ago, and as a result, a great deal of the wall is closed off to visitors due to high structural risks and safety concerns. In the past few years, major sections of the Great Wall have been renovated and repaired in the hopes of making the sections accessible for tourists.

Great Wall Linear Asset

Image Source: http://www.china-mike.com/china-tourist-attractions/great-wall-china/

One of the most fantastic details about the Great Wall exists in its construction, which began around 221 BC. The Wall was intended as a fortification, and millions of soldiers and common people made up the work force. Since then, many new sections of the wall have been built. The section of the Wall created during the Ming dynasty in the 14th century continues to stand thanks to its unique construction elements. Ming engineers used sticky rice in the Wall’s mortar; the rice chemically bonded with the slaked lime, making the Wall so tight that weeds are still unable to grow in some parts.

How is such a colossal structure maintained?

As one would imagine, much of the Great Wall has been damaged by weather and overall wear over its 2,000-year lifespan. According to the Telegraph article, The Great Wall of China is Falling Down, “as much as 80 per cent of the structure lies in ruins, all but demolished by prospectors mining for minerals” in some areas. Not only has mining taken quite the toll on the national treasure, but also the lack of regulation and protection of the Wall. Local governments are asked to report on their section of the Wall each year and in turn receive funding from the central government, depending on their level of damage. Though this process helps to repair the sections of the Wall that are severely damaged, it does not help to provide regular maintenance work the Wall needs to survive.

great wall site linear asset

Image Source: http://www.china-history.net/The_Great_Wall.htm

How could this process be improved?

Managing a linear asset of this size and age is difficult. If the local governments had a standardized system for assessing the Wall’s condition and a centralized database in which to enter this data, the federal government could get a much more accurate and manageable view of the entire asset’s funding needs. Collecting, tracking, and analyzing data on site linear assets generates a holistic understanding of the deferred maintenance picture and allows for consideration of site linear assets when developing a capital budget.

Implementing a programmatic approach to assessment and data analysis would make it possible to identify the necessary maintenance for all the different sections of the Great Wall and create a budget accordingly. And even though technology has much to offer in managing the Wall today, we still have much to learn from the Wall’s ancient architects and engineers. Creating a 13,170.69 mile long structure that stands 2,000 years later will forever cause facility managers around the world to marvel.

Read more about the benefits of including site linear assets in a condition assessment and in considering that data alongside facility data to enable a holistic view of deferred maintenance costs and development of an accurate capital plan and budget.

Facilities Management Journal

 2014 VFA CapStar Award Highlights the Innovative Application of VFA Solutions to Support Facilities Capital Planning

BURNABY, BC—May 22, 2014—VFA Canada Corporation, the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced that client Infrastructure Ontario received its 2014 CapStar Award for the innovative application of software technology or business process to support facilities capital planning and management. VFA President and CEO Jerry Kokos and Susan Anson, President of VFA Canada Corporation jointly presented the award to Infrastructure Ontario on May 5 during a ceremony at its 10th VFA Connections customer conference in Boston.

Infrastructure Ontario is an agency of the government of Ontario, Canada and is dedicated to delivering some of the province’s larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects, on time and on budget; managing one of the largest real estate portfolios in Canada and providing real estate services, such as asset management and property and land management.  Infrastructure Ontario also provides the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term financing to renew public infrastructure.  The real estate portfolio includes 5,300 buildings and structures (approximately 46 million square feet) and 150,000 acres of land.  About half of the facilities managed by Infrastructure Ontario are older than 40 years of age.

Infrastructure Ontario had a clear vision for its facilities capital planning program. The team required a reliable and efficient way of storing and analyzing information necessary for successful strategic capital planning.  In 2009, it chose VFA to support the multi-year development of a comprehensive capital planning program.

As a result, Infrastructure Ontario now has a 20-year rolling capital project program, with long-term visibility and a short-term, three-year window in which to be proactive. Management is able to see future funding needs and the impact of insufficient funding with better-than-ever capital repair plans, forecasts and scenario models along with the ability to determine where best to invest.

In addition to improved data and analytics, working with VFA also inspired changes in Infrastructure Ontario’s business processes. Best practices inherent in the platform along with insight and experience from VFA paved the way for process improvements, resulting in a truly comprehensive solution.

“VFA is pleased to recognize Infrastructure Ontario with the 2014 CapStar Award,” Kokos said. “We selected this organization from hundreds of VFA clients for demonstrating a leading-edge approach to facilities capital planning.”

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

About VFA Canada Corporation
Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, VFA Canada Corporation is the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and management. Over the past 15 years, VFA has shown more than 800 organizations around the world how to ensure that their facilities optimally support their strategic business objectives. Partnering with VFA, our clients have been recognized for delivering programs that impact the bottom line by aligning facilities capital plans with organizational objectives to reduce risk, lower costs, improve service quality and client satisfaction, and satisfy compliance requirements. VFA’s flagship software product, VFA.facility®, is currently used to manage more than 400 million square metres of real estate. For more information, please call 888-685-3757 or visit http://www.vfa.com/vfa-canada-corporation.

Michelle Ervin, editor of Canadian Facility Management & Design, recently covered our March webinar, See the Big Picture: Keeping Your Facility Asset Data Current. Check out her recap of the webinar, Maintaining accurate facility asset data, which includes presenter Lee Kaufman’s take on why current and accurate data is key to facilities maintenance and capital planning.

Keeping Data Current Webinar

View recorded webinar

View all webinars

Chris Low to Support VFA’s Growth in the U.K.

BOSTON—May 21, 2014—VFA, Ltd., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the appointment of Chris Low as director of business in the United Kingdom. In his new role, Low will be responsible for developing business and increasing the company’s footprint with a focus on the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), healthcare and corporate sectors.

Low brings more than 15 years of experience in selling enterprise software solutions and consultancy services to the property market across EMEA. He most recently served as the EMEA sales and key accounts manager at MRI Software, where he retained blue-chip clients such as Henderson Global Investors, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Grosvenor, DB REEF, Savills and DTZ. Prior to that, he was the EMEA sales manager at Yardi Systems, new business manager at GVA Grimley and sales manager at Wealth Management Software.

“We’re delighted to have Chris join the team as VFA continues to build momentum in the U.K.,” said Rick Mongeau, senior vice president, sales and business development, VFA. “His strong background in bringing software solutions to estate management will benefit our clients and prospects across the PFI, healthcare and corporate sectors.”

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