Case Study Published: 4/02/2019

Global Car Manufacturer - Upgrading ARCHIBUS

Upgrading ARCHIBUS to support globally diverse locations and an evolving operating environment.

Since 2003, Excitech has supported a large car manufacturer in keeping track and maintaining visibility of the ever-expanding complexities across its estate globally.

Meet the car manufacturer
In terms of production, they are a large global car manufacturer with a vast real estate portfolio. When it comes to facilities management, not least in the area of moves and changes, they are presented with a sizeable challenge.

The manufacturer has a CAFM (Computer Aided Facilities Management) department that is the full-service provider of the real estate, construction and facility services.

Their CAFM Specialists have to ensure control and reporting capabilities across 24 million square feet of space encompassing 22 sites globally.

Where they once looked after occupancy planning, moves and changes for 7,200 people, this number has risen to over 40,000 people. 16,000 pieces of desktop equipment (computers and phones) has become 23,000 items, plus 5,000 assets for planned maintenance.

The challenge – ensuring seamless upgrades
They first introduced ARCHIBUS over 15 years ago with the goal to better manage their office facilities in Europe by tracking and maintaining occupancy data. In the early days, Excitech helped them to deploy ARCHIBUS as a focussed tool for space and asset management, and for planned preventive maintenance (PPM). 

In 2013/14 the company’s global headquarters was brought into the mix.  ARCHIBUS was also used for moves and changes across 12 sites, incorporating 20 buildings and 2,500 people. 

The situation is very different now to how it was with their original implementation of ARCHIBUS. Nothing stands still in their business, or in technology which creates a dual challenge. On the one hand they must ensure that they have the right tools to scale up their ability to handle information as it expands. This is the basis of serving users effectively and accurately, ensuring that each business unit has access to safe, productive and cost-effective workplaces.

On the other hand, they need to ensure constant alignment and integration between ARCHIBUS and the many other solutions in place for users. ARCHIBUS has enabled them to produce reports on both vacant space and potential areas of change far more quickly than they could in the past.

One view but with discrete access
Since various departments in three countries share the database housed in ARCHIBUS, and also share the applications (and licences), the database has to be oriented to each location, and security and roles strictly controlled so that users only see what they are supposed to see.

The manufacturer decided to modify the menu structure to ensure that the most commonly-used commands and reports are easily accessible for everyone who accesses the system. For example, a module labelled ‘Tele’ (which contains elements of ARCHIBUS applications) is used by telephone administrators. Employees were taught how to effectively navigate through the system when they want to perform a simple task, such as changing a phone number. This way, everybody has everything they need at the click of a button. By choosing to modify the menu structure rather than the software itself, ARCHIBUS upgrades can be simply and easily achieved.

Early on, the manufacturer determined that the measure of a successful CAFM implementation would be whether the system could identify 10 vacant workspaces that were otherwise unknown. On this basis, the cost of the implementation paid for itself almost immediately. Prior to implementing ARCHIBUS, users had no way of accurately tracking occupancy. On top of that, people were also claiming multiple desks at multiple sites. People would be sent to one site to work on a vehicle launch, which led to over-reporting of occupied desks. Now they assign each employee one workstation and identify available positions where temporary employees can work without taking up that space permanently. ARCHIBUS helps users on any site perform their jobs quickly and accurately. The main day-to-day benefit is that information is much more easily and readily accessible.

Improving inter-departmental cooperation
Having space usage information in an easily accessible format has had a positive impact on the team’s interaction with other groups. One of the unexpected benefits of implementing this system has been the far greater level of cooperation that they now have with some of their internal partners, notably the IT groups.

For example, the CAFM team have been able to offer the IT groups access to occupancy data in exchange for information about equipment. These groups are now much more supportive of the controls that they have in place to prevent unauthorised moves and changes - they understand the significant negative impact such actions have on the integrity of the data they maintain in ARCHIBUS.

The solution – global database migration; clean and simple
Excitech took care of the migration of the database from the previous version to the new version across all territories remotely. There was no disruption to daily operations and the resources at the manufacturer are now in line with each other and controlled through a unified view, which makes life far easier for the CAFM team, removing complexity and unnecessary downtime.

Their relationship with Excitech is over 20 years old and have used ARCHIBUS since 2003. This longevity has created a great deal of trust. Excitech has handled the global database migration from version 19.3 to 22.1, as well as assisting with a version comparison and transferring custom capabilities and functionality for their European implementation where these were still required.

Today, all office rearrangements and churn management are performed in ARCHIBUS globally. These moves vary from the large-scale relocation of 240 people to daily individual move requests. Their upfront planning data is far more accurate, available in seconds instead of days or weeks, and keeps them from having to walk around the facilities, writing on floor plans.

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