ARCHIBUS Success Story

AIM Investments Discovers the Value of Accurate Furniture and Equipment Tracking

Since its founding in 1976, AIM Investments has earned its reputation as one of America's leading investment management companies. Frustrated with time-consuming manual processes, the company implemented ARCHIBUS to manage its approximately 1 million square feet. “ARCHIBUS was the best CAFM solution for AIM Investments,” says Glenn Gallway, the company’s Systems Administrator for CAFM [Computer-Aided Facilities Management]. “It had the capability to do more than other systems on the market and is fully integrated with the industry-standard AutoCAD software.” As a result, the company is now able to quantify the value of its space, furniture, equipment, and other fixed assets while minimizing some big-ticket items on its balance sheet.

Tracking Expensive Fixed Assets
With several buildings and over 2,000 employees, AIM Investments needed an accurate inventory of its fixed assets, down to the room level. Today, AIM tracks over 95,000 fixed assets in the ARCHIBUS Furniture & Equipment Management application, including details such as description, standard, photo, category, building/floor/room, purchase price, date of purchase, manufacturer, warranty information, catalog number, and more. “Now, when an employee calls to report a broken chair, I can pull up the item’s details in the system, create a work order for repair service and send it to the vendor, all without leaving my desk,” says Gallway.

Every year AIM performs a re-scan of its fixed assets, and the results are forwarded to the company’s tax department. This information is included in the property tax information and has helped AIM save on tax bills that were previously miscalculated. Significant write-offs are also possible now thanks to the accurate, defensible records AIM keeps. In one recent year, the company was able to account for $2 million worth of disposed assets, which had been donated, sold, or brought to the salvage yard.

Having detailed information on furniture and equipment proved essential when AIM’s Houston offices sustained a flood from Tropical Storm Allison. “After the flood, we generated reports from ARCHIBUS to give to the insurance adjuster, listing all the items we lost and their value,” says Gallway. “This helped ensure maximum reimbursement for the damages. The claims adjustor did not even question the claim, it was so thorough.”

Lease and Work Order Management Savings
In addition to tracking a large number of fixed assets, AIM also tracks space occupancy across its facilities. “We send vacancy reports to the executive committee on a monthly basis, based on the information in ARCHIBUS,” says Gallway. “During a period of downsizing, we were able to consolidate staff from two buildings into one, reducing our leased space by 80,000 square feet.” AIM also tracks fire wardens and first responders in ARCHIBUS. In the past, this information was kept in an Excel file, but with an annual churn rate of about 55%, there were too many changes to manage, and the information quickly became obsolete. “This was just another way we could use ARCHIBUS to keep data accurate and up-to-date,” says Gallway. AIM has also integrated employee location, phone number, and other information in ARCHIBUS with the company’s PeopleSoft® application, which is used by the Human Resources department. A nightly feed updates both systems.

AIM also uses ARCHIBUS to manage on-demand work orders, handling between 150-200 work orders per month. “In the past, we printed out e-mail requests for work and handed them to the vendors,” says Gallway. “There was no way to track billing for this work, which we can do today. I can now capture the vendor’s time spent completing each work order and use this information to validate the invoice I receive from the vendor.”

Easy to Maintain, Valuable Data
In addition, AIM Investments makes use of its fixed asset inventory on a daily basis. “We’ve seen savings in both money and time,” says Gallway. “Time is no longer spent sifting through the products in the warehouse or on the jobsite in preparation for buildouts.” Meanwhile, AIM’s inventory error rate, or the percentage of fixed assets that can’t be accounted for, is a very impressive .008%--well under the 5% rate that the company strives for.

Despite the vast number of assets in AIM’s Furniture & Equipment Management application, Gallway insists that it takes little time to administer, estimating that he spends about 30 minutes a week on asset tracking. “Once the data is in the system, it’s easy to track,” he says. “Based on all the time saved, on the vendor side, the client side, and for everyone else, I can’t imagine not having it.”

Vital Statistics

AIM Investments
Houston, Texas
Facilities Facts
Nine buildings measuring approximately 1 million square feet, all managed by ARCHIBUS

ARCHIBUS Applications:
Space Management, Overlay for AutoCAD with Design Management, Furniture & Equipment Management, Telecommunications & Cable Management, Building Operations Management, FM Web Central

3rd Party Applications:
Autodesk AutoCAD
Impetus for Implementation:
Needed an automated way to track space and fixed assets
Benefits Gained:
Ability to provide Accounting and Tax departments a more accurate inventory; reduced leased space by 80,000 square feet through consolidation; streamlined work order management process
ARCHIBUS Integration:
PeopleSoft and Snaptracker
Future Plans:
FM Web Central, incorporating the use of Blackberry devices in the field, moving to a wireless move order system to expedite work orders and reduce administrative costs
Business Partners:
Web Site:
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