During the mid '90s, Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) was growing at a rate almost as fast as the adolescent boys who enjoy the manufacturer's video game technologies. This leader in high-performance computing and visualization solutions matured into a global organization with more than 200 buildings comprising 1.6 million square feet. But as the economy began to slow, SGI shifted its focus to maximizing assets through wise business decisions, such as consolidating offices and improving operating efficiencies.
According to Robert Stephen, Project and CAFM Manager for SGI, ARCHIBUS has been a crucial tool in these belt-tightening times. "SGI is moving towards economic salvation; having accurate FM data has greatly helped the situation," he says. For example, when SGI had four of its buildings on the market, the real estate agent working the deal indicated that, according to his calculations, SGI had overstated its square footage. Within just a couple hours, Stephen was able to go into ARCHIBUS and print a report that included all rentable and usable areas, plus vertical penetrations, supporting SGI's original measurements. Looking at the hard data, the agent had to agree that the figures were indeed accurate. SGI avoided selling the properties for less than their worth, saving the corporation thousands of dollars.
Following its growth spurt, SGI identified some new strategic goals that led to its consolidation phase. The company was looking for ways to maximize its resources, streamline processes, and ultimately, to cut costs. "Management can continuously monitor the results they achieve in response to their goals," says Stephen. "We have the capability to analyze, slice, and dice data in the manner that management needs, helping them look at it in different ways and strategically plan their next step." Space allocation, employee tracking, and vacancy reports that ARCHIBUS provides are all part of the equation. The database also brings to light tracking methods that need to be better defined, such as how to report on contractors that work directly for SGI but don't take up a seat-like the café workers-or managers who may need an office just once a month when they pass through for a management meeting.
Integration Equals Information
SGI tracks employees as they come and go using an interface with PeopleSoft®, its Human Resources system. "With the ARCHIBUS system's flexibility, there has been a real opportunity to capitalize on the synching of multiple databases to capture employee data," says Stephen. "The integration with PeopleSoft is phenomenal." Every morning, while SGI staff are still in bed, the system generates an overview of the entire company's employees. This data is checked against the data in ARCHIBUS, ensuring that the correct information is reflected in both databases. Three customized fields, including Update Type, Update Comments, and Synch Mode, allow users to accept changes and synchronize the databases. "We get a report of approximately 20 modifications per day; all the information is validated in under 10 minutes," says Stephen.
This updating process goes a long way in enhancing data integrity. For example, duplicate records may appear, which occurs when one employee has multiple offices. SGI staff can easily resolve this issue by simply adding a note on the record identifying it as a duplicate. Suspicious entries, such as those missing first or last names, are also flagged. "We have built-in validating exception reports, so that anomalies such as invalid department codes or mailstops can easily be brought to our attention," says Stephen. Then, staff can decide to accept the changes, synchronize the data between the two systems, or investigate further. Most of these daily updates can be performed remotely, allowing a part-timer to work productively from home.
Making Smooth Moves
The trend to consolidate offices means that employees may be relocated among buildings or areas within a building. Therefore, some of the heaviest ARCHIBUS users are in the employee move team. Since a seemingly simple move can involve up to five different departments, a Quick Move process was developed to perform multiple moves. "We can literally move hundreds of employees in one swap," says Stephen. "One action button sets the entire move into being." From the IT department that references faceplates to the AutoCAD department that updates the CAD drawings to the move planner who notes names, rooms, and special ergonomic conditions of a moving employee, all relevant data is recorded and included as part of a move package that's fed into ARCHIBUS. The package orchestrates the entire move; within 24 hours, the new room identification numbers are assigned in the database, all the AutoCAD drawings are updated, and the employee's new seat is reflected in the company's employee locator feature.
Currently, the employee locator function provides a look-up of each staff member at the three corporate sites, including his or her location on the building's floorplan. SGI plans to roll out this functionality to its other global sites, including its field offices in Asia Pacific and Europe. At that stage, the feature will be available to the company's nearly 9,000 employees, via the SGI intranet.
"ARCHIBUS is essential because it improves productivity and accuracy," says Stephen. In fact, SGI has identified ARCHIBUS as one of its 12 crucial strategic applications, and Stephen is now demonstrating the value of FM data at the company's corporate level. For example, the solution's chargeback model with prorating determines the amount that each department is charged for its facilities use. SGI performs quarterly allocation reports that ensure the accuracy of these chargeback calculations, so managers and department heads can get a clear picture of how space is being used and by whom.
According to Stephen, the Vice President of Facilities at SGI had a profound reply when asked to determine the Return-on-Investment ARCHIBUS delivers. "He remarked that the granularity of immediate information has increased by 1000%," remembers Stephen. "The ROI is in having greater, timely, and accurate information at the same cost."
Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI)
Mountain View, California
23 buildings at three corporate sites; over 200 buildings worldwide measuring 1.6 million square feet, all ARCHIBUS managed
Real Property & Lease Management; Space Management; Furniture & Equipment Management; Telecommunications & Cable Management; Building Operations Management; Overlay for AutoCAD with Design Management; FM Web Central; Executive Information System; Room Reservations
|Impetus for Implementation:
To track space, employees, and vacancies during growth and consolidation phases
Reduced physical audits; ability to perform multiple moves; present data in meaningful ways to management
ARCHIBUS upgrade; use standard building numbering at all corporate sites; provide detailed information on any field office larger than 10,000 sq. ft.
PeopleSoft, Logistics, Site Voice Services
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