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Procter & Gamble: Think Globally, Act Locally

Updated:2010-05-20 17:45:28

Procter & Gamble's 300+ brands are literally household names across the globe. To help weather a turbulent economic climate, the company recently shifted its focus to its core brands and investigated cost-reducing measures. With 14 million square feet of office and research center space, it seemed obvious that Procter & Gamble could realize significant savings by increasing the occupancy levels of its buildings on a global basis. This task was undertaken by the Workplace Services (WPS) organization, a part of Procter & Gamble's Global Business Services organization (GBS). A small group within WPS used ARCHIBUS to help respond to Procter & Gamble's overall mission, then implemented it globally.

Building a More Cost-Effective Workplace
Since the 17 largest Research Centers and General Office sites represent 75% of the company's total real estate, these were the priority targets for the ARCHIBUS project.
According to Richard Angel, Project Manager, WPS at Procter & Gamble, he and his Global Project team approached this challenge according to the following simple equation: 'Standardize x Simplify x Synchronize = Savings.' "Our goals were to eliminate duplication, reduce complexity, implement an easy-to-use system, and integrate all our processes," says Angel. "Once information was centralized in ARCHIBUS, we could easily provide management reports as needed." With this in mind, the team built a facilities strategy that would leverage the information they had in ARCHIBUS with data from SAP, Maximo (where implemented), and other enterprise systems. Then, they rolled out the standards and processes to Procter & Gamble's worldwide operations, ensuring that all sites—whether in Cincinnati or Caracas—managed their space according to the same corporate guidelines.

The WPS organization quickly recognized the need to balance space efficiency with aesthetics. "Although our goal was to increase occupancy levels, we also wanted to make sure we provided a pleasant working environment," says Angel. So rather than simply cramp employees into existing workstations, the local WPS teams refurbished the sites, introducing new workspace standards, flexible hot desks for workers who occasionally work at home, and more meeting and huddle rooms. In some cases, departments were invited to participate in the look and feel of their workspaces by choosing colors and layout. The global team also introduced the corporate benchmarking metrics, including rentable area, population, and capacity. These figures, which reside in ARCHIBUS, help the team measure the efficiency of their buildings and decide who will occupy them. The Workplace Services organization has so far delivered over $20 million in annual savings to the company from this project alone.

Developing Standards
" We also needed to apply the same standards to all sites," says Angel. It is important that developed data standards can be applied globally, where the information is needed for global reporting or for differentiating data within the global database. "We need to 'think globally, but act locally'," says Angel. Since Procter & Gamble has one of the largest integrated SAP systems, the information in this system is used to drive the data standards that the Global Project team develops. Standards are maintained on building codes, which are derived from SAP and centrally defined, while floor and room codes can be locally defined based on sites' needs. At the organizational level, Employee, Department, Division and Business Unit are defined in SAP and maintained in Corporate Master Databases. Sites can define their own location, telephone and mailbox information. To integrate both global and local reporting needs on one platform, the team updates ARCHIBUS with summary building details for all smaller sites via an automatic monthly transfer from the company's real estate system.

With a set of centrally defined standards, the team then turned its efforts to establishing common processes that would be pushed throughout the organization. "We try to use good examples to illustrate our processes, which is especially helpful for people who may speak English as a second language," says Angel. "As new sites come on board, we can easily teach them how we operate."

Work from Anywhere, at Anytime, by Anyone
Procter & Gamble is truly a global organization, with 520 office/lab buildings dispersed across 160 countries. Therefore, it was crucial that the technologies used to manage space could support work from any place, at any time, by any person—subject to a security profile. Initially, the database was located on the centralized infrastructure that Procter & Gamble maintained in its Cincinnati, Ohio headquarters, with the application operating on the local workstation. This worked well for users in the Cincinnati area but remote sites experienced sluggish response time—as much as 27 times slower. A second design remedied this problem by using Citrix terminal emulation on the remote workstation, accessing the central database and application servers. The technology consultant Fine Arts Software also introduced the Oracle Virtual Private Database function, which allows data restrictions by site. Therefore, users in Geneva only see Geneva information. The system also supports a mix of Imperial and Metric units of measure.

" The Global Project team combined FM, RE, and IT resources with common goals and a single management structure," says Angel. "This was a big plus." Today, the team supports new and existing sites, and the corporate infrastructure supports virtual working methods, letting local and global resources collaborate as if they were sitting together.

In addition, The FAST Web reporting system from technology consultant Computerized Facility Integration, Inc. lets Procter & Gamble create Web-based reports, which managers can access as needed. "This reduces the work required to produce and distribute space and chargeback reports," says Angel.

A Grassroots Initiative Grows
Following its successful global deployment, Procter & Gamble plans to offer even more information to its international community. "Our vision is to create a Web-based, self-service environment leveraging ARCHIBUS and legacy data," says David Tufts, Workplace Services Information Systems Section Manager. The company will follow a three-pronged strategy, including a corporate Web portal for workflow and communications, space management using ARCHIBUS, and work order processes using Maximo.

"This global project is a good example of how a grassroots initiative can be nurtured to become a major strategy for the facilities organization," says Angel. "The project is still managed by a small group of FM, RE and IT resources, and has accomplished as much—if not more—than other companies with much larger budgets for such projects."

 

Source:http://www.archibus.com

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