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How to Make An Airtight Business Case For An IWMS

by James McDonald on March 12, 2019
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Investing in new workplace technology like an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) can be a tough sell to the C-suite.

It’s often easier to justify replacing a leaking roof or retrofitting an old building with new, energy-efficient lighting.

The average annual costs of an IWMS can be upwards of $50,000, depending on the size and complexity of your organization’s needs, according to the latest Verdantix report, The Business Case for Integrated Workplace Management Systems, from December 2018.

Workplace leaders need to demonstrate a return on this investment and show urgency as they present their business case.

Here are five good arguments that can help leaders justify the investment in an IWMS.

Making The Business Case For An IWMS: 5 Key Arguments

1. Show how much you’ll save by eliminating multiple legacy systems.

Companies often use multiple systems to manage real estate leases, facility maintenance, room reservation and other key functions. These disparate systems can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to maintain and upgrade.

And considering the average company wastes $247 per user, per year on unused or rarely used software, the costs of wasted technology is a bigger problem than most business leaders realize.

Calculate the cost of all systems your organization is currently using against the cost of moving to a single, robust IWMS.

(For instance, with an IWMS like iOFFICE's, you can manage space, room reservations, assets, service requests and much more on a single software system.) 

2. Demonstrate how much time automating manual processes will save.

In the absence of an IWMS, department managers often spend many hours consolidating data from multiple sources, updating Excel spreadsheets and preparing extensive planning documents to make a change like consolidating multiple floors into one to improve space utilization. Talk with key individuals to understand the manual processes they are following and how much time they could save if they could eliminate them.

For instance, using facility management software to manage service requests and schedule preventative maintenance could save each member of your FM team several hours each week. Let’s say each of your five team members saves two hours a week. Over the course of a year, that’s 520 hours of increased productivity, equal to 21 extra days!

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3. Consider how centralizing real estate processes could re-allocate employees.

Having individual facility management systems for each location across an organization also typically requires having more administrators to manage them.

Moving to a centralized platform for facility management can allow your organization to re-allocate those employees to add greater value.

According to the Verdantix report, one global technology firm discovered that moving from 60 individual facility management systems to a single IWMS for lease, space and maintenance eliminated 100 largely redundant positions.

4. Consider how self-service technology will save administrative hours.

Relying on administrators to book rooms, submit maintenance requests and handle other tedious tasks is time-consuming. If you have the technology that allows employees to do this themselves (in the form of an employee experience app), you can achieve additional savings.

How much could you save?

Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, has done the math for you. According to her research, published in the January/February issue of Facility Management Journal, adding 18 minutes of productivity to a single employee's day adds $3,195 back to the bottom line each year. That's based on calculating the average value of one minute's time at $.71 (assuming an annual salary of $80,000) and multiplying by 250 working days. Multiply that by 1,000 employees, and it adds up to $3.2 million per year!

5. Demonstrate how technology can reduce operating costs.

Real estate is the second largest expense for most organizations after the cost of employees. Yet most organizations typically have 40 to 60 percent of their workstations vacant at any given time. Take the time to calculate your organization’s average space utilization and be sure to factor this into your estimated savings.

For instance, SPX FLOW is a global manufacturing leader with more than 8,000 employees. Its international corporate headquarters in North Carolina is located in a 264,000 square-foot building with nine floors, a fitness center and food service operations. Prior to implementing iOFFICE’s IWMS software, the company had no way to manage service requests, plan moves or manage other important aspects of building operations.

Since implementing iOFFICE, the company has saved thousands of dollars through better asset management, reduced office move time by 93 percent and improved service request turnaround times, resulting in a 93 percent employee satisfaction rate for those requests.

How much could you save with an IWMS? Enter the number of employees you have, your lease costs and maintenance costs into the iOFFICE Savings Calculator to get an estimate now!

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