Vital Statistics
Ford Land
Essex, United Kingdom
Facilities Facts:
Over 170,000 square meters (over 1.8 million square feet), 7,200 personnel, and over 16,000 equipment items tracked in the UK and Germany.
3rd Party Applications:
Ford Land Asset Management, a customized menu structure developed in conjunction with Excitech.
Reasons for Implementing:
Needed accurate way to identify space usage, manage moves, and effectively plan the occupancies of buildings.
Benefits Gained:
Immediate return-on-investment realized through vacancies; self-service options save time and boost productivity.
Business Partner:
Web Site:
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Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management

Ford Land Drives a Successful Operation with ARCHIBUS

ARCHIBUS Ford Motor Land Services Corporation (known as Ford Land) is a full-service provider of real estate, construction and facility services for Ford Motor Company. Steve Snook, CAFM Implementation Engineer at Ford Land, uses ARCHIBUS to gain a panoramic view of the company’s European real estate holdings and ensure that each business unit has access to safe, productive and cost-effective workplaces. With information on over 170,000 square meters of space (approximately 1,830,000 sq.ft.), over 7,200 personnel, and over 16,000 pieces of equipment in offices in the UK and Germany, Snook and his team have helped reduce real estate costs and ease day-to-day planning, ensuring that Ford’s operations run smoothly.

Finding a Match

“Our main focus when we launched the system was to better manage our office facilities in Europe by tracking and maintaining occupancy data,” says Snook. “ARCHIBUS has enabled us to produce reports on both vacant space and potential areas of change far more quickly than we could in the past.” When evaluating Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) systems, Snook and his team sought one that would be compatible with AutoCAD® format drawings, in addition to other features.

“Among the competitors, ARCHIBUS represented better value for the money and had a more robust support mechanism in place in Europe,” he says. Add this to Ford Land’s historic relationship with ARCHIBUS Business Partner Excitech and the deal was clinched. “We were confident in Excitech’s ability to assist in the implementation phases as well as ongoing development,” says Snook.

Easy to Use, Hard to Live Without

Today, all office rearrangements and churn management are performed in ARCHIBUS for two European Technical Centers, as well as additional office facilities in both the UK and Germany. These moves vary from the large-scale relocation of 240 people to daily individual move requests.

Since various departments in two countries access data from ARCHIBUS, Ford Land decided to modify the menu structure to ensure that the most commonly-used commands and reports are easily accessible for each individual who accesses the system. For example, a module labeled ‘Tele’ (which contains elements of ARCHIBUS applications) is used by Telephone administrators. “We’ve taught people how to effectively navigate through the system when they just want to perform a simple task, such as changing a phone number,” says Snook. “This way, everybody has everything they need at the click of a button.” It also saves Ford Land the resources that would otherwise go towards training these users on the complete system. Snook adds that since Ford Land chose to modify the menu structure rather than the software itself, ARCHIBUS upgrades are simply and easily achieved.

Benefits Gained

Early on, Ford Land determined that the measure of a successful CAFM implementation would be whether the system could identify 10 vacant workspaces that were otherwise unknown. “On this basis, the cost of the implementation paid for itself almost immediately,” says Snook. According to Snook, prior to implementing ARCHIBUS, users had no way of accurately tracking occupancy. On top of that, people were also claiming multiple desks at multiple sites. “People would be sent to Germany to work on a vehicle launch, which led to an excess of occupied desks,” says Snook. “Now we assign each employee one workstation, and identify walk-on positions where temporary employees can work without taking up that space permanently.”

In addition to increasing the company’s revenue potential, ARCHIBUS helps users at Ford Land in the UK and Germany perform their jobs quickly and accurately. “The main day-to-day benefit is that information is much more easily and readily accessible,” says Snook. “Our upfront planning data is far more accurate, available in seconds instead of days or weeks, and keeps us from having to walk around the facilities, scribbling on floor plans!”

Snook also acknowledges that having space usage information in an easily accessible format has had a positive impact on his team’s interaction with other groups. “One of the unexpected benefits of implementing this system has been the far greater level of cooperation that we now have with some of our internal partners, notably the IT groups,” he says. “For example, we have been able to offer them access to occupancy data in exchange for information about equipment. These groups are now much more supportive of the controls that we have in place to prevent unauthorized moves and changes—they understand the significant negative effect such actions have on the integrity of the data we maintain in ARCHIBUS.” Riding on the crest of enhanced interdepartmental communication, Snook and his team are currently discussing potential for integrating information with Ford Land’s Human Resources and IT departments.

Driving the Future

Ford Land is also enjoying streamlined maintenance operations with ARCHIBUS, and is migrating to the ARCHIBUS Annual Subscription Program to take advantage of the automatic upgrades it offers. In addition, the company will soon fully implement the ARCHIBUS Real Property & Lease Management, Strategic Master Planning, and FM Web Central applications. “We believe that a Web-centric interface for our clients is key to the long-term success of ARCHIBUS at Ford Land,” says Snook. “We plan to publish the data, reports, and drawings that we hold for review by other groups via the Intranet.” Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!