West Ham United Football Club
West Ham United FC was formed as Thames Ironworks FC in 1895, and in 1900 was renamed West Ham United FC. Nicknamed "Irons" or "Hammers" they have moved grounds three times and now play at Upton Park. In line with the increasing use of CAFM systems at sporting stadia, West Ham is just one of the clubs that use FSI Concept ™ software to manage the facilities at their home ground in the east end of London.
The FM department's decision to procure a CAFM system was prompted by the development of their new West Stand which also houses a 72-room hotel belonging to the Quality chain and a variety of retail outlets. After much research the club selected ConceptTM SQL Lite – the entry-level version of ConceptTM, first seen at FM Expo by in-house Facilities Manager Ron Pearce. The FM department hadn't used any kind of CAFM system before so a high performance but user-friendly system was essential. Ron Pearce picks up the story; "We'd seen one of FSI's ConceptTM systems in use at Chelsea football club and were impressed. We were interested in what FSI could offer us. Of course, the scale that we would be working to was smaller so what was of particular interest to me was it's ability to offer a fully scalable product range – hence the selection of ConceptTM SQL Lite as our operating system."
At present ConceptTM SQL Lite is used to cover the club's nine shops and two training grounds. As one would expect it's the usual kind of maintenance that fills the FM department's job sheets; broken seats, unsecured railings and general building repair issues. On the face of it, the maintenance challenge may seem simple for a football ground, yet there are so many elements of a football stand that can go wrong. With the hotel also on site, Ron sees requests for maintenance in areas such as corridors with torn wallpaper or carpets in public areas that are in need of deep cleaning. These kind of issues really require the co-ordination of the nine maintenance staff on the team at Upton Park and Ron is the first to comment on how time is stretched to the limit for all his staff at the club. So what are the benefits of the Concept LiteTM system for West Ham?
Ron continues; "The reporting function is invaluable for us allowing a detailed time analysis to be produced – crucial when our staff are stretched to the limit. What we want to do now with the reporting function is to use it to analyse the information that is being recorded on a particular job and to examine how closely this compares to the data that was logged at the start of the task. This will enable the FM team
to see whether the data logged in a fault is accurate and can provide a robust case to encourage staff to report any maintenance
issues more concisely."
FSI support has been 'first class' according to Ron and was one of the main reasons that FSI were selected on this contract. As far as the future goes, the relationship between FSI and West Ham looks set to strengthen. Both parties are keen to get the most out of co-operating together and West Ham, in particular Ron, is keen to learn more about the benefits of ConceptTM and reap the rewards for the club.