Innovation and Partnerships Fuel Federal Facilities Management

Gordian’s Federal Solutions Team recently convened on the trinity of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) facilities events in San Antonio: BUILDER™ SMS Summit, the 3rd Annual BOS Roundtable and SAME-IFMA FM Workshop. We pulled off the DoD hat-trick, scoring valuable insights from all three events. Read what our team learned about BUILDER™ enhancements, how Gordian can contribute to military Base Operations Support (BOS) and the importance of industry and technological advancements for DoD facilities.

An Inside Look at the BUILDER™  Summit

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By Mike Bartoli, Federal Solutions Field Sales Representative at Gordian

Attendance at the bi-annual BUILDER™ SMS Summits continues to grow, as does the sharing of information and best practices among the BUILDER™ user community as implementation efforts mature. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) persists in its vision and leadership for BUILDER™ and remains the driver behind many product enhancements.

The Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) communicated the current and future state of BUILDER ™. Upcoming enhancements include cost modifiers, the ability to integrate RSMeans data from Gordian configured specifically for the BUILDER™ catalog and new building data fields. CERL is simultaneously enhancing BUILDER™ and developing the new Enterprise Sustainment Management System (ESMS) platform which will provide common software architecture to accommodate all SMS domains: PAVER, FUELER, RAILER and a new Utilities module in addition to BUILDER™. Gordian can relate. We are simultaneously enhancing our legacy platforms while building an integrated next-generation solution.

CERL continues to face resource challenges, which is a perennial issue in any software development organization, but especially a government-funded one. To respond to user community requests, CERL has increased its number of developers significantly. CERL will continue to rely on private industry partners under the Cooperative Research agreements to bridge the gap by developing bolt-on tools and integrations that are needed to realize the full value of BUILDER™. Gordian is proud to be one of these partners for cost data support, and we appreciate the innovation of other partners like Digon, LMI, and Goldenwolf. This public-private partnership approach leverages private innovation in the service of the government and provides the best value for the BUILDER™ user community.

An Inside Look at the BOS Roundtable

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By Lisa Cooley, Director of Federal Solutions at Gordian

This is the third BOS Roundtable in which Gordian’s Federal Solutions Team has participated. Our participation allows us to focus on ways we can contribute to the real need for process improvement in critical Base Operations Support contracts, especially around facilities management and maintenance.

We heard from Air Force, Army and Navy leaders, and they share many common goals. They are all working to standardize contracts on some level while allowing flexibility to tailor the Statement of Work (SOW) for the location. In the Army, there is also a counterbalancing effort to get contracting authority back at the garrison level—this is certainly a desire we hear from our Army customers. Standardized approaches will reduce uncertainty and increase efficiency in the contracting community. At the same time, all DoD branches are looking for innovation and recognize that the contracting community must lead the way in new approaches.

There was some discussion about how the full BOS SOW should be carved up. There is a sense that certain high-value facility-related activities, like preventative maintenance, would benefit from incentive-based pricing and best value award. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) is piloting two “technical over price” contracts, and there was some brainstorming in the room about a budget-based pilot. Technology integration, and the inventory activities that feed key tools like Maximo and BUILDER™, are a pain point. Thin government staffing is another challenge. Pricing of non-recurring maintenance or repairs is a challenge and one we have seen unit price data address successfully.

The need for innovative solutions to support BOS is clear. It is equally clear those solutions will emerge at the intersection of better data and better technology, supported by best value, relational contracting methodologies.

Gordian's Federal Solutions Team at 2019 events.

An Inside Look at the SAME-IFMA FM Workshop

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By Tony Edwards, Federal Solutions Field Sales Representative at Gordian

The DoD’s need to modernize and control costs in a newly competitive global environment was clearly evident in the SAME-IFMA keynotes and breakout sessions. China and Russia are more autonomous in their current geo-socio-political ecosystems and consequently could outspend the U.S. in technology and research and development investments required for world leadership.

Without being alarmist, this was the underlying message that remained unspoken in two of the three keynote addresses. The DoD leaders appealed to U.S. firms to help them bridge the spending gap by providing more innovative value engineering services and solutions to even the playing field.

Industry innovation was showcased in many of the sessions—from advanced data analytics leveraging BUILDER™ asset inventory, to labor-saving technology like robots, drones and LiDAR for condition assessment, to GIS-enabled data collection.

Technology systems are being integrated in increasingly sophisticated ways to support program delivery. These developments require agile strategic partnerships to combine domain expertise. It is no longer sufficient to emphasize a firm’s unique solution. Instead, we must understand how that uniqueness fits into an integrated solution set that can be applied over a range of enterprise challenges to provide increased customer value. Gordian is committed to building industry partnerships that allow us to serve our DoD customers in more meaningful and holistic ways.