If you are like any other facility manager, you would know how hard it is to manage your hundreds of sites. It can become easily cumbersome.
And if you are managing all these sites on a paper-based processes, then you are in grave danger.
Even if you are managing all these processes on computers via spreadsheet, still it would bring you a lot of headaches.
In situations like these, what you need is a strong ally which can help you navigate all the hurdles in the facility management.
And a Facilities Management Software is just the right kind of friend that can help you do that.
In this article, I will introduce you to Facility Management Software, its need, key features, benefits, and how to select the right one for your organization.
Table of Contents
What is Facility Management?
Facility management (FM) is a term where multiple disciplines such as functionality, comfort, safety, and efficiency of an already established environment come together with people, place, and technology.
It focuses on having long-term success in areas such as IT, Human Resources, Construction and Manufacturing, Real Estate, and Healthcare and Educational Institutes.
And for you to achieving perfect productivity, all the above-mentioned factors must play well with each other for overall success.
If not, then the set or established facility and its physical assets may not work in order.
Facility Management Software helps to do just that. Beyond facilitating the said success, good facility service can be the ultimate key for achieving the highest levels of productivity for facility managers in a workplace.
The software helps organizations and managers alike to manage their facilities alongside maintaining assets, space, equipment, work orders, and many much more.
Most software systems provide a web-based dashboard for managing and scheduling facility and asset maintenance. As a result, facility managers from virtually every industry are increasingly adopting facility management software to achieve effective business objectives.
So, let’s dive into the very facet of facilities management software and see how it renders the everyday tasks of facility managers to be easy.
What is Facilities Management Software?
As a centralized, dashboard-based solution, Facilities Management Software solution helps you to save time and resources and elevate them to bring out their best in their buildings, assets, space, and occupants.
For facility managers, what this means is easy functioning of ongoing maintenance, repairing, scheduling, subcontractor management, work order fulfillment, invoicing, and data analytics.
With the right facility management tool in hand, facility managers can take a proactive approach towards their management.
They get to do their best by supervising space, trends, patterns over time, productivity, efficiency, and expenditure all the while enhancing communications with all the involved stakeholders.
Why Facility Management Software? What is the Need?
According to reports, the facility management market was worth USD 40.41 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to be worth USD 81.49 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 12.51 percent during the forecast period (2021 – 2026).
Download our free e-book on Digitalization in Facility Management here.
As a result, facility management operations encompass management strategies and procedures for building management as well as infrastructure management for an organization. It also refers to the entire digitization of an organization’s work environment.
For an enterprise, this system standardizes services and streamlines procedures.
Facility managers can use facilities management software to track issues, address problems, and document outcomes. It assists in increasing efficiency and, as a result, lowering the expenses of manually tracking information.
All of this is done by moving away from paper-based processes and moving towards more comprehensive digital solutions.
In terms of processes and terms of facility management, excellent software helps to achieve positively:
- Automation in Processes
- Mobile-first Approach
- Time Management
- Automation in Report Generation
- Lower expenditure
- Equipment Management
- Improve efficiency, productivity, outcomes, and customer satisfaction
- Improve Vendor and third party contracts
You will often find that facilities are frequently underutilized when no facilities management service is in place. There is a lot of wasted or underutilized space, little historical data to affect current services or future decisions, and manual techniques require a lot of manual effort that might be spent elsewhere.
Why Mobile-first Approach in Facilities Management Software?
Mobile apps have taken over the world and there’s no reason why the same shouldn’t be the same for facility management industry.
This is especially true for the field workers that are working in the field and have to work either on paper or carry heavy laptops to the site.
If only they had a solution that can be easily carried in the field for optimal and mobile field work.
A mobile-first approach promises just that and offers organizations and individuals alike to accomplish everything through the palm of their hands.
Having a mobile device and apps will render your processes to be productive and fast all the while saving time, money, and resources.
What are the Key Features of Facilities Management Software?
A reliable FM Software will help you to simplify a variety of activities required to provide 24/7 business support across all locations. It will also offer strategic insights into maintenance costs and resource allocation.
The following are some of the key advantages of facilities management software: simplified contractor invoicing and payment processing, greater insights into work order management, and increased access to facility data.
Let’s look at some of these in more detail.
Open and Scalable Architecture
Facilities management platform provided through the cloud or SaaS operates regardless of the underlying IT platform and is easily adaptable to company-wide system updates or modifications.
Repair & Maintenance Management
The major objective of any FM team is to keep assets in optimal operating order, which entails proactive scheduling of any necessary repairs or maintenance.
With the proper software, you get to submit work orders on the move, follow their status, and assure fulfillment.
Inventory, Asset & Supply Management
FM software provides a simple way for firms to purchase assets that have been approved for sourcing and contracting. Controlling these transactions allows firms to save money, assure quality, expedite purchasing, and manage warranties.
FM software provides a centralized platform for storing a complete record of all equipment and locations, including all work history and maintenance information. This makes it easier to classify, monitor, and track equipment warranties, mandated inspections and planned maintenance.
Subcontractor Management and Payment Processing
Contractor invoices can be submitted digitally, checked against negotiated rates and relevant sales taxes, tagged for G/L processing, and connected with third-party accounting systems using facility management tools.
Through a single database, facility teams may get access to certified, verified, and insured contractors, as well as all contractor data, including W-9 forms and insurance information. This streamlines the contracting procedure while also ensuring higher-quality services at a lesser cost.
Most facilities management platforms provide digital RFP management, which enables FMs to rapidly send a Request for Proposal (RFP) to one or more vendors, track RFP status, and accept or sign contracts.
Preventive & Scheduled Maintenance
Preventive maintenance is essential for lowering repair and maintenance expenditures. You can schedule, authorize not-to-exceed (NTE) pricing, and validate all preventative and scheduled facility maintenance events – including obligatory inspections – using the facility management system.
8 Prominent Benefits of Facility Management Software?
With the key features of the FM solution listed out, it can’t be that hard to figure out the major benefits.
Here are some of the benefits that come out of the features.
Monitor and Manage Facilities in Real-Time
You get to access the facility management dashboard from anywhere, thanks to improvements in mobile technology.
The bulk of facility management software is mobile-optimized, allowing users to quickly check the status of their facilities, repair schedules, maintenance reports, and more using a smartphone or tablet.
Simplified Work Order Management
Facility maintenance service requests may be entered directly into the system by employees. Work orders are then directed to the relevant contractor at suitable, pre-approved prices.
Source and Credential Contractors Easily
Maintain and update contractor contact and payment information, as well as manage insurance and certifications, using easy, automated processes.
In addition, some solutions also offer the key to the contractor directory to discover competent service providers with the necessary expertise for the project.
Track Spend Analysis
All expense data and analytics for facilities management are shown in real time in easy-to-read dashboard visuals. Analyze historical data, spot patterns and outliers, compare to goals and industry standards, and estimate future spending.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Failure to comply with regulatory compliance can result in substantial fines or even a temporary stoppage of activities. Facilities management software may be configured to screen for compliance concerns and contain the appropriate tasks to guarantee compliance.
Collaboration and Mobility
Access to facility data through a smartphone, laptop, or tablet is critical, especially for businesses with multiple sites. This enables management to make fast and informed choices.
History Tracking and Maintaining Record
One of the primary advantages of facility management systems is the ability to track historical expenses, trends, and changes over time. Understanding change over time helps in budgeting, productivity analysis, and real estate forecasts.
Data that is well-managed is at the heart of properly forecasting successful facility management.
Seamless Third-Party Integrations
Facility management software solution easily integrates with other business platforms, such as third-party accounting and payment systems, reducing data entry mistakes and expediting payment and audit procedures.
What are the types of Facility Management Software?
While searching for the right type of FMS, you will come across some of the prominent acronyms in the industry. The most common ones from the list that you will come across will be CMMS, CAFM, IWMS, and EAM.
While the list may sound exhaustive, in reality, you will need to do much more research before landing on your favorite facilities management software.
So, let’s look at some of the software and help you decide which one fits your organization aptly.
Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
Maintenance technicians, managers, janitorial staff, and other facility professionals usually utilize a Computerized Maintenance Management System to manage maintenance and repair initiatives in their companies.
A CMMS may be used by an organization to triage service calls, track work orders, manage asset information and prices, plan preventative maintenance activities, organize paperwork, and other duties.
If you are searching for the least costly software solution to assist you in better managing buildings, spaces, equipment, and assets, then CMMS will be the best benefit for your business.
Facility Management Software (FMS)
Facility Management Software incorporates all of the features of a conventional CMMS and expands on them by adding other applications that benefit a whole business.
It may involve asset mapping based on location, asset management, asset management, maintenance management, preventive maintenance management, data analytics, and reporting.
Overall, data gathered in an infrastructure platform will assist your company in safeguarding operations, reducing delayed maintenance, meeting regulatory compliance needs, and making better high-level business decisions based on data.
Computer-aided Facility Management (CAFM) Software
Computer-aided Facility Management software allows users to plan, perform, and monitor maintenance operations in their buildings.
CAFM software also allows customers to optimize space management, reservations, asset management, facilities services, and other customer-focused services inside a company.
CAFM software is a fantastic choice for operations teams wanting to optimize the management and usage of spaces within their buildings while also getting a larger picture of what’s going on across their whole portfolio.
If you want to enhance long-term maintenance, space, and facility planning, as well as optimal business alignment, CAFM software is for you.
Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)
An integrated workplace management system (IWMS) is a software solution that assists a company in optimizing workplace resources.
IWMS software is useful for managing a company’s real estate portfolio, infrastructure, and facilities assets. IWMS software is a one-stop shop for scheduling maintenance, tracking capital projects, and lowering energy use.
IWMS software as a whole is used to optimize the usefulness of an organization’s resources and assets, all inside a single software platform where information can be exchanged across stakeholders.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Software
Enterprise asset management software manages assets across departments, locations, buildings, and business activities such as Human Resources, Procurement, and Inventory.
While a CMMS will begin recording asset information and performance once the asset has been purchased and installed, an EAM system will begin tracking the whole asset lifespan, beginning with planning and installation.
If your business is searching for a means to combine maintenance activity information with associated labor, inventory, materials, tools, and other information from facilities and other departments, consider using an EAM system.
We have covered all these in detail here. Check them out, CMMS, CAFM, FMS, and IWMS.
Facility Management Software by Industry
Facility Management is a very broad industry. Every imaginable and possible environment where people and processes come together will require facility management.
As such, we list out the prominent industries that are managing their everyday facilities using facilities management software.
Facilities Management Software for Schools
FMS helps school administrators to manage school maintenance and event calendars, allowing them to spend more time providing the greatest learning environment possible for kids.
Facilities Management Software for Manufacturing Industry
FMS provides customizable solutions that enable facility managers to eliminate all risks, allowing businesses to focus on creating excellent products efficiently and cost-effectively.
Facilities Management Software for Restaurants
For restaurants, facilities management software helps the acting supervisors to keep in check the cleanliness, hygiene, high-quality food, and customer satisfaction ratings high while running any hospitality chain. FMS helps restaurants to optimize every part of a successful business.
Facilities Management Software for Healthcare Organizations
In the healthcare industry, a good FMS helps to achieve the most important goal of an organization i.e. keeping patients safe, healthy, and happy. It helps to keep every serious risk at bay by allowing managers to keep in check with their facilities, equipment, and assets.
Facilities Management Software for Government Organizations
FMS for government organizations offers solutions that allow government officials to manage large quantities of work orders, plan preventive maintenance tasks, and increase asset and equipment lifespans. The people at authority get to upkeep and maintain buildings all the while monitoring asset productivity without wasting much time or labor resources.
You can check out our industry solutions here.
Why to Focus on Providing the Best User Experience in any FMS?
User experience is the need of the hour in the 21st century. Without any personalized and streamlined experience, it can become a daunting task for organizations to form loyalty within their clients.
With the right kind of user experience, you may now access your sites and processes from anywhere and check on the progress of work requests allocated to them using the new interface.
It also helps administrators manage their workload and priorities activities more swiftly by dividing pending repair orders and preventative maintenance chores into different tabs. Work orders can also be reported in real-time, offering up-to-date visibility into maintenance requirements.
Top Factors to Consider Before Investing in FM Software?
As described above, there are various types of Facilities Management Software. When selecting the right FM software for your organization, make a list of the activities you perform daily, and then check to see whether the technology can fulfill your needs.
Here’s what you need to check out:
The finest facility management applications are mobile-friendly, allowing the facility manager to assign tasks and deadlines to workers or contractors. Assignees are then notified via their phones and can reply accordingly.
This eliminates the need to meet face to face or waste time on unneeded approvals. Moreover, using a mobile app allows employees to use their smartphones to photograph any damage.
Customizability for Unique Requirement
In the modern world, where personalization prevails, it has become necessary for companies to indulge in software that takes care of their unique needs and requirements. That’s why having the power of customization has become the number one priority for executives and managers.
With customization, businesses fulfill the need for facility management software need as per usage. Such a selection also helps them to save time, energy, and resources.
Hence, for FM organizations, having software that fits precisely is important rather than investing in the traditional, all-in-one software.
People must be able to utilize facility management software to get the most out of it, which makes the simplicity of use critical.
For maximum efficiency, a simple interface lets anybody in your company make a request and then follow its progress. The more you use the system, the better the outcomes your department will get.
Functionality of Use
A flexible solution is frequently the best option since workflows that are tailored to your organization’s specific requirements may be established. However, if continuous workarounds are required to obtain the functionality you need, that provider is probably not the best choice for you.
Ease of Implementation
Examine the implementation process closely to determine what is expected of you vs what the vendor is accountable for. If your vendor provides a comprehensive guide to help you through the process and has already identified significant barriers and how to overcome them, you’re off to a good start.
Choosing a cloud-based system provides several advantages for you and your staff. Cloud-based systems enable you to work from anywhere, at any time, on any device, and they are typically less expensive to implement than on-premises solutions.
Furthermore, they have very short implementation times, and updates are made accessible instantly, with no installation necessary.
It is critical to your success to have a team ready to assist you as you navigate a new system. When performing research, inquire about what happens if an emergency occurs outside of support hours, the average response time for a ticket, and their customer satisfaction rating. The answers to these questions will assist you in selecting the solution that prioritizes your needs.