i-FM e-business Award 2009 Winner & Finalists

Entries for the 2009 Award presented the judges with a particularly difficult choice, so good were they in identifying and addressing specific challenges in the FM arena.

Following entrants' presentations and much discussion, Chardfm was named the winner of the 2009 i-FM e-business Award. The three other companies on the shortlist were strong contenders: Atkins, HSS Hire and LCC Support Services.

Winner: Chardfm
Chard is a new player in the FM marketplace but hit the ground running. Its newly developed CAfm System brings together input from a number of technology and operational specialists, all driven by a mission described as 'connected FM thinking'.

The system integrates the separate technologies provided by each partner into an integrated platform for the delivery of a total FM service by Chardfm. It extends from helpdesk operations, through connections to a mobile service force, to efficient response and follow-up. Though simple in principle, the sophistication of the system, noted in the success of the integration, produces a 'seamless' experience for the customer.

The partnership behind this was put together in just a month, and the system was ready to go live in just over three months, demonstrating considerable commitment and goodwill.

Finalist: Atkins
The importance of providing a safe and protected environment for employees and customers is an increasing priority, and Atkins has worked with Barclays to produce the tailored ID+V (identification and verification) system that addresses this in the bank's unique environment.

In one key function, the ID+V process allows Barclays branch staff to verify that any of over 40,000 contractors’ staff visiting the branches are bona fide. This represents a major advance from a labour-intensive helpdesk service to the current online self-serve function.

The ID+V system forms part of a wider suite of systems and tools, known as Atkins Intelligence, that is delivered to clients, suppliers and customers over the internet. ID+V, which delivered a return on investment in under six months, has spearheaded a cultural step towards a wider service range for Barclays. That step rests on the successful answer to the initial challenge, providing a solid foundation for continued development and application.

Finalist: HSS Hire
In response to customer demand, the tool and equipment hire specialist has developed Live Hire, a web-based management system that offers users control, transparency and cost savings in their transactions with HSS. Following 18 months of research and development, the system is now being rolled out to provide major customers with what is in effect an e-commerce extranet for online, real-time hire transactions.

The goal is to let the customer 'own' the hire process via an easy to use, dedicated and customisable system that is bespoke even to the point of automatically presenting prices that reflect any cost basis and discounts previously negotiated between individual customer and supplier.

Live Hire demanded a significant investment by HSS, but the business case was thoroughly thought through and well framed. That thoroughness carried through to the downloadable video that explains how the system operates.

Finalist: LCC Support Services
On the back of significant growth in recent years, LCC has become a truly national business, holding a number of large multi-site contracts. This expansion brought with it a whole series of operational issues. Rather than address these individually, or even in succession, the company made the farsighted decision to develop a new, bespoke Integrated Business Management System. This was designed specifically to draw together the variances within national contracts, provide internal strategies and processes speedily and, most importantly for both business and customers, provide complete transparency and freedom of information to all involved in a given contract.

LCC's management system incorporates a range of key functions, including:

• Bespoke helpdesk
• Human resources files
• Contract and customer information
• Fleet management
• Equipment records, and
• Contract management details such as scheduling, quality auditing and health & safety factors.

i-FM Signup