VFA NEWSLETTER / APRIL 2011

VFA.auditor® Guided Self-Assessments Gone Mobile

Breaking News - Keith O'Leary

For organizations with moderate to large real estate holdings, accurate facility condition data is an absolute necessity. Maintaining property in good condition is a costly proposition, and it’s often difficult to know how best to spend on deferred maintenance. Priorities for spending are almost always based on key organizational goals such as risk mitigation and business continuity. Therefore, having access to comprehensive and accurate condition data that can be used to identify areas of risk and to set objective priorities is critical in making informed facility capital planning decisions.

Technology and experience each play a pivotal role in how facility condition assessments are performed and what data will be collected. The high profile assets of a portfolio often mandate a detailed periodic assessment by seasoned professionals. But what about the geographically isolated or low profile assets? Or assets that may have undetected and significant issues? In practice, more times than not, these assets do not undergo detailed condition assessments; it is simply too expensive to justify the benefit. The cost of a detailed assessment for the entire portfolio can be prohibitive for an entire portfolio and can prove to be a dilemma for facility and building managers needing to justify the necessary funds to adequately maintain facilities. Without validated data, cost justification is an elusive target.

As a cost-effective complement to a full condition assessment (FCA), more and more organizations are utilizing the VFA.auditor guided self-assessment solution using Web-based surveys to standardize data collection, reporting and analysis. The VFA.auditor guided self-assessment solution enables facility managers to capture the condition data of more of the assets in the real estate portfolio, whether facilities are concentrated on a single campus or geographically dispersed. Self-assessment data provides quick, affordable budgetary estimates and enables organizations to focus an FCA on mission-critical buildings and other “hot spot” assets which may have significant issues. VFA.auditor utilizes professionally designed building system templates to deliver a comprehensive assessment that includes remediation definition and estimated costs.

The latest release of VFA.auditor supports the flexibility and versatility of data collection using mobile/offline survey support tablets. Mobile surveys speed data collection by providing a secure, offline means of data collection. VFA.auditor with mobile/offline survey support is a natural extension of the Web-survey solution that streamlines and speeds up the overall management of the data capture process. Facility managers can reach more of the portfolio assets while instantaneously synchronizing data with the VFA.facility building system information. Surveys can be created and assigned to facility staff and property maintenance personnel who can check-out the surveys to a mobile tablet and walk the facility easily collecting data. Data can then be uploaded to the VFA.facility® database for review.

VFA.auditor with mobile/offline survey support:

  • Provides the flexibility to reach more isolated and geographically disperse assets
  • Reduces paper dependency and improves process efficiency
  • Delivers real-time data capture that accelerates collection speed
  • Eliminates redundant data entry
  • Improves accuracy by eradicating transcription errors
  • Leverages prolific, low-cost mobile device technology

VFA.auditor with mobile/offline survey support continues to transform how facility managers and capital planners can utilize technology and software solutions to optimize the management of capital investments. Employing a guided mobile self-assessment process, whether it’s a complement to a professional assessment or an alternative approach to capturing asset data, provides organizations with efficient and cost-effective options to best address facility condition assessments.

Keith O’Leary
Director, Product Marketing