Though it isn’t new, facility management software is becoming a must-have for industrious facilities managers. Facility management (FM) software helps to align people and commercial real estate properties so that everyone and everything is more in sync. It does this by streamlining and automating operations, and reducing space and maintenance costs. It allows you to see the big picture, and the fine details from the same platform. Plus, it encourages more organized and structured processes and procedures, which can save facilities managers a lot of time.
Facility management software, almost always cloud-based, assists managers with asset management, space optimization, staying on top of work order requests, and much more. There are several options available when it comes to FM software. Some facility management solutions are tailored to specific industries, while other focus on providing specific services. Below, you’ll learn some core information about facility management software, and how it gives facilities managers a competitive edge.
What is facilities management?
Facilities managers may care for a single facility, or multiple buildings. Unlike commercial property managers, facilities managers are more concerned about what happens inside of the building or structure. They focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of the companies or occupants within the facility, as opposed to the health of the building itself.
Facilities managers care for the physical assets within a building, like desks, furniture, shared spaces, as well as hardware like printers, copiers, and other equipment. They also take on the responsibility of handling various contract services, including garbage disposal, recycling, and food and drink services, if applicable. Facilities managers will also be the ones in charge when an office needs to relocate or rent out additional space. They will look after the logistics and planning of a move.
In short, these multi-tasking professionals help companies with day-to-day operations, and remove barriers and limitations for employees.
Facilities managers assist with space optimization planning
Facilities managers are in charge of designing functional workspaces that maximize the office space that’s available. The designs should also have a positive impact on employee wellness and productivity. If a company is growing rapidly, a facilities manager can help advise the team if there is enough space to accommodate the growth, or if a move is necessary. Since the 2020 pandemic, hybrid workplace models have become very popular. While this flexible option lets companies grow without having to invest in a bigger office, facility managers must still determine how best to integrate flexibility into day-to-day operations.
Facilities managers improve the employee experience
A significant part of facility management involves creating a positive and productive work environment for the people who work in the building or structure. This means everything from ensuring offices remain at a comfortable room temperature, to providing accessible and clean bathrooms. Think of it this way; facilities managers work hard to take care of potential issues before they become problematic to tenants.
Facilities managers may also be responsible for:
- Work order requests
- Testing and inspections
- Environmental health and safety
As you can see, facilities managers do a lot, and could be taking on dozens of different, intricate tasks in a single day.
Facility management software
There are several software solutions to help with facilities management, but there are two major categories used to classify this type of software. Those categories are computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and enterprise asset management (EAM).
A CMMS system is an organizational system for asset management. It is feature-rich to help managers work more efficiently, and can even help them save money. The goal of this system is to improve asset maintenance.
A CMMS is used to manage maintenance requests, repair projects, etc. The system allows managers to assign tasks to vendors or others who can fix the issue, and track the status of the request from start to finish. Once complete, the request is archived so that management can always have the records.
The core purpose of EAM software is to keep managers informed about the current status of assets. It would keep service record information, and information about annual costs of ownership, the age and condition of the asset, etc. EAM helps managers keep tabs on the general status of assets, as well as unlock specific details. The information allows the manager to make informed decisions, like when new assets will need to be purchased.
When you combine a CMMS with EAM software, you get a more robust integrated workplace management system (IWMS). IWMS is essentially a combination of different FM software, and offers managers the best of many features. Today, AI, IoT, and even smart sensors are being used with IWMS to give employees a more convenient work experience, and give managers better insights into how workspaces are being used.
The benefits of facility management software
There are several reasons why facilities managers decide to use FM software. But perhaps the biggest reason is that all the tools they need are available on one platform. No more notes, paper records, files or scattered emails. This software helps managers adjust to the increased demands and changing expectations of tenants and companies.
Resource location and management
Facility management software gives managers a way to keep track of important company assets, including equipment, furniture, and other hardware. It may also help employees find shared resources if they have access to the software platform.
Request/work order management
Staying on top of requests from tenants is much easier when managers can find every issue in the same place. Often, they can submit an issue about a broken printer or clogged sink using their phone and the system’s mobile app. It’s a smart and convenient way to ensure issues are resolved as quickly as possible.
Space visibility and optimization
No matter the size of the office, it’s tough to understand if a company’s space is really being used well just by looking at it. Facility management software helps managers understand how employees are currently using the area, and if improvements could be made. This also helps managers forecast if a company will outgrow its space.
Instead of adding email addresses one by one, or printing out and distributing paper notices, managers use software so they can send out messages and notices to an entire building, a company or even a specific group. No matter where tenants are working from, they’ll always get the message on time. There may even be an option to communicate with tenants via text or automate voice message.
Data and analytics
Another great thing about integrated facility management software is it gives managers meaningful insights using real-time data. They can see trends and statistics on occupancy and desk bookings, maintenance, visitors, and assets. Data allows managers to make smarter decisions that could ultimately save their employer money, and improve the employee experience too.
Facility management software can’t do the work for managers, but it can greatly reduce some of those repetitive, time-consuming tasks that they perform. It can also give managers the freedom to complete more tasks (from anywhere) in less time. This resource is flexible, easy to use, and can cater to a manager’s specific needs. If you’ve been looking for a more efficient way to get things done, facility management software might be the solution you didn’t know you needed.