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    Your FM Software Must Interface with Existing Processes and Systems

    Elizabeth Dukes

    The modern business world is complex, ever-evolving and always competitive. Successful businesses understand this dynamic and work to find new and effective ways to stay relevant and innovative. The emergence of the Internet added an entirely new dimension to an already cut-throat environment, with avenues like Social Media and mobile tools offering access to data and opinions in real-time. What business wants to find out about a poor process through complaints on the Internet? By that time, a breakdown has already occurred and it is difficult to mend fences, once the stampede is underway.

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    In addition to ensuring the day-to-day operations of the company run smoothly, it is the Facilities Manager’s job to ensure their customers, the employees, have all the tools they need to serve the public. This means identifying issues and their solutions before they affect the company’s bottom line. This does not necessarily require a complete overhaul of all processes, but rather identifying what works, what doesn’t, and the most seamless way to make adjustments. For many, this means adding an IWMS to the company’s repertoire that enhances and interacts with already existing processes, empowering their workforce to produce, both individually and collaboratively. One that shares data across multiple platforms, ensuring the integrity of utilized data, bringing every department up to speed and keeping them on the same page.

    Human Resources

    Since the Facilities Manager’s role is to anticipate their customers’ needs, their relationship with the Human Resources department is perhaps one of the most critical. Your HR department likely has a management HR is vital to the FM's worldsystem (HRIS) that is fully functional for their daily needs. But, how can the data they collect be shared and used across other departments? By investing in the right Integrated Workplace Management System, you ensure information is shared without the redundancy of data entry, as well as automating processes triggered by the parameters you set.

    IT Help Desk Systems

    Like Human Resources, the IT Department likely has a Help Desk system that fulfills their current needs. With so much on their plate already, the typical IT employee does not have time to learn new systems, when what they already have in place is fulfilling their current needs. But how do you ensure a communication pathway between IT and the rest of your workforce? By integrating a FM software with IT’s existing system, you as the FM gain better control and efficiency, ensuring access to the most relevant data, regardless of the time of day or location.

    AutoCAD

    Space represents a large portion of company costs in today’s business world. As organizations gain access to true data, many are realizing the amount of space wasted, as well as understanding the impact that this factor has on the bottom line. While AutoCAD is the best method of measuring and recording floor plan calculations, the information stops there. For a business to fully understand their space, how it is being used, and by whom, many are realizing the added value of interfacing their AutoCAD with an Integrated Workplace Management solution. Such integration increases visibility, offering Executives and Facilities teams a new level of information.

    Space Reservation

    There is nothing more embarrassing than scheduling a meeting with a very important client, only to find the space has been double-booked, frantically running around trying to find a quiet space to conduct the meeting. Download Wide Open Workspace Many organizations are utilizing tools such as Microsoft Exchange to manage their emails and calendars. While such a system is simple and gets part of the job done, there is more to scheduling a meeting than simply coordinating with the involved parties and adding it to your calendar. What about the meeting space itself? Many Facilities teams have found the answer through integration of Exchange with FM solutions such as iOffice’s Room Reservation software, which allows for a seamless and complete process through Exchange, a mobile application, or the FM software already in place. In addition to saving employees from the embarrassment of a double-booked workspace, management gains access to space utilization data, which can aid them in future spatial planning.

    Facility and Asset Management  

    Historically, management utilized antiquated systems, such as spreadsheets, Word documents, and emails to track the location and maintenance history of company assets. It was less about ongoing maintenance and more about simply fixing or replacing equipment, when an issue arose. As companies become more fiscally and environmentally responsible, many are learning the value of ongoing asset maintenance. Whether your company has an on-site maintenance staff or subcontracts the work to outside technicians, a system must be in place to keep everyone on the same page and in constant contact. Integrating Facility Maintenance and Asset Management solutions only stands to enhance already existing processes, while improving energy efficiency and reducing operational costs.

    When considering how to effectively streamline your employee's/company's business practices and systems, it is necessary to examine what tools are in place and what can be integrated. In most cases, a complete overhaul is not necessary, as many existing systems can be expanded or enhanced with newer modules, that automate processes or more effectively monitor current work conditions and practices, which ultimately affects productivity and the bottom line. It is also advisable that all departments be connected and communication be fluid in all directions. Make the move to maximize your company's potential.

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    Elizabeth Dukes

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    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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