For those that take advantage of the technology, facility management software (FMS) is among the most useful tools, along with computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), at a facility manager’s disposal. We highly encourage customers to not only use facility management software (we do ourselves), but to also keep up with the latest trends in software features and capabilities. Even if you’re happy with your current setup, it’s always worth doing some research every now and then to find better options or look for useful new features.
Facility management software automates and simplifies tasks that were traditionally difficult or tedious to perform, such as managing work orders or understanding how contractors are interacting with your facility. Understandably, not everyone has adopted the software at the same rate, especially newer, more complex iterations. Facility managers that are more risk averse or not comfortable with changing systems have pushed back on adopting new systems too quickly. This instinct is completely understandable, but we argue facility management software is critical and will only become more useful over time.
We list just a few of the features that facility management software offers to make a facility manager’s job easier every day.
If you have a mix of in-house maintenance staff and contract maintenance staff, this feature is especially useful for understanding who is responsible for what gets done and when it’s scheduled for completion. This is especially important since contractor staff won’t always be on-site, so it’s always good to keep tabs on who is entering your facility and for what reason. If you’re managing multiple contractors, it’s important to understand who represents whom and the tasks they’re accomplishing for your facility. This can help prevent different contractors and in-house personnel from disrupting facility operations unexpectedly or stepping on each other’s toes. For security reasons, it’s also good to know who is currently in the facility and the tasks assigned to them.
Regardless of the size of your facility, having a digital reference for maintenance work orders is always helpful. Your goal as a facility manager will be to reduce unplanned equipment downtime while also creating a process that’s cost-effective and efficient. Facility management software allows you to map out your planned maintenance strategy for all the equipment in your facility. You will always have a general overview of your annual goals. You can compare your performance to service level agreements (SLAs) and integrate your facility maintenance software with your computerized maintenance management software to get a clearer picture of how you’re meeting your KPI goals.
You can use your facility management software to schedule maintenance tasks and gain insights into their timelines, status, and costs relative to your maintenance budget. Here, you can get a quick overview of when tasks are scheduled, whether or not your maintenance tasks are being completed on-schedule, and if any roadblocks might exist. This makes it easy to quickly add or change tasks and get the context you need to make decisions and meet your equipment downtime reduction goals.
Most facility management software will give you access to your dashboards on mobile devices, which is a huge advantage for project managers. If you’re on the go, your facility equipment will still be running and there still might be personnel on-site completing tasks. Having the ability to check on your facility’s status, or receive an alert if something goes wrong, allows you to maintain control even when you’re not constantly present on-site or speaking with maintenance crews in person. This benefit can’t be understated.
Facility management software and CMMS are distinctly different types of software, but both are important for keeping a facility at peak performance. Facility management software is broader in scope, accounting for activities throughout a facility beyond maintenance alone (such as security, HVAC controls, and facility usage), while CMMS is specific to maintenance and provides predictive maintenance capabilities. Both types of software compliment each other and we recommend that you take advantage of both if you’re managing a facility or a network of facilities.