The missing piece to the project hand-off puzzle

FM:Systems booth at Autodesk UniversityLast week I had the pleasure of attending Autodesk University in Las Vegas. It was my first time attending the show, but FM:Systems attends every year. Autodesk University is a conference that brings together AEC firms, contractors, design firms, and other industry leaders to talk about the latest Autodesk products, learn new skills, and network with the top industry experts from all over the world. This conference generates a lot of awareness for FM:Systems by allowing us to speak with the leading architecture and engineering firms and having the opportunity to tell them the benefits of facility management software and how it can help facility and real estate professionals manage their facilities space more effectively.

After my first few conversations I quickly began to realize how many AEC firms are unfamiliar with facility management software. I kept hearing comments such as, “the construction is almost complete and my client is asking me what the next phase is after the project is handed-off to them” and “my clients are looking for a way to better manage their facilities.” These individuals were coming over to our booth to simply see what our company as to offer, without realizing that we are the missing piece to their project hand-off puzzle.

The building construction is complete, but now what?

A lot of people think that once the building construction is finished and handed-off to the building owner that the project is complete, but this isn’t the case at all. The construction phase is just the beginning of the buildings lifecycle and then they have an entire building, or multiple buildings and locations to manage. You would be surprised by how many companies have hundreds of thousands of square feet and a few thousand employees and are not using an automated solution to manage their building portfolio. You are probably wondering how they manage their facilities. Typically facility managers walk the floors to see who is sitting in which space, what departments are occupying that space and how much vacant space they have. They do this all with pen and paper, some use colored pencils to distinguish the zones different departments occupy, or they manually update an Excel document when they get back to their desk. But the problem is the data quickly becomes inaccurate—someone has already moved spaces, another employee has left the company—and it becomes next to impossible to keep track of all the daily changes that take place within an organization.

The management of facility space, and what I described above, is just one piece of managing an organization. There are so many other parts to an integrated workplace management solution, the management of moves, forecasting future changes with scenario planning, automatically routing and managing work orders and service requests, allowing employees to reserve spaces through hoteling and room scheduling, and much more.

After briefly describing what our facility management software does—and how it can provide them with something to hand-off to their client once construction is complete—these individuals quickly began to realize how important an integrated workplace management suite is for an organization. They have found the missing piece to their puzzle, the management of a building using an automated software solution such as FM:Interact.

BIM for the building lifecycle

FM:Interact, which is our integrated workplace management suite of modules, has a BIM integration that provides a live, bi-directional link, between Autodesk Revit models. This real-time integration allows our customers to easily manage their space and occupancy, moves, maintenance, and more throughout the buildings lifecycle. It also allows users of FM:Interact who have little or no experience with BIM to easily access and update their floor plans in FM:Interact and publish those updates to Revit.
FM:Systems is the Autodesk preferred vendor for facility management software and we work closely with them to help building owners realize the value of BIM data and how they can expand BIM into the operational phase of the building lifecycle which will drive greater productivity and significant savings.

Interested in learning more about our BIM integration? View our short Revit overview video.

Autodesk University 2015

Autodesk University Cloud Services Panel Brian Haines, our Director of Marketing, had the honor of being on a panel Monday morning, “Autodesk Cloud Services” which consisted of four Autodesk partners that have built cutting-edge Cloud-based solutions that leverage Autodesk Cloud services. He was able to discuss how our software can help building owners manage their facilities throughout the buildings lifecycle and it really helped the audience realize the benefit of BIM and facility management.

We also had the opportunity to showcase our product in the Autodesk A360 booth during the expo hall hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were able to demonstrate our integration with the Autodesk A360 viewer, which allows our customers to quickly stream their building models to their Web browsers and mobile devices, select building components, and see real-time information about the item they are selecting.

I have to say I am extremely pleased with how the conference went for us, we had so many great conversations with both building owners as well as AEC firms and were able to generate more awareness for our company and the facility management industry.