3 Ways Facilities Managers Use Data to Increase Productivity And Efficiency

by Elizabeth Dukes on December 24, 2014

As the workspace manager, you are charged with ensuring the entire organization, from its people to its resources, are operating at maximum productivity at all times. Anything less, and your bottom line suffers. Many have found that the most effective way to increase productivity is by harnessing the power of data.

“The goal of big data analytics in facilities management is to allocate resources properly. Are heating and cooling tasks carried out efficiently? Are construction and relocation processes being handled in a timely process? Is tenant satisfaction consistent across multiple locations? Looking at large volumes of data can help companies answer all of these questions and more.”  But with so many tools and data at our disposal today, how do we know what metrics provide us the most valuable information, what do we do with the data, and what tools do we adopt to collect these metrics?


Space Utilization Metrics

Real estate and your workforce represent the two largest business expenses. And since each directly affects the other, it stands to reason that any successful Facilities Manager should monitor the data and analyze the metrics behind each one.

Today’s workspace environment is evolving at a fearsome rate. Mobility is at an all-time high, with no signs of slowing down. As our workforce becomes increasingly more mobile, companies are reevaluating their real estate and finding wasted, unused space. That open space translates into dollars wasted. But how do you determine how the space is being used and how to make more efficient use of the space available? And when making adjustments, how do you forecast future needs so you don’t find yourself short on space later?

Many FMs are turning to Space Management Software as a solution to their needs. This tool provides the Facilities Management team valuable insight into how the space is currently used. You can view detailed statistics regarding the company’s square footage, occupancy data, and capacity. You have the ability to view such data for the entire building(s), as well as floor level. Details such as asset location and occupant information can be viewed and detailed diagrams can be created for further visualization.

Once you have collected the data, the software allows you to calculate utilization in multiple ways, including occupancy, room type or use, and cost center or department. Such information provides you the necessary tools to identify patterns and forecast future needs, based on company history, so plans can be made to meet both current and future demands.

Your company’s workspace environment directly affects your employees and their productivity. If space is not properly managed, the workforce does not have the proper tools to produce. Along with ensuring each individual has the proper workspace to meet their everyday needs, some organizations require collaborative spaces such as meeting rooms or huddle spaces. Ask and listen to what types of spaces will meet these individual needs and plan accordingly. Move Management Software will integrate with your Space Management Software, allowing you to create different scenarios and determine the best option for optimum performance. When your employees’ spatial needs are met, you can better manage the rest of your business tools.

Asset Management and Inventory Tracking Data

Depending upon the size of the building and number of occupants, your organization invests thousands, if not millions of dollars in assets annually. These assets include air handlers, computer equipment, printers, and office supplies. Proper asset management directly translates into both the efficiency of how the company is run and employee productivity.

An Asset Management Software Solution garners insight into what items are being used, how often, and by whom. It creates greater transparency into asset costs and actual use, allowing you to adjust accordingly. If the person in charge of ordering office supplies purchases X number of pens per month, yet only half are being used, you will have clear data to identify trends and support adjustments. Conversely, if your employees are spending too much time searching for available A/V equipment for meetings, additional equipment may be in order. The less time your workforce spends tracking down supplies equals more time to focus on their responsibilities. And increased productivity funnels directly into the company budget.

Facility Maintenance

There has been a global shift in thinking surrounding the energy we use; with that shift has come an awareness regarding company assets and their management. Historically, management took the attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Many are now realizing that if you maintain your investments, equipment runs more efficiently, resulting in less downtime and lower energy costs. This is where a software tool such as Facility Maintenance proves useful.

How does your company currently handle its work orders? Do you send out emails? Make phone calls? Are work orders only issued when an item needs servicing or do you schedule routine maintenance? How do you know when servicing is complete or what the issue was?

With the use of a FM software tool, you can analyze the data surrounding your investments. How old is the A/C equipment? How often is it serviced? Before its last maintenance, was there a spike in energy costs? What about the month after servicing? This module provides you the data you need to predict future costs surrounding this equipment and determine if replacement is inevitable, so you can create a timeline and budget accordingly.

Along with your building running more efficiently, Facility Maintenance Software supports employee productivity as well. Routine maintenance requests can be automated and details regarding service requests are updated in real time, so your colleagues spend less time answering questions and following up on their requests, affording them more time to focus on the rest of their duties.

Keeping productivity up and corporate costs down can be quite the balancing act. There are hundreds of factors involved in the productivity and operations of the facility you manage. While many factors are out of your control, an IWMS tool provides you increased visibility into those components you CAN manage and aids you in determining where accommodations must be made.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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