The Big Picture
Facility management may not always be in the limelight, but it plays an indispensable role in the smooth functioning of any organization. It’s the backbone that ensures the lights are on, the rooms are comfortable and the infrastructure is in top-notch condition. Yet, behind the scenes, facility managers juggle a variety of challenges that often go unnoticed by the rest of the world. From maintaining a conducive working environment to optimizing resource utilization, managing facility operations is complex yet critical to successful business operation.
In today’s fast-paced world, where efficiency and sustainability are paramount, facility managers are tasked with finding innovative solutions to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of a digital world. Traditional methods of overseeing and maintaining facilities have given way to a more dynamic and efficient approach—one powered by Integrated Workplace Management Systems. These systems are not just tools; they are the heart of modern facility management.
What is Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM)?
Computer-Aided Facility Management is the first step toward the digital evolution of traditional facility management practices. It’s a comprehensive software solution designed to aid in the management of facilities, assets and resources within an organization. CAFM brings together a multitude of functions and data points into a centralized platform. This includes information on building layouts, equipment, maintenance schedules, occupancy and more. Having this data in one place eliminates the need to monitor multiple spreadsheets or systems, facilitating quicker access and informed decision-making based on historical data and real-time information.
What is an Integrated Work Management System (IWMS)?
While CAFM software is primarily used to manage facilities like space and assets, IWMS software goes a step beyond to manage internal workplace operations by offering deployment solutions, increased transparency and comprehensive assistance to streamline the interaction of all workplace activities. IWMS not only oversees facilities, it bridges the gap between management and employees with features like project management, workflow automation and resource planning. This system employs a holistic approach through the collection of data, presenting the information in an easy-to-digest way. This software provides an all-encompassing view on facility operations—promoting collaboration, data accuracy and seamless processes.
What Systems will IWMS Integrate With?
IWMS software can be utilized in a wide variety of industries and integrated with a range of existing systems. Industries within healthcare, real estate, finance, corporate, tech and more can benefit from a work management system to enhance workplace performance. IWMS can also be integrated with systems already in place like HVAC, access control, building automation and energy management systems. This software can gather and organize data from all these systems into one central platform and automate internal processes to pave the way for efficient facility management. IWMS can also integrate with loT devices and sensors to collect real-time data and encourage predictive maintenance—effectively allocating resources, saving energy and reducing costs. This allows facility managers to get a head start on future problems and analyze large amounts of data at one time.
Benefits of Work Management Systems
Work management systems enable facility managers to narrow their focus so they can address the most important tasks at hand and do so in an informed way. Besides pointing them in the right direction, these systems provide some other key benefits:
Simplifies Complex Issues
From maintenance and space allocation to resource management and compliance tracking, the array of tasks involved in managing a complex facility can be overwhelming. Work management systems provide a centralized platform that simplifies and streamlines these complex tasks. IWMS allows facility managers to create, assign and track tasks effortlessly as well as provide a digital platform for work orders in relation to requests, tracking or monitoring. This transparency reduces response times and enhances communication between facility teams. By digitizing and standardizing procedures, IWMS minimizes the administrative burden on facility managers and staff. This not only reduces the risk of errors but also frees up valuable time for more strategic tasks, becoming both a tool and catalyst for overall efficiency.
Adapts to Your Changing Needs
In the world of facility operations, facilities evolve, organizations grow or restructure, regulations change and priorities shift. Work management systems can flex and scale within this dynamic landscape and offer the ability to customize and adapt to evolving facility management requirements. One valuable feature is their ability to create configurable dashboards. Whether it’s tracking energy consumption, monitoring asset performance or keeping tabs on maintenance schedules, these dashboards can be tailored to display the data that matters most to your organization.
These systems can also provide flexible reporting tools that allow facility managers to generate reports tailored to specific needs, ensuring that data remains relevant and actionable. Workflows in facility management are rarely one-size-fits-all, as different tasks and processes often require unique approaches. Work management systems also offer customizable workflows that empower facility managers to design processes that remain aligned with evolving requirements.
Whether it’s improving resource allocation or facilitating maintenance planning, work management systems can be financial allies for organizations seeking to optimize facility management costs. These systems can match resources with actual demand and reduce unproductive downtime and breakdowns by continuously monitoring asset health and performance and scheduling maintenance tasks at ideal times.
This not only extends asset lifespan, but it also reduces unexpected costs by addressing issues before they become critical. In addition to managing internal operations, work management systems also assist in financial operations by overseeing vendor contracts and tracking expenses and vendor performance. The data produced can be used to identify cost-saving opportunities and make informed budgeting decisions as well as negotiate better terms with vendors and improve service quality. These systems allow facility managers to make data-driven decisions based off insightful reports on maintenance costs, energy consumption trends, asset performance and more. Their cost-saving initiatives make work management systems an essential asset in organizations’ quest for financial maximization.
Key Considerations when Implementing Work Management Systems
Implementing a work management system for facility management is a significant undertaking that can yield substantial benefits when executed thoughtfully and strategically. However, before diving into the implementation process, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and understand the specific needs and challenges of your facility management operations. Identify the points that need to be addressed and the goals you hope to achieve. Involve facility managers, maintenance staff and other relevant personnel in the evaluation process. Their insights are invaluable when determining the features and functionalities needed to fulfill your team’s requirements.
The success of the implementation of a work management system hinge on the active involvement of stakeholders at every stage. Create a cross function team that includes representatives from different departments within the organization who collectively define the scope, goals, and milestones of the project. Regular communication and feedback sessions are essential to keep everyone aligned and engaged. Remember that these systems aren’t static, they are designed to be versatile and mold to the current shape and workflow of the organization. Testing and fine-tuning are the best processes to identify areas for adjustment or improvement.
IWMS offerings with Facility Systems, Inc.
At FSI, our designers are facility management specialists who understand what is needed. We provide technological solutions in order for facility managers to do their jobs efficiently. We have partnered with Eptura Workplace and Eptura Asset – to help to offer a flexible system for the management of everything, from the real estate footprint and leases to employee changes, asset management and building operations.
Integrated Workplace Management Software through FSI is able to support facility managers by tailoring the technology to provide exactly what you need to be efficient, saving you time and money.
FSI’s facility management experts will work with you to find the best solution for your space. We are the experts at helping offices plan, design, build and furnish workspaces—down to the inch. Contact us for more information or to schedule an Eptura demonstration today.