Vital Statistics
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Washington, DC
Facilities Facts:
Currently managing about 1 million square feet of space at the headquarters location, plus over 80 field offices
ARCHIBUS Applications:
Real Property & Lease Management, Space Management, Furniture & Equipment Management, Telecommunications & Cable Management, Building Operations Management
3rd Party Applications:
Web Overlay from AOS Group
Reasons for Implementing:
Need for an integrated system for tracking HUD’s extensive space alterations, leased office space, and inventory of equipment
Benefits Gained:
Easy, accurate GSA reporting; Lifecycle Asset Management; reliable, low-cost, enterprisewide system access via Web interface
Business Partner:
Pyramid Systems Inc.
Web Site:
The #1 Solution in the World for
Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management

Efficient Reporting on Demand atHousing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a Cabinet-level government agency. Its mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. With over one million square feet of space, HUD relies on an ARCHIBUS-powered system called FIRMS (Facilities Integrated Resource Management System) to maintain defensible data on its space alterations projects, office equipment, and leased office space. With the accurate reports generated from this system, HUD easily meets many of the General Services Administration's (GSA) stringent reporting requirements.

A Strong Suite

FIRMS consists of several ARCHIBUS applications, including Space Management, Real Property & Lease Management, and Furniture & Equipment Management. The Web Overlay product from ARCHIBUS Developer Network Partner AOS Group is also used to extend FIRMS access to HUD field offices across the nation.

Before FIRMS, this kind of information was kept on a scattered collection of paper-based and simple electronic spreadsheets, which had to be manually assimilated into a single database of record.

"In recent years, our churn rate has been high—about 60%—so we use FIRMS to streamline all our moves, adds, and changes," says David Palladino, Director of the Office of Administrative and Management Services at HUD. Meanwhile, the Real Property & Lease Management application is used to manage all of HUD's approximately 120 leases. HUD must report detailed information on its space and real estate costs to GSA, the organization from which it rents its properties. On a monthly basis, HUD downloads electronic data files containing rent and expense data from GSA's "Rent on the Web" website.

After a quick import into FIRMS, HUD can review reports that breakdown rent costs and help analyze spending habits for each lease. These reports help HUD analyze its space requirements and rental costs. HUD also uses FIRMS to generate the rent summary data in the annual Exhibit 54 report, which GSA uses to refine its estimates of rental costs. Previously, HUD would spend a number of days or weeks collecting information and performing the calculations necessary to generate this summary data. With HUD's lease data already in FIRMS, the system does the work and exports the results to an industry standard Microsoft® Excel document in a matter of minutes.

Inventory Tracking

Utilizing the ARCHIBUS Furniture & Equipment application, HUD tracks every piece of office equipment that is valued at over $1,000. "We use the system to track a piece of equipment's entire lifecycle from cradle to grave—from the time of its purchase it to its disposal," says Clarissa Ashton, Chief of the Property and Supply Branch at HUD. Bar code scanners are used to quickly create accurate inventories. "With FIRMS, we've increased the efficiency of the staff responsible for taking inventory," says Dan Miller, a Project Manager at Pyramid Systems, Inc., an ARCHIBUS Business Partner working with HUD. "By implementing application features, such as pick-lists, property specialists work faster and the data collected has fewer errors."

The data these reports hold is valuable to many other areas of the organization. "We often prepare inventory reports at the request of the Department's Chief Financial Officer," says Palladino. "These reports show precisely what we have and the value of each piece. These figures are reconciled with the General Ledger to ensure that every piece of equipment purchased by HUD is being tracked by FIRMS." "We've created a three-way tie between procurement, accounting and inventory," adds Miller.

In addition, HUD taps these inventory records to participate in a federal program that provides excess computers and equipment to needy schools. "When our IT office determines that we have an excess of computer equipment, we can donate it to certified learning institutions," says Palladino. "We then generate a report from the Furniture & Equipment application to send to GSA, documenting our donation. It's an easy, accurate way to report on our annual donations."

Nationwide Access Via the Web

HUD is also cost-effectively extending information to other areas of the organization via a protected intranet. Currently about 150 people at over 100 different sites have access to the system, where they can enter changes to their inventory and space, considerably reducing HUD's collective administrative burden.

The agency has recently completed integrating its HR system with FIRMS and hopes to soon complete the implementation of two additional ARCHIBUS applications: Telecommunications & Cable Management and Building Operations Management. This is part of the agency's long-range integration plan, of which FIRMS—and ARCHIBUS—are an essential part.