How $1B in Savings and Productivity Were Achieved
As the largest telecommunications operator in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world, Telefónica de España has a presence in 50 countries across five continents. That amounts to an extensive real estate portfolio. To support the organization’s business activities and increase the value of its holdings, the Telefónica Inmobilario (TI) group saw an opportunity to provide space usage information, lease contracts, and a host of other facilities management services. Two years later, an ambitious plan called GAIN (Gestor de Activos INmobiliarios) was begun and ultimately accomplished the project’s goals, saving the company over $1 billion by rationalizing its real estate holdings and processes worldwide using ARCHIBUS.
The TI group is responsible for the organization’s property management and administration, projects, and building operations. In addition to providing an accurate inventory of real estate assets, TI envisioned using GAIN to optimize space usage across the far-flung organization and consolidate its building operations management tasks. “We knew we could save time and money by bringing all our information together in one system,” says Cesar Judez, Project Manager at Telefónica. The group also considered the benefits of offering a self-service portal for employees and subcontractors on the Web. Using ARCHIBUS as the prototype, TI prepared for the advent of GAIN.
The group faced a number of challenges, including the geographical disparity of its many employees and locations. “One in every 1,000 Spaniards works at Telefónica de España,” says Judez. “People are working in just about every region, and everyone needs to have their drawings near them.” Collecting this data into a centralized place appeared to be a monumental task. “Property data was kept in an Access® database, with a separate database for space and another for building operations. It all added up to incomplete data,” says Judez.
Working step by step, he and his team loaded and refined the data. They also sought the support of Telefónica’s information technology department. “Although the FM department understands the business side of the project, it was important to consider the IT department’s role,” says Judez. “Our IT staff helped maintain standards and processes, then tested the applications. In the end, we had a corporate system that IT was comfortable supporting.” DBAssociates of Belgium also helped usher the project through the layers of internal resistance towards the effort that the GAIN project demanded and helped to establish a sense of commitment from management.
Enhanced Property Management
With GAIN, TI staff members can view all data and drawings related to the organization’s real estate holdings. “Pictures, formal documents, plans, and more are all integrated in the system,” says Judez. The group has also implemented contract management tools, linking rooms with their leases and the amount of space each room has. The group provides departments with contract templates, into which conditions such as measurements and prices of various areas can be entered. Once these characteristics are defined, TI can easily monitor and maintain conditions in the system based on one unified methodology.
Understanding the extent of their real estate assets, the group can now optimize the usage of this space. “In an organization this large, things are always changing,” says Judez. “We must keep track of all these changes in order to issue accurate chargebacks, so each department is appropriately billed.” Changes are tracked in real time now, with employee data refreshed about once a month via an interface with Telefónica de España’s Human Resources system (META4).
Other data exchanges include integrating accounting data from Telefónica’s SAP system with property data. City tax records can be scanned in and added to the system, reflecting up-to-date property values of each building in a space management environment. Complete property inventories can be quickly created in Crystal Report format.
Enhanced Drawings and Space Inventory
GAIN has also enhanced the drawing conversion and verification process. With more than 12,500 CAD drawings scattered among AutoCAD®, Microstation, and even paper formats, it was crucial that TI standardize the CAD process as part of the GAIN project. Using Web Overlay from DBAssociates, TI verified and standardized drawings, then linked them to ARCHIBUS data. Today, this drawing and space information is accessible via the Web. A self-service Web portal allows all Telefónica employees to perform an advanced search for available, non-contiguous space, and managers can submit space requests.
Automated Maintenance Management
Due to the organization’s size, it’s not surprising that TI receives one work request about every two minutes. The group has managed to reduce the amount of time it takes to successfully close these orders. An employee portal, which acts as a help desk, allows anyone in the organization to submit a work request, including the location and nature of the problem, via the Web. Similarly, a subcontractor portal includes a list of active work orders and their statuses, which craftspeople can review to plan their workloads. Alarms are sent via e-mail to all relevant participants when a work order’s status changes.
With the GAIN project in place, TI enjoys an information system that supports the group as a profit center within the organization. For Judez and his team, it also provides a way to increase the overall value of Telefónica’s portfolio. “Using ARCHIBUS as a data repository for GAIN, we can make strategic decisions and perform better facilities management tasks at a lower cost.”