VFA NEWSLETTER / APRIL 2011

VFA Connections: Start the Conversation

Expert Insights - Susan Irving

Last week, VFA was asked by an influential analyst firm to describe why we are “cool.” Hmmm … we thought, this isn’t a label we’d typically use to describe our business. Yet the question provoked some interesting discussion, and then it hit us. We’re cool because you, our customers, are cool. Cool as in being innovative and at the forefront of some of your organization’s most critical initiatives on cost-efficiency and sustainability. Cool because you’ve taken the long-term view to ensure that buildings are well maintained, efficient and serve the purpose intended.

Being out in front, however, means that expectations for you are probably higher. You’re expected to not only do more with less, but also to continue to innovate to meet new challenges. This could mean things like new reporting requirements and actions on energy consumption, addressing risk posed by potential downtime in key facilities, and coming up with new data and analyses on the functional adequacy of your buildings.

You also still have your heritage challenges – understanding and prioritizing your maintenance needs, developing a capital plan, and building a rock-solid case for funding. A recovering economic environment may start to strain facilities not prepared to support growth, or that have not been well funded in recent years.

Those of you attending our upcoming VFA Connections event in May will have the opportunity to discuss these challenges and more with facility management peers in and outside of your industry. My event marketing colleagues have put together an excellent agenda that mixes pragmatic case discussions on topics like data maintenance and capital planning with round tables on risk management, total cost of ownership, and sustainability. As always, we’ll offer a mix of customer presentations, VFA expert-led panels and VFA management previews into our plans to better meet your needs.

In my role as the product marketing manager for VFA.facility and a member of VFA’s core product planning team, I’m particularly interested in understanding how we can improve our solutions to help you better meet your many challenges – whether “cool” or heritage. I’ll be attending every session and roundtable I can and hope to have informal hallway conversations with many of you about the same.

And to ensure that these conversations don’t stop when VFA Connections ends, my core planning team colleagues and I plan to schedule follow-up customer conference calls and/or polls on key areas of interest. If you are interested in participating in these follow-up discussions (whether you attend Connections or not), please let me know at sirving@vfa.com.

I hope to see you in Boston in May.

Susan Irving
Product Marketing Director, VFA.facility and Services