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  • WHAT IS IWMS?

    An integrated workplace management system (IWMS) is a software platform that helps facilities managers, corporate real estate professionals and other leaders conduct essential functions needed to keep their buildings operating and their workforce engaged.

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    The 5 Pillars of IWMS Software

    Gartner first coined the term “integrated workplace management system” to describe a platform that would seamlessly combine many disparate software systems into one.

    IWMS software combines essential data into a single system, empowering leaders to make more informed decisions about their workplace and real estate portfolio. 

    Historically, IWMS software has consisted of five core pillars: 

    • Space and facilities management
    • Real estate management and lease accounting
    • Maintenance management
    • Capital project management
    • Sustainability and energy management

     

    iwms-pillars

    HERE'S A CLOSER LOOK AT EACH ONE.
    1. Space and Facilities Management

    The ability to visualize and manage space is essential for creating engaging, productive and cost-effective workplaces. For this reason, space management software is the foundation for all facilities management. Space management software brings floor plans into a single, interactive display for more efficient space planning. The best space management software captures data from multiple sources, including the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, to provide real-time data on occupancy. Workplace leaders can use it to improve space utilization, reduce real estate costs, easily plan moves, help employees navigate the workplace, manage room reservations and more.

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    2. Maintenance Management Software

    To ensure the well-being and comfort of building occupants while maximizing the useful life of assets, facility managers need maintenance management software. This is an essential component of IWMS software because it allows FMs and workplace leaders to manage service requests, prioritize preventive maintenance and keep track of costs. 

    Often referred to as computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), these systems maintain a database of all assets and maintenance activities. The best maintenance management systems have a mobile app that allows any occupant or employee to submit a service request. 

    3. Sustainability And Energy Management Software

    More than 80% of mainstream investors consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) information when making investment decisions, according to a recent study from Oxford University.

    Facilities leaders recognize they need to be better stewards of the environment by reducing energy consumption and using alternative energy sources whenever possible. Many also have written commitments to reduce carbon emissions and reach specific targets. If space management software is the heart of the IWMS, energy management software is the central nervous system.

    An energy management platform allows enterprise leaders to see a holistic view of energy consumption for each building and proactively make adjustments that reduce the carbon footprint while also minimizing costs. The best energy management systems rely on IoT sensors and automatically adjust lighting, temperature and other systems based on occupancy. Leaders can monitor real-time energy usage and view historical trends so they can make strategic decisions about energy procurement and consumption. For instance, they can take advantage of utility programs that allow them to voluntarily reduce their energy usage during peak times. They can also calculate the impact of implementing more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems over time. This helps them achieve their sustainability goals. 

    4. Capital Project Management Software (CPMS)

    The ability to plan for future real estate needs is crucial, which makes capital project management software (CPMS) an essential component of IWMS software. Capital project management software helps building owners, operators and construction managers keep track of all the documentation involved in construction projects, including blueprints, bids, costs and schedules. 

    Having all this information easily accessible and searchable within a digital platform improves transparency among many stakeholders and increases efficiency. 

    5. Real Estate Management and Lease Accounting

    Successful real estate management requires a comprehensive overview of every building, along with its square footage, occupancy, and costs. To comply with new IASB and FASB lease accounting standards, corporate real estate managers also need to maintain detailed records of all property and assets. That includes the lease terms, start and end date, owner and lessee. IWMS software allows real estate managers to store all relevant information in a single digital platform so they can visualize every space and asset in their portfolio and provide lease accounting information upon request. 

    Within an IWMS, different departments can monitor and modify business processes — whether it’s space management, asset management or move management. Housing all of this information in one space creates a foundation for effective communication while reducing costs and improving efficiency. 

    iwms_move shelf
    What’s Driving the Need for IWMS Software

    As workplaces evolve, it’s important that the right technology is in place to offer support. In line with emerging workplace trends, many organizations are looking to IWMS software as a tool to add to their box. Here’s a look at some of the biggest trends driving adoption of IWMS software.

    Shift to More Flexible Workplace Strategies

    In today’s workforce, 82% of millenials look at flexibility as one of the top factors in evaluating employers. To accommodate this, many organizations have made the move to more flexible workplace strategies — an infrastructure that IWMS software helps support.

    Need for Data-Driven Decisions

    Data is an important piece of the decision-making puzzle. With IWMS software, businesses can gather and merge real-time data into a single system, making it easy for managers to find accurate information quickly.

    Desire for Greater Collaboration & Transparency

    As businesses realize the benefits of breaking down walls in the workplace, collaboration and transparency are emerging as points of focus. IWMS software delivers tools and features that improve communication across different departments and let them effectively work together to ensure long-term success.

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    The Financial Benefits of An IWMS 

    An IWMS helps enterprises save significant time and money. The ability to estimate projected savings is crucial as leaders look to justify their investment. Verdantix outlines nine categories where organizations can expect to achieve the greatest savings from an IWMS: 

    1. Real estate and lease management savings - An IWMS reduces the time spent entering and obtaining lease information from IT systems and compiling reports for compliance. One Gartner analysis notes professional lease administration can lead to 5%-8% in savings.
    2. Space management savings - An IWMS greatly reduces time spent surveying spaces and reporting on space utilization. 
    3. Reduced time on meeting room scheduling - The best IWMS software on the market today has the ability to manage workplace services, as well as building operations, making meeting room booking and other essential functions more efficient. 
    4. Reduced time on maintenance management - An IWMS makes building maintenance more efficient, reducing time spent inputting and reporting on data, taking inventory of assets and performing reactive maintenance. 
    5. Energy management savings - An IWMS reduces time spent analyzing utility bills and reporting on energy usage.
    6. IT savings - An IWMS consolidates multiple legacy systems into one, which eliminates licensing fees, IT hardware and the considerable costs of maintaining and upgrading outdated systems. In a 2018 Verdantix Report, The Business Case for Integrated Workplace Management Systems, vendor data showed the cost of IWMS software can range from $50,000 to $800,000 annually. By contrast, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions are significantly less expensive to implement, manage and maintain
    7. Occupancy cost savings - An IWMS reveals the greatest sources of wasted space in a real estate portfolio or workplace, which allows leaders to consolidate spaces and achieve significant savings. Gartner notes businesses can reduce costs by 10%-15% with effective space management. 
    8. Energy cost savings - An IWMS enables more efficient space utilization and energy management, which results in considerable cost savings. 
    9. Savings through facility management outsourcing - An IWMS helps leaders negotiate better terms for facilities management and maintenance contracts based on facility data. 

    Rather than work harder, IWMS software enables businesses to work smarter. Automated processes help streamline operations, while accessible information saves the hassle of digging for data. Cutting down on these tedious tasks enables companies to be productive and build effective strategies for the future.

    The Future of IWMS Software

    While the core functions of the IWMS remain critical, today’s leaders expect more. They need a cloud-based software platform that is built with the workplace experience at the center. It needs to have an exceptional user interface, allowing employees to access a variety of workplace services from a mobile app, kiosk or desktop. In the latest Verdantix research, 80% of executives considering IWMS software said the quality of the user interface was the most important factor influencing their decision. 

    The IWMS of the future should serve as a digital workplace concierge, allowing employees to find people, reserve rooms, request service and receive mail or visitors. 

    It should also have the ability to integrate seamlessly with IoT sensors and other emerging workplace technologies—including applications that may not even exist yet. And it should have powerful reporting capabilities. 

    iOFFICE has introduced the next generation of IWMS — a flexible, scalable platform with infinite potential. 

    It’s built to fit the needs of the modern digital workplace and expand as your organization grows. We’re calling it the integrated experience management system (iXMS) because it’s built with the workplace experience at its core. It’s 100% cloud-based and designed to integrate with virtually any other technology, allowing workplace leaders to continually innovate while maintaining a single, simple platform. 

    To learn more about how it prepares your workplace for the continual next, request a free consultation today. 

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