Facilities Management Teams Need Tools That Serve More Than One Purpose

by Elizabeth Dukes on November 11, 2014

Much like their predecessors, today’s Facilities Manager has many elements to juggle for transforming the workspace into one that is both productive and inspiring- a place the workforce looks forward to returning to each day. Emerging and existing technology has delivered an incredible amount of options for workplace tools, each with their own set of values and contributions.

Perhaps the biggest challenge FMs face today is sifting through the myriad of options available, identifying those that serve their purpose on multiple levels. At a time when the workplace is complex, with seemingly an open frontier of possibilities to be explored, FM teams seek out powerful tools that lead to simple solutions. Much like the cowboys of the Wild Frontier, the modern day Facilities Manager must keep one eye on the prize and the other on the horizon, looking out for what works.

Cowboys Recognized The Value In Simplicity

From roping and branding the cattle to tending to their horses, cowboys had lots of jobs to handle. And, since they spent months at a time out on the range, simplicity was essential to their very survival. Every tool they carried had more than one purpose. The hat shaded them from the sun and doubled as a scoop for fresh water when they came across a stream. Their saddle acted as a third hand when roping a difficult steer. Cowboys came in contact with a diverse group of cultures and they paid attention, drawing knowledge and ideas from whomever they met along the way.

Facilities Management Teams Are The Modern Day Cowboy

Whether it is looking after their daily chores or preparing for the next budgetary meeting, the Facfacilities managers are today's modern day cowboyilities Team has a laundry list of responsibilities, as well. An important aspect of keeping things moving forward is ensuring the entire workforce is on the same page and has access to the most relevant information. This alone has proven quite challenging, as teams juggle the most diverse group of employees recent history has ever seen.

Along with the diverse workforce, each Facilities Team encounters new challenges and struggles daily. As the company grows within their industry, so too do their needs. Asset tracking becomes more complex, as does space management. Each company has its own unique set of requirements and they need a set of solutions that can help guide them through each phase. Tools must be customizable, simple to use, and adaptable to the evolving set of circumstances.

Cowboys Need A Simple, Yet Diverse Set Of Solutions

A Cowboy is only as good as their tools. Our Asset Tracking module is a perfect example of a simple, yet multi-purpose tool. This online tool is used by multiple parties and serves as a central repository for all assets. A detailed profile on each asset is stored with critical tracking fields for location and important dates regarding maintenance, warranty, lease expiration, costs, and department/cost center assignments. Contract details, product user guides, and photos are also stored. And since all modules communicate with each other, all the data you need is up-to-date and easily accessible.

Couple Asset Tracking with the Facility Maintenance tool to track building assets like HVAC systems, Air Control Systems, and Life Safety equipment.  Maintain the life of company assets and comply with warranty standards by integrating the Maintenance module with the Service Request software (or other helps desk systems) for automatic notification of preventative maintenance tasks.

The Asset Tracking software allows you to track IT equipment such as mobile devices, tablets, and laptops, ensuring you know who each device is assigned to and their location at all times. Interface with the Move Management module and management will automatically be notified when an when an employee leaves the organization. A detailed list of assigned assets is included, with the option to reassign to another employee. Invest in Room Reservation software and your employees can locate assets needed for their next meeting when reserving the conference room.

Each module is a simple tool that serves a broad audience for multiple purposes. And since each shares information with the other, managers can work seamlessly with real-time information, taking care of current needs while collecting data to forecast future needs.

Comfort in the Saddle

With so many specific employee needs and a myriad of options, both technically and spatially speaking, the modern Facilities Manager must be sitting high in the saddle at all times, constantly scanning for trouble ahead or roping in strays from the herd. Fortunately, there are so many tools that can be implemented to help achieve a winning formula for handling all aspects of this demanding job. The one constant spanning every Facilities Team is the need for straightforward, versatile methods for solving even the most complex of tasks.


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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