A Rewarding Vision
As one of the largest professional services companies in the financial sector, KPMG in the UK takes a rigorous approach to the streamlining of its own business activities, and its relationship with contractors tasked with delivering facilities management services in more than 25 buildings across the country.
Since 2007, CAFM has provided the company with the backbone for a dynamic Risk-reward model in terms of supplier management, which delivers value back into the hearts of the organisation and for every one of its 10,000 partners and staff.
KPMG runs its supplier relationships with a tight rein: it only pays for the services it gets. When he set the company on course for a FM-enabled future with this in mind, Head of Engineering Tim Winter had a clear vision of what any investment in a CAFM system would deliver. He wanted a completely managed system that would provide a comprehensive picture of each contractor's performance across the company's portfolio of buildings, fully integrated with an individually assigned SLA.
At the heart of this vision was the belief that the investment would deliver vital business benefits to the entire organisation, each team, and every individual within it.
Data gathered by the system would have to be fully linked to properly researched and defined KPIs and SLAs, so that a clear picture of every contractor's performance would be available at a single keystroke. Contractors could then be motivated - and paid accordingly - to deliver services of the expected quality. The system would need to be intuitive and flexible enough to automate the work, replacing a complex and diverse network of legacy processes.
Winter's goal was to achieve a single point of access to the data that would give a high-level, consolidated view of supplier performance in each building, enabling performance comparisons to be made between different locations. With this, KPMG would be able to capitalise on its proven in-house reporting skills to generate a range of reports that would give him and his team a real-time view of events across the portfolio. Invoices could be created instantly, based on captured data, reactive and PPM jobs could be logged and monitored, and even the performance of every single FM task could be tracked at any stage of the supply chain.
The system would also act as a complex, fully automated gatekeeper for data that would help project managers to monitor vital elements of contract delivery including health and safety compliance and work permit maturation.
In short, the devil was in the detail and Winter's ethos was clear. The system - FSI's Concept™ platform - must do all the work, liberating the business to reap the benefits: well-motivated suppliers wyo can align themselves more closely with KPMG's rewards model; tighter cost control; improved service quality, delivered more efficiently; and a better relationship between the business and its suppliers. And all these benefits must be driven by the system itself.
But in order to make the best use of the investment in the CAFM system, Winter was equally clear that the integrity and quality of the core data were paramount. Like any other software, however great its strategic importance, it can only be as good as the data entered. If the information going in lacks integrity or a complete context, the end result will mean nothing. Equally, a great deal of thought had to be given to the output, in the form of the reports that Winter expected to epitomise the measurable benefits of the system. This necessitated a very measured approach to constructing the platform.
The first year of KPMG's CAFM project consisted of gathering data from multiple sources across the organisation and compiling a complete asset list. Extensive discussions were held with managers, suppliers and engineers, to discover what motivated them, how services were perceived, and how this knowledge could be used to help formulate the SLA models for new system that would ultimately use them to measure performance and service delivery. Only when the platform was demonstrably solid, with a comprehensive asset register and an extensive repository of SLA and PPM information, could Winter and his team look to the next phase of implementation: the all-important reports - the ultimate manifestation of the CAFM investment.
Here, the business benefits of choosing a modular system soon became clear. A combination of Workflow, SLA, Stores Management and Auditing modules provided a powerful reporting model that would allow KPMG and its suppliers to keep abreast of the status of every job.
Workflow, for example, enables the CAFM platform to integrate with other business systems and directories, so that a weekly timed loop updates the database with all new contracts. It can also be used to create real-time updates of the asset directory and a register of the system's self-service portal to log requests via the company's intranet, allied to a clear idea of what is happening in every building.
With new contracts coming on board all the time, serving every conceivable function across the organisation from security to cleaning, integration with other data sources in the Auditing module was also essential. Workflow generates emails that alert the relevant engineer. The Auditing module then assigns it a pass or fail status, depending on the SLA and KPI data.
This highly streamlined process also works in reverse. For example, when an engineer or contractor sends an email requesting a permit to work on a particular task, time is of the essence. If the request is not addressed within a specific time - tied to the contract and service - it is automatically escalated and copied down the management matrix until the alert is picked up and acted upon.
The system's SLA function is a vital aspect of KPMG's demanding contractor management strategy. It defines the expectations and quality of service delivery and enables KPMG to operate its Risk-Reward process proactively, adjusting supplier payments according to performance and compliance with agreed SLAs and KPIs. In addition, the Stores function, now populated with an inventory of KPMG's critical stock, allows the business to manage supply levels and reorder specific quantities and values in a more cost-effective and efficient way.
In fact, cost-effectiveness and greater efficiency - two of the CAFM project's primary goals - have been delivered across the board. The system was rolled out across the company's UK offices in a carefully managed sequence that included software training for more than 40 engineers.
Initial outlay on the system was recouped in just nine months, and in three years since implementation, KPMG has achieved a £2.4m reduction in engineering spend. As the CAFM system has made supplier performance in relation to SLAs more measurable, this has been accompanied by a reduced supplier headcount. But a tighter, more focused supplier community has also led to significant improvements in terms of service offering and performance.
But this was just the start of an ongoing programme that has seen the system undergo almost constant refinement and customisation, in consultation both internally and with the company's suppliers.
As a champion of CAFM systems, Winter has never believed in simply sitting back and letting the software get on with fulfilling its basic purpose. He is constantly looking for new ways to improve and extend its supportive role in contract management.
With a completely scalable system in place, and the option of elements of bespoke development, Winter can also use it to generate new reporting initiatives that, as they are specified, will give him new matrices for measuring his team's performance, as well as KPMG's army of contractors.
One business benefit - high staff retention - is an important bonus, helping skills investment associated with the CAFM strategy to stay within the company. The engineering team has been so motivated by the project that four years since the outset, it remains virtually unchanged - proof that a system rooted in a strong vision, and rolled out with measured purpose, delivers commitment internally as well as with external partners.
It is still relatively rare - even in the technology-savvy world of the finance sector - to find a CAFM project based on such a clear, well thought-out strategy, and backed by a champion who is determined to get the best out of it across the entire organisation. At KPMG, the software is the catalyst and the mechanism for change and streamlined evolution, not an end in itself.
By using it dynamically to manage the cost of service delivery to the business, Winter has written a blueprint for effective CAFM implementation. It is the framework for a well-structured Risk-Reward model that extracts the best value from KPMGs partners. And while it makes KPMG an exciting and challenging client, the benefits for the suppliers who align their service with its expectations as embodied in well-conceived SLAs are clear.
But it is also, thanks to the system's flexible and tailorable reporting functions, an instant indicator of performance and efficiency in a complex, multi-location business environment. And in these challenging economic times, that return on investment could be worth its weight in gold. You would be hard-pressed to find a stronger case for CAFM's ability to delivery measurable business benefits.