Since its inception, Ostara Systems has pursued the ideology of creating an FM system who’s underlying strength is its flexibility. Ostara now boasts a wide-ranging portfolio of clients, from Hawthorn Leisure Ltd and Whitbread in the hospitality sector, to Santander and YBS in banking and Primark and Lloyds Pharmacy within retail. This article explains the challenges that were faced in each sector, and how Ostara’s CAFM software evolved to meet those challenges.
Due to the competitive nature of the hospitality industry, clients find themselves in need of strict financial controls. Taking Hawthorn Leisure, a year into the partnership Hawthorn elected to bring its maintenance management in-house. The Ostara CAFM software enabled Hawthorn to move their maintenance processes to a fully electronic and more automated platform, eliminating the need for paper filing as invoices are submitted and verified electronically. The Ostara Mobile App, with its offline functionality, meant that the client was only charged for the amount of time that a contractor was on site. Coupled with Ostara’s ability to set bespoke authorization rules, Hawthorn have been able to maintain control of their maintenance spend. Following sustained growth and profitability, Hawthorn Leisure was purchased by NewRiver REIT plc, bringing the total number of pubs to approximately 600.
In terms of the banking sector, Santander have provided a number of challenges. To allow Ostara to work with Santander, it first needed to become FSQS certified, requiring compliance with stringent safety and financial requirements. While entering into a five-year partnership, Santander also reviewed its single source contractor model, to allow them to retain its benefits, as well as the control and the benefits of the Ostara CAFM system. These benefits were: independence, transparency, cost control and asset management. Ostara established a dedicated helpdesk to coordinate all workplace services and maintenance across Santander, including retail, data centres and head office buildings. The system facilitates Santander’s monitoring of their comprehensive contract, with its elements of volume, cost limit, inclusions and exclusions. Working alongside Santander and their contractor, ISS, Ostara have been able to provide visibility and a platform for them to evolve to a full asset management solution.
In the retail sector, Primark has partnered with Ostara to create a system and processes that will allow them to control maintenance activities across 12 different countries. Beginning with stores in the UK, the system was rolled out initially to only manage maintenance, but is now used by other departments such as security and visual merchandising to facilitate their activities. Primark have been keen to continue to roll out the Ostara System to further stores throughout Europe and the USA, where the system now works in 12 different countries, in 9 different languages, with multiple currencies and time zones. In addition, the software also allows Primark to manage their varying models by country, which includes single source and multiple trade specific sub- contractor models.
Ostara have developed a system which automates asset management and legislative compliance. Ostara’s CAFM solution allows a client to upload its asset database into the system, or to asset tag their estate by using the Ostara Mobile App. The detail captured in Ostara provides data on asset performance, and the ability to predict future replacement based on age, spend and condition.
These experiences are examples of the challenges faced by CAFM providers in today’s economy. The ever-growing importance of financial control and the flexibility needed to keep up with the diverse demands of today’s market, the growing globalisation of corporations, asset management and legal compliance must all be integrated and at the forefront of CAFM software if providers wish to continue to be relevant within the industry.
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