News / Press

14. September 2021

Digital processes

A WISTA facilities manager shows us what the new world of work looks like

Martin Will and Marcel Linke, WISTA.Service © WISTA Management GmbH
WISTA’s service specialists Martin Will (left) and Marcel Linke ensure the smooth running of the facilities management © WISTA Management GmbH

WISTA.Service GmbH looks after around 100 buildings with a combined floor space of several 100,000 square metres, including the most cutting-edge science institutes and technology centres that feature sophisticated building technology and services. The company is now going forward with a large-scale digitisation project to create more transparency for complex facilities management tasks and to more efficiently control the many processes.

In the clear morning air, the rooftop of the Centre for Photovoltaics and Renewable Energies (ZPV) offers a magnificent view of Johannisthal and Adlershof. Unfortunately, Martin Will, an electrician of WISTA.Service GmbH’s building automation team, does not have the time to enjoy it. He heads straight for a metal door behind which lies a world of switch boxes, cables and water pipes, and air conditioning ducts. A rush job popped up on his tablet ten minutes ago. The control of a recently repaired pump has triggered an error message.

Will doesn’t have to look for long because the pump’s location and the switch cabinet appears right there on his tablet. The same app that shows him the location also features a time sheet, a list of completed tasks, spare parts that were used, documentation, and invoicing. It has become the linchpin of the daily work of Will and his hundred colleagues at WISTA’s subsidiary service company. The whole thing is called CAFM, computer-aided facilities management. The CAFM is currently being integrated into a more comprehensive and fully interconnected platform called WALDI (WistA LiegenschaftsDatenIntegration). The aim of WALDI is to better control and document the vast number of processes that come with overseeing several dozen institutes as well as technology and start-up centres with cutting-edge equipment in Adlershof and other WISTA locations.

Virtually paperless and automated to a large extent, this smart IT process chain reduces overlap to the analogue world to a bare minimum. It brings together CAFM, a SAP-based system, CAD data of the buildings, property plans, checklists for maintenance tasks and repairs of sophisticated building technology as well as the readings of each and every electricity and water meter, and even the planning and procurement data for building projects: the entire world of WISTA’s processes in one platform.

Marcel Linke is responsible for coordinating the work of WISTA’s in-house as well as external technicians, records malfunctions and repair orders from all the buildings, and enters them into the IT systems that haven’t yet been fully integrated. “It can get rather complicated. Especially when I’m outside and can’t access the computer,” he says. However, he choses to ignore these initial difficulties and instead thinks of the potential of these smart solutions and the many ways they will make his life easier in the long run.

Service specialists like Will will soon be able to use the app to check which maintenance instructions and standards apply, and whether required spare parts are still in stock. They will also be able to view the maintenance and repair history of the device in question. The longer WALDI is in operation, the more time series of operation and maintenance data come together. The whole thing will result in making not only a building’s façade see-through but also all the technical equipment it contains. Seamless documentation of service and maintenance processes make possible automated reminders for maintenance cycles, quick response to damages, and a direct connection between service, bookkeeping, and accounting. This integrated data chain will not only improve workflows but will save Linke’s team a lot of time: moving around, entering data, and lengthy initial training. “The plans and checklists featured in the app are already a real help, especially for maintenance and repairs of fire safety systems,” says Will.

The system is currently still learning for even more high-resolution mapping of the various processes. All WISTA departments involved are in continuous contact with the team on the IT service provider’s side. The more the project develops, the more support Linke and Will hope to get from using the app. Perhaps it will one day create the short moment they need to enjoy the rooftop view on a clear summer day.

Peter Trechow for Adlershof Journal