With its recent merger with AOL/Time Warner, former Turner Broadcasting Services in Atlanta, Georgia, has a presence in just about every media venture you can imagine. Prior to installing an integrated CAFM system, the service divisions within Turner Properties' Project Management group were dealing with their own version of diversified assets: facilities data resided in too many different places, preventing the group from operating as efficiently as possible. The group solved this problem by developing a project management process that unites multiple service divisions, enhancing the performance of each division while increasing overall productivity.
Different Needs; Different Databases
Turner Properties is responsible for real estate, facility design, construction, and space utilization and planning at Turner's domestic and international sites. In this role, the group must accommodate various clients' space needs. "Prior to installing ARCHIBUS, we were literally a reactive organization," says Donnie Walden, Director, Facility Information Systems at Turner. "Turner is a multidivisional organization that has different operations in each area," he says. For example, the corporation's News and Entertainment divisions require high technical design and operations to support the studios; the Atlanta Braves, Hawks, and Thrashers, which are part of Turner's Sports division, require operations to support a stadium and arena. Other divisions require general office space design. "Without a database to depend on for space programming and historical information, we had to respond reactively to our clients," says Walden.
Adding to the frustration and inefficiency was the isolation of the service divisions within Project Management. "We were operating in a vacuum," says Walden. "We agreed that Turner had too many databases and too much duplication of effort, and knew we had to do something to better manage our space, employees, and assets." Indeed, each division had different tracking mechanisms, each using the database system that was best suited to their specific business needs: Human Resources had PeopleSoft®, the Telecommunications department used Remedy®, and Corporate Security ran a system called Pegasus®. Meanwhile, Turner Properties was using AutoCAD® in conjunction with CAD Plus®, a legacy database that couldn't integrate with the other Oracle-based systems.
Developing a Solution
Clearly a change was needed. Walden scoped out how other corporations were using a common approach to workflow and business processes, but found that no company in the area had attempted such a high level of integration. So, setting out on its own path, the group began to evaluate various FM software programs, ultimately choosing ARCHIBUS. Walden foresaw how its open system architecture could help integrate the various service division databases. Thus, ARCHIBUS joined the other database systems to create CONCERT, an interface so named for its ability to make these disparate systems work in concert with one another.
A Collaborative Approach
Of course, CONCERT didn't fall into place without considerable effort. "We realized that we had to have workflow processes in place before any application would be successful," says Walden. "For CONCERT to be a success, departmental operations had to be part of the overall project process." Therefore, the groups started working together; representatives from each of the four service divisions formed a committee to address how data from each system could be integrated to benefit the whole. Together, they did feasibility studies and documented responsibilities for each division, and from these studies created flowcharts. Results were plugged into an overall project schedule, giving all members an organization-wide view of relevant data.
"With a collaborative approach, everyone is a team player, so everyone benefits," says Walden. "This wasn't a painless process, but once we got people seeing the return and the potential benefits, we were able to work through the problem areas, put the pieces together, and develop a solid process." Walden attributes the success of the project to his team members, who put forth a lot of hard work and effort. "Turner will see a positive impact from this project for years to come," he says.
Reaping the Benefits
Three years later, the processes and procedures are in place, CONCERT is humming, and members of each service division have indeed realized significant benefits. Turner Properties is currently the heaviest power user of the system. For example, all space categories and standards used for programming office space are available in CONCERT. Space planning, occupancy, and capacity figures are more accurate and accessible than before, leading to more strategic real estate planning decisions and reduced operations costs (the Turner Broadcasting System mailroom depends on CONCERT to efficiently deliver the 10,000-plus pieces of mail it receives each day).
The group has also finalized business processes such as space utilization, chargebacks, employee hiring and termination, and telecommunications assignments with their associated costs. Back-end fields within CONCERT are used to share space, employee, organization, and asset information. Encrypted fields restrict personal information, showing only the data that impacts the organization. "To tie these four resources together in a multidivisional organization, as we have, is very valuable," says Walden.
From Reactive to Proactive
Today, whenever there is the slightest change in space usage or availability at any of Turner's facilities, it is instantly reflected in ARCHIBUS. "Before, we would have to react to changes as soon as we learned of them, which was always after the fact," says Walden, describing a situation which left the department scrambling to create designs on the fly. "It's amazing the work and scheduling that we can do now, and ARCHIBUS is a critical component."
Turner has the numbers to prove its success. In the year 2000 alone, the corporation performed $106 (US) million dollars' worth of renovations, and in the four years since ARCHIBUS has been installed, the organization has completed over 250 projects amounting to over $230 million-all on-time and within budget. "We've saved over a million dollars in project management fees, using ARCHIBUS," says Walden. He attributes these accomplishments in part to CONCERT and the access to data that it provides to all the service divisions. "When I talk to the other divisions, like HR, we don't talk about CAFM-they just think of what we're doing as a really good integration.
Time Warner, Inc.
31 domestic sites and 38 international sites comprising over 3.8 million square feet, all of which is ARCHIBUS managed
|ARCHIBUS Applications: |
FM Web Central
|Impetus for Implementation: |
Need for centralized access to relevant FM data; accurate and timely data to support moves, chargebacks, and strategic planning; reduced data redundancy
|ARCHIBUS Integration: |
PeopleSoft, Remedy, Pegasus
|Benefits Gained: |
Proactive approach to managing change; more accurate accounts of space details; reduced operational costs; networked, multi-user visual system for asset, personnel, and space data
|Future Plans: |
ARCHIBUS upgrade; enhanced data sharing via FM Web Central; incorporating Strategic Master Planning and Furniture & Equipment Management applications
|Web Site: |
|©2005 ARCHIBUS, Inc.||18 Tremont St.||Boston, MA 02108 USA||Tel: 1 617-227-2508||www.archibus.com|