When you're managing a facility, you know your space, your people, and your systems. Whether your facility is growing or you've decided that it's time to improve your facilities management systems, how do you begin to research a topic that you know nothing about? These tips will help guide you in your initial facilities management software research.
Develop Your Wish List
While you may not know much about facilities management software yet, you know what your facility needs. Start and shape your software search by creating a wish list for your facilities software. Why do you feel like you need facilities management software? What information will you be managing? What facilities do you manage, what are their needs, and how are they distributed? Who will use your system, and how will they use it? When you have a shape to your search, your research can be more focused.
Use Your Networks
Whether you're asking for restaurant recommendations or searching for new software, go to your in person networks first. Seek out knowledgeable facilities management staff in your networks and ask them what software products have worked for them. If you can, get the details about the features that they use and value the most and the features that they'd like to have but don't see in their current software.
Connect With Industry Resources
After you've gathered initial information about some of the software programs out there, turn to industry resources for help. There are a number of websites that can help you add to your list of prospective software choices. Take a look at Facilities Management Link's forum and product lists and the International Facilities Management Association's technology knowledge base. Industry resources such as Facilities Net and Management Help's area on facilities management also have articles on software products. As you visit them, watch for software rankings and lists that will show you lists of features and some of the basic pros and cons of each specific software choice. This will help you align your wish list with reality and see what FM software might best suit your needs.
Seek Out Online Resources
Google can be a wonderful tool, but it can also be a challenge. When you're researching facilities management software, it's helpful to have the names gleaned from reading reports and from speaking to those in your field. However, you can also use web searches to take an initial look at the facilities management software that's out there. Look for rankings and lists of FM software, or if you have very specific needs such as a need for software to track facility repair requirements, search for software products that conduct specific tasks on your wish list by searching for facility repair software or space management software.
When you're just beginning your search for FM software, it can be hard to know where to begin. There are so many resources to choose from, and opinions can contradict each other. You can start online or you can start by asking people you know. Go into your research with a clear understanding of your needs, and this will help you pinpoint the software that you need to use.