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What is facility management software?
Facility management software helps organizations plan and effectively execute facility management processes such as repair and maintenance programs. It records details about building layouts, plant assets, and employees to facilitate a range of functions, such as:
- Asset management
- Equipment information tracking
- Recurring task management
- Work order fulfillment
- Room scheduling
- Vendor management
- Maintenance workflow automation
- Maintenance cost management
The benefits of facility management software:
- Reduces downtime and optimizes operations: Facility management software helps centrally track past, ongoing, and upcoming maintenance services. This comprehensive approach to managing maintenance workflows reduces asset downtime and optimizes operations.
- Ensures regulatory compliance: There are myriad regulations that are applicable to facilities in every industry. The software helps businesses comply with regulations by prescribing processes, storing supporting documents, generating reports, and confirming adherence to regulations.
- Reduces document hassles: Paper-based approaches are difficult to manage due to the bulk of physical documents generated; the sheer volume of manual effort required to track data on physical documents also increases the chances of human error. Facility management software eliminates or significantly reduces the need for physical documents to capture and report data.
- Centralizes systems: With a centralized system, supervisors can manage operational tasks of an entire facility from one place. A centralized system brings transparency into processes, which saves time, enhances productivity, and reduces costs through proper equipment use and better investment decisions.
Typical features of facility management software:
- Maintenance management: Create and track work orders for maintenance activities. Plan maintenance operations to ensure the longevity of physical assets.
- Reporting: Record and report audit results in the form of statistical data, visual charts, or standard text content.
- Space management: Supervise, control, and manage the occupancy of physical space in buildings.
- Equipment management: Monitor and maintain equipment and reallocate equipment as per the needs in the facility.
- Facility scheduling: Schedule events or reserve venues and assets within facilities, such as booking a meeting room in an office.
- Fixed asset management: Track details of fixed assets with a centralized database.
- Incident management: Identify and resolve service/equipment failures or disruptions.
- Preventive maintenance: Plan preemptive maintenance to avoid equipment breakdown or unscheduled downtime.
- Vendor management: Track and store all vendor-related information such as contacts and services/products offered.
- Work order management: Create work orders and track their status to completion.
Considerations when purchasing facility management software
- Mobile compatibility: Mobility has become an indispensable part of our lives, not just for personal use but for business needs as well. Mobile-ready facility management software helps managers access systems using mobile phones and allows teams to stay connected when traveling. It helps team members communicate, share data, report back, and stay updated on different developments in work order processing, from any location.
- Integration capabilities and associated cost: For better visibility and efficiency, the software you’re purchasing should be able to integrate with your existing tools, such as building management or computer-aided design systems. While some vendors may offer some/all integration options for free, others may charge for the application programming interfaces (APIs) required for integration.
Relevant facility management trends
- The internet of things (IoT) is bringing business automation to facility management: Organizations are increasingly using internet-connected devices to support and streamline operations. This is bringing automation into commercial buildings, eliminating manual efforts for tasks such as monitoring temperature levels, security alarms, and lights. As per Gartner, there are more than 8.4 billion connected devices in the world, which will grow to 20 billion by 2020.
- Drones are taking flight to assess facilities: Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can help facility owners and operators monitor asset conditions. For instance, roof and exterior inspections of high-rise buildings can be done remotely by camera-enabled drones. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can also be used to program drones to fly autonomously on predefined paths.