Why Facility Maintenance Management Software Is Vital For Safety
If a fire started in your building today, how confident are you that the sprinkler system would work properly?
What about the smoke detectors?
Is there a fire extinguisher on every floor?
The time to ask these questions is now, not in the middle of an emergency. Facility maintenance management software keeps track of building upkeep tasks that are essential to the safety of your employees. Here are five critical functions it serves.
How facility maintenance management software improves safety
It helps you manage preventive maintenance for building systems
Your local fire department should perform an annual fire safety inspection to ensure your building complies with fire codes. They will check to ensure you have the required fire protection equipment, but they may not actually inspect these systems.
Because many fire sprinkler systems are made of metal pipes, they can become corroded quickly, rendering the system ineffective, said Dr. Jeff Pfaendtner, principal engineer at Veracis Engineering, in a Buildings.com article. While fire codes recommend inspecting internal pipe interiors every five years, you may need to inspect yours more often.
In addition to posing serious safety hazards, fire sprinkler system malfunctions can also cause significant damage from flooding.
And that’s just one building system that could cause safety hazards.
HVAC systems, furnaces, plumbing and electrical systems all need to be inspected regularly. Using facility maintenance management software, you can assign these tasks to team members at the beginning of each year and send reminders when it’s time to perform them.
If you’re hiring contractors to perform these inspections, you can give them access to your software so they can see important details. They can see when your system was last maintained and what parts were replaced.
It makes it easy to track assets and safety supplies
When you return to the office, you will have a new set of safety supplies to manage until COVID-19 vaccinations are more widespread. That includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometers, EPA-approved disinfectants, and workstation barriers.
If your facility maintenance management system integrates with asset and inventory management software, you can keep track of all these supplies and every other piece of equipment in your workplace.
This makes it easy to see when you’re running low on supplies so you can order new ones. It also helps your team find equipment fast when they need to make repairs.
It streamlines cleaning and sanitization
As more companies adopt flexible workspace trends like hot desking and office hoteling, there will be a greater need to keep shared surfaces clean.
Rather than cleaning and disinfecting every desk daily when only half of them have been used, you can use sensors to track daily occupancy data.
This enables more efficient, cost-effective cleaning based on actual demand.
It helps your FM team address critical issues faster
When you think of service requests, you might think of the little things. Employees often complain the room is too hot or too cold. And if the coffee machine breaks down, you’ll hear about it from five different people before you’ve gotten to your desk.
These issues do impact your workplace experience, but sometimes there are more critical problems your team needs to address.
For instance, an employee may alert your team that the parking lot is covered with ice and they almost slipped on their way in. The sooner someone addresses this, the less likely it is to result in a workplace injury.
Service request software that includes an employee mobile app closes the loop between your workforce and your maintenance team so you can be notified as soon as something happens.
It helps you identify when it’s time to replace aging equipment
There comes a point in every asset life cycle when the cost of repairs outweighs the cost of replacement. But it’s not always obvious when that is.
With facility maintenance management software, you can track every repair, as well as the cost of parts and labor required to fix it. The next time your furnace or printer breaks down, you can look at the history of its repairs and weigh that against the total equipment cost.
You should also factor energy savings into the equation. Some newer equipment, such as LED lighting systems, are designed to be more energy efficient and require fewer repairs or replacements. Reviewing your facility maintenance costs can help you make an informed decision about what is worth repairing and what should be replaced.
How ABB improved facility maintenance management with software
As a leader in industrial digitization, Switzerland-based company ABB has developed some of the most critical technologies we use today. With seven corporate research centers, the organization needed to improve its internal operations for greater efficiency.
Prior to using iOFFICE, the company had no way to manage work orders, inventory, or occupancy. Because it had no visibility into occupancy levels, it was also difficult to ensure each site had enough equipment and supplies.
After considering several facility management solutions, the facilities manager of their five U.S. facilities chose iOFFICE.
With iOFFICE’s facility maintenance software, ABB streamlined its work order process. Employees can now submit service requests within minutes and have visibility into the status of each one.
iOFFICE’s integrated workplace management system (IWMS) also helped ABB plan preventive maintenance, track employee numbers in real-time, manage and track assets, and reconfigure office space easier.
This has saved significant time for the organization.
How to find the best facility maintenance software
The best facility maintenance management software gives you full visibility into your building operations and the ability to optimize them using data.
You can see critical asset details, track and schedule preventive maintenance, and manage cleaning efficiently and cost-effectively.
If you’re considering investing in facility management software in the coming year, look for these five essential features.
Companies that adopt cloud-based platforms often see immediate savings from eliminating maintenance and upgrade costs, which are rolled into subscription prices.
They also see a faster return on investment because these solutions don’t require a large upfront investment.
Streamlines asset management and maintenance services
Your software should allow you to track and manage every asset, from printers and copiers to essential building safety systems.
It should allow you to track the total cost of ownership and make work order management and maintenance scheduling much easier.
User-friendly and mobile
Your facilities management team members need to access work orders whether they’re on the road or at the site of a repair. Employees also need to submit a service request at a moment’s notice, wherever they happen to be working.
That’s why the best software solutions include facility management apps.
Employees can easily submit requests related to facilities or technology and see the status of each one. And the right people will immediately receive a notification, whether the request is for your FM team or your IT team. They can easily find the location of equipment that needs to be repaired, get detailed instructions for how to fix it, and mark it complete.
Offers robust reporting
Your facility management software should make it easy for you to create dashboards and reports customized for different roles within your organization. Your CEO wants to see a high-level overview of building and maintenance costs, but your corporate real estate director will need a more detailed analysis.
The best solutions give everyone enough detail to measure success on their own terms, without making the process overly complicated.
Integrates with sensors
To help your team stay efficient in an ever-changing environment, your facility management software needs access to real-time data. Sensors give you full visibility into how many people are in the workplace (so you can stay within capacity limits) and historical data so you can prioritize cleaning schedules.
Sensor data can also help your team plan ahead. For instance, if you need to perform a major building system repair, you can see that a Friday afternoon would be the best time based on past occupancy data.
You can also adjust your schedules based on the number of people who are typically in the office on certain days of the week.
iOFFICE’s facility maintenance software is fully cloud-based, mobile, and connects seamlessly to our integrated experience management system (iXMS). This allows you to manage critical requests related to safety and employee comfort while also gaining full visibility into other operational functions.
For instance, you can see where employees are sitting and which areas of your building are in use at any given time. You can manage visitors, assets, inventory, mail, and other services that keep your workplace running smoothly.
Having this insight helps you protect your workforce and the building systems that keep them safe.
Ready for a closer look? Schedule a demo to see how you can improve workplace safety in the coming year.