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Managing Facilities and Sustainably

10 December 2010

Since 2004, Sage UK has worked closely with Integrated fm – now Causeway – implementing a range of information management systems for facilities and sustainability management. SPONSORED ARTICLE

SAGE IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S leading suppliers of business management software and in the UK the company has made extensive and innovative use of information management software to help it manage its facilities and environmental impact.
Sage UK is now using a range of Causeway modules, including Helpdesk,  Resource/Room Management. Visitor Management, Asset Management Strategic Reporting Property Management and most recently, since April 2010, the Sustainability iQ management tool for managing sustainability, including compliance with the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).
“Sage UK has a strong commitment to managing sustainability but on a day-to-day basis we were spending a lot of time and resources on collating data from a wide range of sources in many different formats,” explained Ken Rose, Head of Business Services with Sage UK. “Not only does Sustainability iQ deal with all of that for us, but it also provides a full audit trail so we can have complete confidence in our data.
“In addition, Sustainability iQ’s high level of automation ensures the information is more timely than could be achieved through manual data collection and analysis.  Consequently, we can be sure we are working with accurate, up-todate information as the basis for our strategic decision-making,” he added.
Within less than three months of mplementing the Sustainability iQ system, Sage was generating key information. Just one of many examples of this is in managing energy consumption more efficiently to reduce carbon emissions and the financial cost of the CRC. For instance, the system has provided accurate evaluation of the energy savings achieved by automatically putting PCs on standby, as Safety, Health and Environmental Manager Tony Dodds explained: “This was initially a pilot scheme and with the help of Sustainability iQ we have been able to very quickly evaluate its effectiveness before rolling it out across the estate – and to accurately predict savings in other buildings. In the past this would have required many hours work with spreadsheets but with Sustainability iQ the information is available at the click of a mouse.
“Similarly, we can now calculate the effects of changes in building usage on energy consumption, such as an increase in head count, and pinpoint areas of unexpected increases in energy usage. The fact that this can all be done by two people, working with data relating to 2,500 people in 24 buildings is testament to the functionality of Sustainability iQ,” he continued. The new system has also made it possible to provide people with information on the effects of their actions. For example, when somebody books travel arrangements the travel team can immediately calculate the carbon footprint of that journey. As the system is further developed it will be able to automatically offer alternative travel plans with a lower carbon footprint.
This rapid evaluation has also proved invaluable in assessing energy-saving and other suggestions from staff. “In using current and historical information we can very quickly identify the ideas that have worked well, quantify those benefits and congratulate the people responsible,” Tony Dodds added.
Causeway’s Integrated fm facts modules were introduced by Sage when the company constructed The Great Park campus building. As part of this undertaking, Ken Rose decided to introduce sophisticated CAFM systems that would enhance the service to internal customers and enable extensive measurement of performance.
“We needed a package that would be easy to use, as well as providing us with all the tools we needed in the FM department. We wanted to improve internal and external customer satisfaction, move FM service from reactive to proactive and provide a first class visitor experience. Having benchmarked the market, we identified the Integrated fm facts package of products and services as offering the greatest benefits to Sage.”
Since that time, the modules have been regularly updated and rolled out to all of the company’s large buildings in the UK, linked through the intranet.
In parallel, Ken Rose has created an ‘umbrella’ of tools that enables the company to manage property related information efficiently and consistently across its UK estate. This ‘umbrella’ comprises the Integrated fm facts suite of CAFM tools, the Property Management module and Sustainability iQ.
“The benefits of the long term relationship between Sage UK and Causeway are very clear to me. Theoretically, we could have simply gone out and purchased software. However, without the partnering ethos that Causeway brings to the table, I am sure that achieving our objectives would have been more difficult and would have consumed more internal resources. “In practical terms, our partnership with Causeway means that they do not simply respond to our needs, they pro-actively engage with us to offer suggestions and share knowledge they have gained from working with other organisations. Partnering is a muchoverused term but with Causeway it is the most appropriate term I can think of,” he concluded.

The most recent module that Sage UK has taken on board is the new CRC module in the Sustainability iQ suite. This new module enables organisations to quickly and easily comply with the latest legislation, collate energy data from various sources, convert it to standard formats and report on their financial and carbon performance.
“The CRC module is designed to take the inconvenience out of complying with and managing the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC ESS), so the scheme becomes an opportunity to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, rather than a chore,” explained Causeway’s David Bell.
The functionality of the CRC module ranges from initial entry, storage and auditing of all required information, calculation of carbon footprint and management of scheme participation and trading costs through to tracking of performance trends. The module also enables accurate prediction of future costs, with powerful reporting features – including automatic production of evidence packs if required for Environment Agency audits. The new CRC module can also be easily expanded to encompass other areas of sustainability management using other modules in Causeway’s Sustainability iQ software.
The new CRC module incorporates powerful workflow tools such as an integrated Task Manager for generating reminders for key tasks and avoiding penalties. There are also tools for managing significant group undertakings and changes to key data such as meter IDs and responsible personnel.
The Sustainability iQ CRC module is fully scalable and customisable and is provided as remote-hosted Software as a Service to minimise local hardware requirements and IT support. It is procured through a competitive monthly fee that can be met from revenue budgets, so there is no capital outlay.

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