Affinity Water
Streamlining facilities management (FM) with Idox’s CAFM Explorer

Overview:
Affinity Water and its need to consolidate FM tasks across a broad estate
Affinity Water is the largest water-only supplier in the UK, delivering on average 950 million litres of safe, high-quality drinking water to 3.6 million customers every day. Affinity Water supplies water in various parts of England, including the Tendring peninsula in Essex and the Folkestone and Dover areas of Kent. Having properly managed facilities across its large estate is, therefore, a key requirement for the company to run its business operations in an efficient and productive manner.

“CAFM Explorer allows us to schedule and administer maintenance jobs, view open jobs, and run monthly reports on outstanding jobs. It provides insightful data, real-time tracking, and automatic notifications, which helps us keep on top of SLAs as well as highlight jobs that have crossed SLAs.”

Anna Gur
Regional Facilities Manager
Affinity Water

Challenge:
Streamlining FM across multiple sites, locations, and a vast network of contractors
With over 600 sites, offices spread across 25 locations, and a vast network of contracting suppliers, the company’s previous approach for resource scheduling and work allocation was becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Although jobs were getting done, it was challenging for the team to monitor workload and track progress with disparate IT systems. They were unable to assign Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to contractors and had little means of reviewing performance. Therefore, a highly integrated solution was needed to help Affinity Water share data, incorporate a level of automation to certain facilities management (FM) tasks and deliver a higher level of strategic support to drive operational efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. The team wanted a solution that could ensure streamlined operations around the clock and help them plan, manage, assign, and track jobs more efficiently.

Solution:
Investing in CAFM Explorer to schedule, administer, and automate FM tasks
After reviewing several different providers, the company chose to invest in Idox’s CAFM Explorer – a reliable, all-in-one facilities management solution that helps streamline FM tasks. According to Anna Gur, Regional Facilities Manager at Affinity Water, “we did a lot of research before deciding to invest in CAFM Explorer. It’s versatile and customisable and unlike some competitive solutions there are no extra charges for adding modules, making it a flexible and scalable solution that can adapt to the business’ needs.”

Via CAFM Explorer’s web-based, self-service Help Desk, the team now has a central digital hub to log all planned maintenance and reactive work orders, as well as the ability to allocate, monitor, and review SLAs and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each contractor. “CAFM Explorer allows us to schedule and administer maintenance jobs, view open jobs, and run monthly reports on outstanding jobs. It provides insightful data, real-time tracking, and automatic notifications, which helps us keep on top of SLAs as well as highlight jobs that have crossed SLAs. Accordingly, we can chase contractors and update the person who raised the job”, Anna explains.

By issuing work orders to contractors via email, CAFM Explorer helps Affinity Water with mobile workforce management. Employees also use the CAFM self-service web portal to report any maintenance-related issues quickly and easily. The solution also proved invaluable for the company during the COVID-19 pandemic. “With the help of CAFM Explorer, we were able to track maintenance workload that dropped a little during the peak of the pandemic and allocate additional cleaning and disinfectant fogging to certain sites where required. The software ensured business continuity for us as a company because we didn’t have to put any additional systems in place. We were lucky to have the team set up already with the CAFM software which helped us work together remotely,” Anna explains. CAFM Explorer’s reporting capabilities have also been crucial for the company in ensuring compliance across multiple sites. Anna comments, “the software has helped with our National Quality Assurance (NQA) audits during the lockdown. While normally, auditors would come in for site assessments, over the last 18 months they’ve had to conduct the audits remotely. CAFM Explorer made it easy for us to share the planned preventive maintenance (PPM) planner with the auditors – confirming that we’re fulfilling our duties with regards to gas maintenance, triple checks, portable appliance testing (PAT) testing, etc.”

Outcome:
Gaining operational efficiency with one centralised dashboard to monitor FM tasks
As a result of deploying CAFM Explorer, Affinity Water has been able to maintain a tighter grip on FM tasks, as well as achieve better visibility across its multiple sites. As both planned and reactive maintenance is managed via the system, all maintenance-related tasks are now monitored within one centralised dashboard, enabling the team to effectively keep track of work progress and gain operational efficiency. By streamlining maintenance management tasks, the software also saves time and makes life easier for the workforce. “Rather than trawling through hundreds of emails, it’s far more convenient to go onto the system and look at outstanding jobs. Plus, if a contractor is on leave on a particular day, the system updates automatically, thereby helping in task planning and allocation”, Anna points out.

Summing up the team’s overall experience of working with Idox, Anna says, “the support service from Idox has been brilliant throughout. We were given remote training sessions during the product implementation, which was extremely beneficial and if we don’t understand something, the support staff takes the time to make video calls and talk us through it, right down to the smallest detail.”

While the FM team at Affinity Water has been primarily focussed on getting the Help Desk function up and running, going forward, they plan to utilise other modules of CAFM Explorer. “There are a lot of other functions that will benefit us in the near future. For example, the asset register function will provide added insight so that people can just scan the barcode when they’re on site and we know exactly what is it that they’re talking about. Some of our locations are vast and if someone is reporting an issue with a drain, it could be one of 30 or more drains on that site. So, it would be helpful to be able to have the details for issues like that. Asbestos management is another element we are looking to deploy at some point”, Anna concludes.