Vital Statistics
California Independent System Operator Corp.
Folsom, California
Facilities Facts:
300,000+ square feet, 750 employees, 4,800 work orders annually
Reasons for Implementing:
Automate work order management for greater efficiency; improve space management; faster detailed reporting for cost-effective management
Benefits Gained:
Faster work order response time, higher customer satisfaction, easier access to real-time data for improved decision-making by C-Level executives
ARCHIBUS Integration
Plans for integration with Niagara Building Management Systems and Oracle HR system
Business Partner:
Robert Stephen Consulting, LLC
Web Site:
The #1 Solution in the World for
Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management

California Electric Grid Regulator Achieves 97% "Exceptional" Customer Satisfaction Rating with ARCHIBUS

The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) manages the flow of electricity across the high-voltage, long distance power lines that make up 80% of California’s power grid. The nonprofit public benefit corporation safeguards the economy and well-being of 30 million Californians by “keeping the lights” on 24/7.

As the impartial grid operator, the ISO opens access to the wholesale power market that is designed to diversify resources and lower prices. It also grants equal access to 25,865 circuit-miles of power lines and reduces barriers to diverse resources competing to bring power to customers.

“We had been in three leased buildings in northern California before a feasibility study indicated we should construct our own headquarters buildings,” recalls Steven Cloney, Building and Office Services Lead in the Campus Operations department of ISO.

With approximately 275,000 square feet under management at its new LEED Platinum certified headquarters in Folsom, and another 30,000 square feet at its southern California office, an internal analysis led to the conclusion that California ISO had to abandon its old and largely dysfunctional facilities management system. After years of data collection, in-house system modifications that were, among other goals, supposed to improve reporting, had instead created a convoluted and ultimately unusable facilities management IT platform.

To create a real estate and facilities management system as cutting edge as its new headquarters building, California ISO chose a suite of ARCHIBUS applications that, after only a few months, were making measurable improvements in the ISO facilities department’s operational efficiency.

New Building, Advanced Capabilities

“The new construction design included a building management system to monitor our own redundant power infrastructure and water recycling systems among other improvements. But to complement that, we also needed a means to document what we’re doing from a space and building management perspective. Our ARCHIBUS applications and reporting capabilities gave us the ability to achieve our management goals while also raising the profile of the department and highlighting what it contributes to the organization’s success.”

ISO’s ARCHIBUS implementation now has ARCHIBUS Space Management and Building Operations Management currently in use. In the future, a phase-in is expected of the Furniture & Equipment Management, Real Property & Lease Management, Strategic Master Planning and other applications.

In the case of work order management deployment, Cloney notes, a major effort was made to create a user interface that mapped employee use to both space and building operations system capabilities, and to departmental processes that were re-designed to be more responsive. Among those process improvements was a switch from a paper-based work order system to wireless work ticket distribution to craftspeople equipped with laptops. Wireless work orders meant that less time elapsed between work requests, problem resolution, and work ticket close-out.

Apparently, the facility department’s efforts in automating and streamlining facilities management processes are paying off. The tripling in daily work orders is a vote of confidence in the department’s accessibility, professional capability, and responsiveness to customer needs.

“We’re also getting into automating and documenting our preventive maintenance procedures so we can better understand what we’re doing, when, and why,” says Cloney. “We’re getting more daily work information for analysis, which will inform our preventive maintenance practices and the predictive maintenance processes that we also want to implement.”

97% “Exceptional” Rating by Users

The benefits of the new ARCHIBUS system have been producing dramatic results in the short time it’s been implemented, Cloney notes. Customers feel the facilities department is more professional and responsive because of the sophisticated IWMS tools now in use. Their work requests are always accompanied by a customer satisfaction survey, which gets an impressive 60-70% return rate and, typically, gives the department an “Exceptional” rating in 90%-plus of cases. A recent month’s rating, in fact, was "Exceptional" from 97% of respondents.

“Typically, hot/cold work orders represent 40% of a facility’s work order load, but we’ve had 5 of those type of calls in the last six months out of a total of approximately 2,400 work orders,” reports Cloney. “That means we’re not being distracted by smaller tasks and are doing more important strategic project work.”

Just as important – and just as impressed – are ISO’s C-Level officers and their level of satisfaction with the new system.

There is now, adds Cloney, a great deal of enthusiasm from management over the quantitative data that the campus operations department is now able to generate on space allocation and vacancy rates, work order and project management efficiency, and other data that help in forecasting and planning. They now have access to a range of reports never before available prior to their ARCHIBUS implementation.

“I report to the Director of Campus Operations, who reports to the CEO, and the CEO came to one of our meetings and announced how pleased he was with the performance of the facilities department because, for the first time, he’s able to measure the department’s performance and how our work advances organizational goals.”