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|Facilities Management Software?
A recent report by McKinsey suggests that the global market for facilities management is estimated to reach $1.9 trillion by 2024.
Greenhalgh, Research Analyst at Comparesoft
For a company to succeed in a competitive market, it needs to ensure that its core business operations are functioning as smoothly as possible. Facilities management is a key enabler that helps organisations reach maximum productivity while significantly reducing losses due to the inefficient use of resources.
A recent report by McKinsey suggests that the global market for facilities management is estimated to reach $1.9 trillion by 2024. Several companies have realized the importance of good facilities management and the long-term impact it can have on organisational efficiency.
While the understanding of this field is usually limited to maintenance and repairs, the role of a facilities manager is much more complex. Facilities management professionals are responsible for devising strategies that integrate people, places, and processes with the work environment. They do this in order to improve productivity while minimising costs.
This article highlights the importance of good facilities management software and how it can help facilities managers do their jobs effectively.
Facilities management professionals are expected to provide a diverse range of services. This includes:
● Sourcing and managing contracts from various suppliers and vendors (example -catering, cleaning, security, technology and any other functions).
● Conducting inspections and supervising teams across various divisions to make sure that resources are fully utilised.
● Providing recommendations for making the business more cost-effective.
● Forecasting any upcoming requirements or maintenance.
● Controlling the budget for maintenance.
● Overlooking any renovations or refurbishments that the building might require.
● Planning for and overseeing any emergencies that may arise.
● Assisting with office relocations when necessary.
● Drafting maintenance reports for the management team to look at.
Given their wide range of responsibilities, facilities managers face a fair amount of challenges in their day-to-day work. Some of the biggest challenges in facilities management are:
Businesses are dynamic in nature, which means that facilities management professionals tend to be more reactive than proactive when it comes to equipment breakdowns, building decay, and resource optimisation. This unpredictability also makes it challenging for them to provide solutions as quickly as possible in order to minimise losses.
One of the key objectives of facilities management is increasing cost efficiency. However, facilities managers themselves are usually subjected to tight budgetary constraints, making it increasingly difficult for them to do their jobs. While inventory management, negotiation, and regular audits can help to some extent, it is still challenging to manage this for larger organisations.
In many cases, facilities managers don’t have access to the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Several organisations lack an integrated data resource where facilities managers could check the status of ongoing operations as well as failure reports, allowing them to analyse and predict potential problem areas.
Given the number of resources at play, facilities management can often be a tedious and time-consuming task. However, with the emergence of the cloud, smart computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), several business owners are turning towards digital solutions to reduce the manual effort involved in facilities management.
Facilities management software interplays with connected devices at the workplace, allowing for a fully integrated process that carries out resource optimisation faster, in real-time, and with a greater degree of accuracy.
Several companies already make use of various applications of technology to improve facilities management. Deloitte’s headquarters in the Netherlands, for example, has a digital system to track locker usage, which allows lockers to be assigned daily to employees and visitors. American machinery and equipment firm Caterpillar also harness digitally enabled solutions in their factory for fleet monitoring.
Facilities management software can help in everything from carrying out repetitive or administrative tasks to scheduling and reporting, inventory tracking, and much more.
Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software allows facilities managers to carry out predictive as well as reactive maintenance associated with the workplace. The functionalities of this software range from scheduling maintenance, to vendor management, reporting, invoicing, work orders, and much more. Many software applications are cloud or web-based and have dashboards to monitor various aspects of facility management.
Typical functions of CAFM software include:
● Property management
● Space management
● Resource utilisation
● Predictive maintenance
● Work order management
● Vendor Management
● Security Management
● Inventory control
● Invoice documentation
● KPI dashboards
Cloud-based software allows facilities managers to overlook business activities even if they are not physically present in the field. They can oversee activities and carry out tasks from any location in which they can access a laptop or tablet and a stable internet connection.
Facilities management software reduces the chances of human error associated with manual processes. What’s more, they make use of sophisticated algorithms and machine learning to analyse patterns, predicting future maintenance requirements and identifying further opportunities for optimisation.
Facilities management software can be customised to suit the different requirements of the organisation, even evolving with the organisation as it changes over time. Software applications can be configured to show only relevant data, making it easier to pinpoint issues. Additionally, most dashboards offer several visualisation options which make the data easy to read and analyse.
For a large organisation, using manual spreadsheets to track assets can be a difficult and tedious process. A facilities management software integrates multiple data sources, providing facilities managers with all the information they need in a centralised location. It gives them a single source of information from which they can gain insights into the working of the organisation as a whole, enabling them to be faster and more effective at their jobs.
Facilities management software help to reduce downtime and optimise operations. Through predictive analysis, the software allows you to monitor past, current and upcoming maintenance, thereby reducing the need for emergency maintenance.
The larger the organisation, the more unwieldy it becomes to manage its facilities by manual means. Facilities management software enables the tracking of multiple people and processes at the same time in a convenient and easy-to-use interface, with minimal risk of errors.
Effective facilities management software help to reduce the chances of equipment and machine malfunctions and decay, increasing their efficiency and value in the long-term.
Since so many organizations are new to the concept of facility management, it is important to take the help of professionals when it comes to effectively manage resources and formulating a growth strategy.
Good facilities management software provides organizations with the right tools to collaborate and control their tasks, thereby achieving their goal of becoming more efficient and delivering better customer experiences. These tools provide rich data so that the management team can make timely and informed decisions while reducing the amount of manual paperwork required. This is why, for optimal performance, facilities management software should be a priority for any leading organisation.
By Craig Greenhalgh, Research Analyst at Comparesoft
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