Over the past several decades, facilities management has expanded to include a broad range of business functions that emphasize deriving maximum value from a facility. Countless factors have driven the increase in the complexities and responsibilities of the facility manager's job. Facilities themselves are more complicated, evolving toward more computerized support systems and the "smart" systems that are coming on line in more businesses today.
Additionally, corporate cost-consciousness is still of utmost importance, making operational efficiency as critical as ever. Outstanding facilities management puts non-core business processes in the service of core business processes, protecting a business's capital investment and adding business value. Creating the best possible environment for a business's functions requires time, dedication, and hard work, and facilities management software empowers facilities managers to do exactly this.
What Facilities Management Software Gives You for Your Investment
Optimized facilities management requires attention to a large number of details, sometimes on a daily basis, and sometimes less often. Keeping up with the requirements of a well-run facility has always been challenging, but with today's emphasis on cost containment and added business value, along with an increase in the complexity of the facilities themselves, facilities management software is a facilities manager's necessary and essential partner.
The right choice of FM software can make an immediate and noticeable difference. Imagine software that frees up 2.8 hours per day for the busy facilities manager. That's 14 hours per week - roughly the equivalent of a part-time employee position. Great facilities management software gives you the one thing that's irreplaceable: more time. And the facilities manager can do amazing things with that extra time. Here are some examples.
Devote More Time to Long Term Improvements
When FM software improves efficiency to the tune of a couple of hours per day, the facilities manager has fewer immediate things to take care of and more time to devote to long term improvements. He or she can take the time necessary to analyze requirements, develop solutions, and put those solutions to work. In other words, knowing that her facilities management software has made FM processes far more efficient, the motivated facilities manager is freed up to explore beneficial changes for the long term, like the addition of smart technology to contain HVAC costs, or implementation of a "green" initiative to improve brand perception and lower environmental impact.
Make Company Assets More Cost-Effective
Managing company assets is essential to maximizing return on capital investments and minimizing unnecessary costs. With outstanding facilities management software (which may include asset management modules), the opportunity exists to account for all company assets throughout their lifecycles. This could be IT equipment, tools, furniture, or any other type of asset.
Suppose a new hire needs cubicle furniture. Without asset management, HR may not realize that there is unused furniture stored somewhere and may requisition new furniture unnecessarily. But when facilities managers are able to track all company assets and allow key personnel to access relevant asset information, this problem is avoided, saving money and time and making processes like on-boarding more efficient and less stressful.
Sharpen Your Company's Competitive Advantage
When the facilities manager knows that his FM software has his back, he is free to be more proactive rather than reactive. He can be more involved with strategic planning and prioritization of goals and projects. He can better anticipate costs and expenditures, and make facilities management integral to the overall company business plan rather than simply being an add-on. These capabilities add up to a stronger competitive advantage due to lower costs, better planning, and better resource utilization.
Improve Company Culture and Morale
Most people may not stop to think that facilities management has an effect on company culture and morale, but the experienced FM knows that it does. With software that takes care of processes that can be automated, the facilities manager and her team are better poised to simply make the facility a better place to work.
By having the time to simply get to know employees better, the facilities management team can improve workplace morale. Say the FM software indicates that lighting in the graphics department has to be fixed far more frequently than expected. This is a problem because the graphics team relies on good lighting to be able to do their work. The engaged facility management team has the time to look deeper, discover that the fixture is faulty, and have it replaced so everyone can work under better conditions with less disruption.
The work the facilities management team does may not be high-profile, but when that work is neglected or consistently behind schedule, morale can suffer. An outstanding facility management system can help prevent those problems.
Time is the one thing that cannot be regained once it's lost. The right facilities management software, however, can save significant time by improving facilities management efficiency and automating certain processes. As a result, the facilities manager and his team have more time to devote to making long term facility improvements, increasing cost-effectiveness of company assets, sharpening the company's competitive edge, and simply making the facility a better place to work.