Your Top Five Facilities Management Challenges and How to Solve Them

Top-Five-Facilities-Management-ChallengesMaintaining a complex facility such as a hospital, hotel or shopping centre is a challenging role.

In contrast to commercial buildings, where changes are less frequent, facilities with high public traffic will experience upgrades frequently. As a result, the documents containing information about the facility are constantly changing.

As a facilities manager, you recognise that as more data points enter your facility, it’s harder to ensure that accurate asset maintenance records are kept.

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4 Ways an Aconex Consultant Can Deliver You Value

Aconex Industry ConsultantsIt’s no secret that Aconex is a big product, rich in features – an integrated, robust solution that allows you to manage information and processes company-wide and across entire projects. With so much available functionality, how can you have confidence that you’re leveraging the platform to its full extent? Whether you’re a new or experienced user, the Aconex team of consultants is committed to accelerating your success. To that end, here are four ways your Aconex consultant can help you get maximum value from using the platform.

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Why You Need Construction Project Management Software

construction management in ancient Egypt

Image: GEICO

If construction software had existed in ancient Egypt, the building of the pyramids would have gone much more smoothly. However, they may not have been pyramids!

A U.S. insurance company called GEICO has been running a series of comedic television commercials. The theme of the campaign is that 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on your car insurance premiums.

One of the current commercials starts with two contemporary construction workers talking on their lunch break. It ends with a pharaoh in ancient Egypt discovering that the newly built pyramids in the distance don’t match the cubic design on the blueprint in his hands. Continue reading

A Heads-up on Heads-up Displays

Google Glass Brooklyn Bridge

Photo: Tnooz (

My career has focused on the convergence point of business, technology and the internet. It’s no surprise that products like Google Glass grab my attention. 

Google Glass promises to display information typically accessed through your smartphone, tablet or desktop right in front of your eyes. It’s a neat, hands-free way to access and control information, and developers of all of the major apps are exploring the technology.

Professionally, I see tremendous potential for the facility managers and engineers I speak with on a daily basis. Because of Aconex Smart Manuals, I’m aware of the efficiencies that quick access to critical operation and maintenance information – like schematics and test reports – can deliver, particularly when that access is mobile.  

However, the reality *today* is that many facility and operation managers don’t have the information they need electronically or even on paper. Rendering that information hands-free would be a huge step change. 

This sentiment is echoed in a recent article exploring the opportunity for Google Glass in the construction industry. This article asserts that it could revolutionize the building site by superimposing building information modeling (BIM) and other project files over the site view.  

In my opinion, before we see workers on site with ‘heads-up’ displays wrapped around their eyes, a number of hurdles need to be overcome with BIM. Watch out for our upcoming eBook on Aconex Smart Manuals, which will explore in detail potential challenges involved in receiving a BIM model during handover.  

Until then, take it as a heads-up that both BIM and heads-up display technology hold great promise for the construction and operation of built assets in the years to come.

Slaying the Monster: Running Projects with a Single Pane of Glass

I was recently brought into a discussion with a prospective client who is evaluating our Aconex Smart Manuals suite of solutions for adoption across its entire portfolio of construction projects. I sat down with the company’s GM of operations to work through some of the more detailed questions. Together, we identified seven different systems – internal and external – that the prospect was currently using to manage the operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals handover process for its projects.

Implementing our Smart Manuals solution would not only provide superior deliverables, with higher visibility and more thorough review, but also remove five of those other systems, leaving only the custom-built CRM and project costing solutions.

Project information management systems can sometimes be like Frankenstein’s monster: a well-intended but ill-fitting and ugly ecosystem of specialized tools. In IT circles, there’s a lot of noise around slaying this monster by managing through a ‘single pane of glass’. But the conversation often focuses only on enterprise savings in total cost of ownership (TCO), and, if you believe articles like this, the jury’s still out on the value and whether it’s achievable.

What’s often forgotten in all of the number-crunching is the value to the multi-organizational team working on the project. Imagine giving everyone a single pane of glass through which to view each project and collaborate transparently for successful project delivery.

While it may not be possible to do away with all of the internal systems a company has today, trying to achieve a ’single pane’ approach to project information management still offers tangible benefits. For example, would simplification around a multiparty collaboration platform deliver savings beyond TCO by lowering project costs, reducing errors and keeping everyone on schedule? Clearly. Would it reduce project delivery risk? Many times over. Would it improve project quality? How could it not?   

If you’re going to slay the monster, then you need to start by making sure you have the right weapons.