Skanska builds-up digital FM systems

With FSI assisting Skanska to upgrade to a centralised web-CAFM solution, Tomorrow's FM caught up with the FSI team to see how the project is going.

With previous experience of the Concept suite of CAFM solutions from FSI (FM Solutions) Limited, Swedish-owned construction giant Skanska progressed to FSI's Concept Evolution fully web-CAFM solution for their project and service delivery.

Following a period of expansion and the awarding of a number of new projects, Skanska decided to adopt a more centralised approach to the delivery and management of FM services across its British operating units.

It had already deployed FSI's Concept 500 Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) platform in some individual contracts, but the catalyst for a more strategic approach was a deal to provide FM and maintenance services at Walsall Manor Hospital alongside the construction of a new wing.

With new contracts often implemented to tight timescales - two or three weeks from agreement to mobilisation is not rare - there was a clear opportunity to choose a centralised CAFM platform that could operate multiple databases, provide web-enabled access for engineers and clients, and generate first-rate reports, allowing the business to benchmark service delivery across all its contracts.

It was also a chance for Skanska's Facilities Services division to develop its profile within the organisation and use CAFM as a lever for winning new business.  Concept Evolution from FSI was the platform of choice.

"It was by far the market leader among web-based platforms and had a proven ability to operate in a multi-database environment," says Austin Denton, Senior Implementation Manager for Skanska's Facilities Services division.

"We wanted to build a centralised help desk and design an asset register model that could be replicated in new contracts or serve as a prototype for clients contracting services out to us but managing their own system procurement - so we can help them to set it up. We wanted a system that we could recommend as a platform of choice whenever we bid for a new contract."

Other factors in Concept Evolution's favour were the ease with which new modules can be bolted on, enabling Skanska to become a more technology-efficient organisation, and its capabilities as an information hub, integrated with other key applications. It also reflected Skanska's long-term goal to move to a mobile and paperless environment.

The system was first implemented for Walsall Manor Hospital with a 16,000-strong asset register and 4,000 planned preventative maintenance (PPM) tasks. It has served in turn as a template for databases servicing contracts with Essex Schools and Bristol Schools.

It has also been implemented by clients at Mansfield Community Hospital, Kings Mill Hospital, Newark Hospital and the Royal Derby Hospital - all sites where Skanska manages hard FM service delivery.

According to Bob Philbrook, Head of Support Services at Skanska's Facilities Services division, Concept Evolution has quickly proved itself as an important part of Skanska's move to a more centralised service delivery and management model.

"Implementing Concept Evolution has been a steep change in the way we manage the business," says
Philbrook. "It has given us internal credibility and this has helped raise the profile of the facilities services division within Skanska."

By investing in its CAFM platform, Skanska has also boosted its credibility with existing and prospective clients. As tenders and bidding processes become more complex and difficult to price - particularly in the public sector
- they require a smarter and more flexible approach from service providers. Concept Evolution helps Skanska to model leaner bids by applying more technological and responsive working methods to contractual requirements.

"With Concept Evolution, FSI has really developed the standard for the FM helpdesk - and that's worth its weight in gold," concludes Philbrook. "We have monthly meetings with our account manager and regular show-and-tell sessions about new developments. So we're able to raise any issues and get a quick response."