FSI in the news - Facility Perspectives Magazine Australia

Whilst the rest of the world suffered, Australia emerged relatively unscathed from the recent global recession.  True, there were traces of the recession with the decline of business investment, but unemployment increased, and Australia kept itself ahead of the global pack.

The recession would have placed corporate finances under scrutiny, with each and every aspect of the business having to prove their contribution to the bottom line.  The Board would have turned their attention to department efficiency and resources to save money, however the intelligent use of capital asset related data can help companies to tailor and streamline their facility maintenance budgets.

Expenditure on facilities and its occupation is generally the second highest cost in any business after staff. Surprisingly though, capital asset performance normally falls below the radar, primarily because decision makers do not have ready access to data which could help them to streamline their maintenance strategies to far greater economic effect.   Without this information, the maintenance and management of assets, and the facilities portfolio as a whole, is very often contracted out to one or more service providers, who are often governed by exacting methods of maintenance delivery rather than a consultative approach with their clients on how assets across the organisation can be managed more dynamically.   

For these organisations therefore, the capturing of facilities and asset performance data, available via a web-enabled Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) system, is invaluable for working maintenance budgets to their maximum. Longer term, it allows these organisations to secure best value in the market place,  as they  have detailed management information to hand that allows service providers to tender accurately, and competitively for future contracts. It is clear therefore that in seeking and maintaining a best value position, facilities related expenditure should be very high on the agenda for any decision maker.

FSI (FM Solutions) who develop, maintain and supply the market-leading Concept Evolution™ fully web-enabled Computer Aided Facility Management solution, believe that to achieve this, board level decision makers need to sustain their interest beyond the presentation and procurement stage of CAFM projects and not simply pass the investment decision down the chain where it is more likely to be based on cost than strategic vision.

Capturing asset performance data and using this information intelligently allows organisations to proactively tailor their maintenance budgets according to the specifics of assets, which varies greatly depending on their age or importance.  A CAFM solution provides a tailored approach to contract asset management, allowing decision makers to allocate their, very often, decreased maintenance budgets more efficiently and as they see fit.

As we have determined above, assets come in all shapes and guises.  Take retail establishments as an example: critical assets which monitor and determine the quality of meat and dairy products must be available immediately and 24-hours a day.  This isn't the case for corporate office-based assets however.

A good CAFM solution should constantly gather the required asset data, and can provide the link between the decision makers and an understanding of asset performance.  The CAFM solution should allow executives to make the strategic decisions which previously would have been left in the hands of the FM contractors.

Executives can then make informed decisions regarding whether they continue to invest in the maintenance of capital assets on the verge of being decommissioned at the same rate as capital assets with longer shelf-life and with greater strategic importance to the organisation.  Also, why would executives continue to pay for repairs to a critical asset if the data from their CAFM solution tells them that it would be more efficient and cost effective to replace the asset?  Finally, why follow the manufacturer guidelines and maintain a non-critical asset more frequently than the data in your CAFM solution deems appropriate for your use of the asset?

Many maintenance contracts will not make allowances for this level of asset performance analysis, and the end clients may continue to be charged for the maintenance of an asset, at the same rate, until the asset breaks down.  Access to asset data via a CAFM solution will not only reveal  the disproportionate levels of maintenance to the value and purpose of the asset, but also that maintenance for an asset is paid for when it is still within its manufacturer's warranty.

Whilst contractors strive to provide a top-level maintenance service to their end Clients, several contractors maintaining identical assets across different States/Territories and properties within each portfolio will result in differing maintenance rates based on site access, climate, working conditions, building/tenancy occupations etc.  Unless a CAFM solution is in place to monitor and track these factors, the end Clients will be unaware that these assets will cost dramatically differing amounts to maintain.

A CAFM solution allows users to put in place a structured and joined-up maintenance strategy, even in a multi site / multi tenanted organisation.  Decision makers and FM managers can use their budgets more wisely, spending more on ensuring the performance of vital capital assets as opposed to wasting money on the redundant ones, across the organisation's entire portfolio.

A fully web-enabled CAFM solution dramatically reduces the investment in IT services, whilst the integration with the Microsoft® Cloud vision for the future of corporate computing and the delivery of Software as a Service (SaaS) allows executives to have access to their CAFM-based asset management wherever they are, via a single web browser.

CAFM solutions have been available for some 25 years, however the once complicated data access methods have been replaced by vastly improved interfaces and analytical tools. 

FSI was one of the first CAFM software vendors to identify the need to provide easier access to facilities and asset information, and as executives look for more economical ways to maintain their capital assets and ensure optimum performance, their ability to make intelligent use of the data generated by CAFM solutions will become the driving force in their strategies.

CAFM is the key for decision makers who want to regain dynamic control of assets that have been left to the mercy of an unsophisticated blanket maintenance culture, and work more closely with their contractors to ensure greater efficiency and the wiser use of FM budgets.

About FSI APAC:
FSI (FM Solutions) Limited are Microsoft Gold partners and developers of the Concept Evolution™ fully web-enabled Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) solution.  FSI (FM Solutions) APAC Pty Ltd was launched in 2010 to service FSI's growing portfolio of clients and prospects in the Australia and Asia Pacific region, who recognised the need for the Concept Evolution™ solution.

Heinrich Serfontein, General Manager of FSI (FM Solutions) APAC Pty Ltd said: "We are delighted to build upon successful growth by establishing a direct presence in Australia. FSI will be offering its award-winning solutions locally, in a move towards a truly global reach." With Headquarters in the UK, offices in Australia and Dubai, and an international partner network, FSI is a global-leader in the design and delivery of Facilities and Maintenance Management software.