Vowing "no more stovepipes," the U.S. Navy in Europe set sail on an ambitious multi-year ARCHIBUS implementation called "Integrated Installation Management." The Navy aimed to replace creaky single-purpose legacy applications, link facilities management with other key systems such as finance, and bring its entire shore-based facilities management into a single integrated computer system.
A Large-Scale Project
With operations in four European nations and facilities ranging from a submarine tender on a tiny island off Sardinia to an airfield in Sicily to a seven-story office building in London's Mayfair district, the Navy needed a system to standardize FM activities at all bases and to feed data up the command chain. Facing a Y2K deadline on two legacy applications, the Navy scoured the marketplace and chose ARCHIBUS as the core of this integrated system.
Some of the Navy's initial ARCHIBUS deployment activities were undertaken with the help of three ARCHIBUS Business Partners: ARCHIBUS Solution Centers — Research Triangle (ASC-RT), Excitech, and MASS Systems. These activities include:
ASC-RT is currently working under a long-term contract with U.S. Navy Europe. Now that the bases have a cadre of trained ARCHIBUS users, additional creative uses of basic tools emerge regularly. A facilities manager in Spain, for example, will use base maps in ARCHIBUS to coordinate the placement of concrete barricades and parking restrictions when local "threat conditions" rise to critical levels.
Logistical, Technical and Human Challenges
Logistically, the challenge was to coordinate parallel implementations in four nations and six locations, with limited budget and organizational support, while meeting tight delivery schedules.
The technical challenge was to replicate the functionality and data elements of the Navy applications, while minimizing customization expenses and laying ground for significant gains (to be realized later) from using an integrated application. This proved to be the human challenge, as well. Base personnel-U.S. military, U.S. civilians and a large corps of local nationals-needed to overcome their resistance to using new systems whose payoff would come later and might not directly benefit them.
The Navy's unique business practices and multi-national environment required ASC-RT to develop custom training materials and Help files. In addition to new-user training, ASC-RT offers regional workshops to equip advanced users to train others at their local activities.
The ARCHIBUS work order system, for example, provides data elements that will support powerful metrics and automated reporting, but entering that data does not directly benefit the local worker. The Navy tasked ASC-RT to make the user interface as "user-friendly" as possible to help overcome such resistance.
To that end, the project is now incorporating a Web environment, as well as Work Wizard, in which most users will create, track and update work via easy-to-use tools, while only a small cadre of advanced users will need to use the full Enterprise environment. Through the Web, the number of users will grow. For example, base personnel will enter Work Requests themselves on the Web, rather than telephoning a service desk, and department managers will view their space and other data.
Feeling the Impact
The impact of automated reporting developed in ARCHIBUS is starting to be felt. Last October, facilities managers were able to submit their annual inspection surveys using an automated routine developed by ASC-RT. An annual burden normally requiring weeks of effort was accomplished with a few keystrokes. A similar automated report for fleet management is to be delivered this year.
Management metrics are making an impact, too. In the competition for funds in the Defense budget, Navy managers in Europe can document their deficiencies, link facilities data to mission readiness, and manage special projects to correct deficiencies. The charting capabilities of ARCHIBUS provide powerful tools for assessing performance and needs. When Web tools are rolled out later this year, base managers will have instant access to reports and charts that are generated in ARCHIBUS and delivered to their desktops without their having to learn the application itself.
The flexibility of the ARCHIBUS system is paying off. A new Atlantic Fleet project to manage all facility budget and planning data using a single Web-based system will be tied to ARCHIBUS in Europe, as well as to ARCHIBUS space management projects in the U.S. As a result, data stored in the ARCHIBUS system will be available on the Web for high-level managers, while day-to-day management is carried out in ARCHIBUS.
U.S. Navy (Europe)
Six bases in four countries using ARCHIBUS
|ARCHIBUS Applications: |
Space Management, Building Operations Management, Telecommunications & Cable Management
|3rd Party Applications: |
NavTran developed by ASC-RT
Family Housing Management from MASS Systems
|Impetus for Implementation: |
Needed to replace non-Y2K compliant legacy systems; integrate all FM tasks into a single computer system; link FM data to other systems, such as finance
|Benefits Gained: |
Saved time using automated annual inspection surveys; charting capabilities allow managers to easily assess performance and needs
|Future Plans: |
Web-based system will unite the Navy's U.S. and European projects
|Business Partners: |
ARCHIBUS Solution Centers-Research Triangle; Excitech UK; MASS Systems UK
|Web Site: |
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