Implementing a new management platform

When Tim Winter, Head of Engineering at KPMG UK, set the professional services company on a course for a facilities management system-enabled future in 2007, he had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve: every business activity conducted by the organisation, every team and each of its 10,000 partners and staff must benefit from the investment; the platform must provide SLA (Service Level Agreement) and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) data that shows exactly what is being done, where and how - at any given time - so that contractors are paid accordingly for delivering services at the correct quality; and above all, the system must be intuitive and flexible enough to automate the work in place of a complex and diverse network of legacy processes.

At the heart of this vision is the management of KPMG's relationships with its contractors.  Failure to meet a SLA has a commercial impact on both sides.  Winter wanted a completely managed system that would provide a comprehensive picture of each contractor's performance across a portfolio of more than 6- buildings, linked back to an individually assigned SLA.

The reports generated by such a system could then be used to drive up the quality of service in partnership with contractors, resulting in tighter cost control and a motivated supplier base.  After an exhaustive selection process, FSI's Concept™ platform was chosen for this major project.

The integrity and quality of the core data were central to the project's success.  Winter believes that any system is only as good as the data you put in to it, so it's hardly surprising that the first year of the project was taken up with gathering the data from multiple sources across the organisation and compiling a complete asset list.  It was essential for the platform to be demonstrably solid before implementation could begin.

Winter's goal was to achieve a single point of access to the data, through which KPMG could capitalise on its proven in-house reporting skills to generate a host of reports that could provide an instant heads-up on events throughout the portfolio, and allow his team of auditors to monitor the performance and progress of contractors at every stage of the supply chain.  The system would also act as an elaborate gatekeeper for information that would help project managers to monitor vital elements of contract delivery such as health and safety compliance and work permit maturation.

Ready for Implementation
By 2008, with data duly gathered in the form of an asset register and a comprehensive repository of SLA and PPM information, the system was ready for implementation and development, and the emphasis shifted to identifying the reports that Concept™ should be primed to produce.  Four modules emerged as key elements at this stage: Workflow Pro, SLA, Stores, and a bespoke Audit module that would allow KPMG and its contractor partners to keep abreast of the status of every job.

Workflow Pro provides a standard set of reusable software components, allowing the generation of automated messaging capabilities and integrating Concept™ with other business systems.  The module has been used extensively at KPMG, integrating the platform with the organisation's Active X directory and establishing a weekly timed loop to update the Concept™ database with all new contracts.

With new contracts coming on board all the time, service every conceivable function across the organisation from security to cleaning, integration with other data sources in the bespoke Auditing module was a vital part of the challenge.  When a task is due, Workflow Pro generates an email alerting the relevant engineer, and once the task is complete the Auditing module will assign it a pass or fail, depending on the SLA and KPI data.

The SLA module is a vital component of KPMG's rigorous contractor management strategy, defining the expectations and quality of service delivery.  Using the ‘risk-reward' process, KPMG adjusts payments to contractors according to their performance, and in accordance to the agreed SLA's and KPI's.

The Stores module has been populated with an inventory of KPMG's entire stock, enabling the business to manage levels and reorder specific quantities and values in a more cost-effective and efficient way.

After a period of thorough testing, Concept™ was rolled out across the UK offices in a carefully managed sequence.  More than 40 engineers were trained in the software with in-house video tutorials.  But this was just the start of an ongoing program that has seen the system undergo almost constant refinement and customisation.

As a champion of facilities management systems, Winter says he has never believed in simply sitting back and letting the system get on with fulfilling its basic purpose.  He is constantly looking for ways to improve and extend its supportive role in contract management.

For FSI, KPMG represents the best example of how a customer should use the Concept™ platform, deploying it on the back of a clear, well thought-out strategy to get the best out of it.

No other organisation is using the Auditing potential of the system in such a proactive way to manage the cost of service delivery to the business.  The relationship is also a robust and challenging one for the supplier, who must constantly meet Winter's expectations as he raised the bar.

The next step will be the implementation of the Self Service Portal, which will allow all KPMG staff to access the system via the company's Intranet and log their requests, initiating an automated process instead of the current practice, which requires the completion of a substantial document.

Footnote: FSI now has a presence in Australasia and the Asia-Pacific region, having launched FSI (FM Solutions) APAC Pty Ltd in April this year.  See website for details: www.fsifm.com.au