Sodexo Propels Growth with Smart Facilities Management
As the Facilities Management division of Sodexo North America grew rapidly, a program was needed to consistently and quickly onboard and manage new client sites. Quickbase provided the rapid application development platform Sodexo needed to create an integrated suite of apps that could be developed, customized and deployed quickly to manage the growing number of sites. This program fits seamlessly with how Sodexo runs its business, while delivering the high quality its customers have come to expect from Sodexo. Ten years later, Quickbase is the backbone of Sodexo's Facilities Management Intelligence (FMiQ) platform, the division's required site management system, and the platform of choice for quickly developing new operational apps. By using the FMiQ platform, Sodexo has been able to significantly decrease time spent on building out project plans for new account startups. This process used to take several days — sometimes up to a week — but now it's done in less than one hour.
- Fast Facilities Management sector growth led to the need for more efficient startup and management of new sites
- Spreadsheet-based systems made it too difficult for management to track and generate reports
- Distributed workforce meant managers didn't have full visibility into a site's status or performance against key metrics
- Lack of a platform for consistent reporting on a large portfolio of sites
- Needed to quickly develop new apps and configure current ones for new sites
- Quickbase as a platform for deploying reusable apps for new sites
- Single sign-on with Sodexo credentials enables fast access to facilities management teams
- Development of FMiQ solution, combining the rapid deployment and powerful reporting of Quickbase with dedicated point solutions for training compliance data, project management, mobile data collection and more
- Standardized workflows and processes for onboarding and ongoing management of sites
- A dozen strategic Quickbase apps supporting consistent execution of FM service delivery
- Additional customized, client-focused solutions for a wide range of business needs
- Easy tracking and reporting of data on more than 200 locations using FMiQ
- Increased compliance by tracking expiring certificates, safety records and other compliance activities
- Reduced risk through management line-of-site dashboards on each application
- Real-time tracking of quality assurance inspections and safety activities
Sodexo is the global leader in providing Quality of Life services to more than 75 million consumers in 80 countries every day — including site management, benefits and rewards, and personal and home services. With 420,000 employees in 80 countries, Sodexo is now the 19th largest employer in the world.
The Quest for Consistent Excellence
As the global leader in Quality of Life services to businesses, schools, hospitals and more, Sodexo is on a mission to improve the quality of life of its customers, employees and shareholders, and to improve the economic, social, and environmental development of the communities in which it operates. Since 1983, the company has delivered on this mission by growing an average of 13% per year and offering expanded services to its customers.
In North America, Sodexo's Facilities Management division has also experienced unprecedented growth over the past two decades. As it signed on new corporate customers, the division needed a way to scale its operational excellence to handle the load. Each new customer might have 20-30 sites that would need to be transitioned to Sodexo's management and run to the high standards set by the company. Spreadsheets were incapable of managing the multitude of processes efficiently, and offered no instant visibility and reporting.
The solution was their FMiQ, Site Management System, built on a foundation of 10 Quickbase apps that can be instantly replicated, customized, and rolled out to each new site. Quickbase offered Sodexo the right combination of flexibility and instant reporting to handle the complexity of its core business and support scalable growth.
"Sodexo has always wanted a solution like this and now we have one. We had to have it to support all new major business as well as our portfolio of current clients," says Bruce Squibb, Senior Director of Program Development and Quickbase Contract Manager since 2009.
"Our Facilities Management Intelligence Platform (FMiQ) powered by Quickbase has enabled our Sodexo Integrated Facilities Management sales team to engage complex customers with a very credible and robust suite of operational applications. Quickbase provides our clients with access to transparent data, reports and benchmarking which are keys points to selling and managing large integrated facilities management (IFM) client portfolio's. Most of our customer contracts are very large and complex, and Quickbase has allowed us to customize the applications to align with Key Performance Indicators such as client communication, quality services and financial targets which are critical to our customers," says David Love, Vice President, Facility Management and Workplace Services, Sodexo.
FMiQ is now Sodexo's required site management system.
How FMiQ Changed Everything
The process of taking over the management of a facility is something Sodexo knows how to do very well. From the initial transition to ongoing site management practices, Sodexo has a proven formula that works.
Executing that formula with spreadsheets and emails was possible when scale wasnt an issue. Because District Managers travel frequently, they relied on in-person visits to update their records. But as Sodexo took on higher volumes of larger customer sites, just tracking statuses and preparing for milestones was increasingly difficult.
Sodexo needed a system that could centralize all site-related data and offer a technological support system for its site management practices. The team also wanted to improve system-wide visibility into site status with an online tool accessible from any device at any time. Most importantly, the tool needed to be flexible and adaptable for rapid development and change, so the team could deliver a solution that met the exact needs of its users.
"We wanted to build apps based on what people actually needed, so we could give our managers the tools to run the business with less touchpoints," says Squibb.
The team had already used an app built on Quickbase for several years to track training compliance, and saw an opportunity to leverage Quickbase as a platform to build a suite of apps that managed multiple processes from a shared pool of data and interface.
The Facilities Management Development Team was able to build a suite of apps to manage transitions, action plans, training, safety, program audits, reports, and more on the Quickbase platform with a small dedicated team collaborating with the Subject Matter Experts in the field. Squibb has one developer solely dedicated to building Quickbase apps on his staff, and she had limited technical training before starting full time out of college in 2009. Since then she has built dozens of Quickbase apps.
"We dont have to interrupt our IT department to build an application. We just need a good idea, collaboration from the end users and some productive quiet time," says Squibb.
The FMiQ system also includes non-Quickbase software for asset management, service requests, contractor sourcing, and mobile interfaces. Each of these systems relies on Quickbase as a source database, so all data captured or generated by those systems is easily accessible within Quickbases robust reporting capabilities.
The key components of the FMiQ system work together to provide the tools and insights necessary for smooth facilities management.
Quickbase as a Platform for Growth
FMiQ gives the Facilities Management division a central place to store all relevant information on each of its sites. This results in better visibility and transparency for managers, greater operational efficiency and cost predictability, and better analytics into site performance.
With Quickbase, Sodexo also has a fast and flexible platform for delivering new apps to support teams in the Facilities Management division. Beyond the core FMiQ apps, Squibbs team has created an additional 20-30 apps to help manage other processes as requested by operators, clients, and senior Sodexo leadership.
"The results are faster site onboarding, a more nimble division, and a real competitive advantage. This is how we're growing the business now. Our clients tell us nobody can do the things we do," says Squibb.
In fact, Sodexo leverages FMiQ during its sales cycle to demonstrate its ability to align its services with the highest of customer expectations.
"We now demonstrate our FMiQ Platform to all customers. The voice of the customer is so important to us and they tell us how robust yet practical the technology is to use to make key business decisions. Quickbase has been a key differentiator in us winning many new customers," says Love.
Citizen Developer Spotlight: Heather Bryant
When Heather Bryant joined Sodexo in 2009, her Web development experience involved working with Filemaker and Salesforce. She was unfamiliar with Quickbase as a platform. Six years later, Bryant has built the Site Management System used by all locations as well as dozens of client solutions on the Quickbase Platform and shes a sought-after resource for teams across Sodexo. Developer growth like this speaks to the power of real citizen development.
"When Heather started, we only had one Quickbase app. She took that app to the next level and created a career out of it," says Bruce Squibb, Senior Director of Program Development at Sodexo.
To get up to speed on Quickbase app building, Bryant utilized Quickbases robust learning resources. She invested her time in free training webinars, online tutorials and reading the Quickbase Help websites, as well as working with the Quickbase team of in-house experts.
Bryant was able to create apps that share safety data, manage business processes and workflows, and integrate with other technologies for seamless process improvement. She can also manage access to key data through the use of distinct roles and permissions something that is vital in a growing user count.
Bryant is also responsible for training new Quickbase users, which she delivers via online trainings. Once they learn the basics, they see what the system can do for them, according to Bryant. "People inside Sodexo now understand what Quickbase can do," she says. "We have other teams knocking at the door for it."