As we get settled into the new year, we thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at what lies ahead. We’ve been combing through research, blogs, and new technology that best show how the world of manufacturing facilities management is evolving, and we’ve put together a list of facilities management trends for you to watch for in 2020.

Many of these stem from revitalization efforts—the Industrial Revolution 4.0—and are expected to be some of the biggest facilities management trends that will impact today’s facilities management professionals, especially as they relate to the manufacturing industry. Read on for five exciting facilities management trends you’re likely to see in 2020.

Manufacturing will gravitate to mobile-first technologies for enhanced facilities management

This first trend heralds a shift from on-premises desktop software to mobile access anywhere. In the early days of the internet, there was a divide in doing the work and then recording it. Logging work orders meant paperwork, and paperwork typically meant having to return to the office and fill out a form on a stationary computer.

With the all-new mobile-first approach to facilities and maintenance management, the experience of work has become more integrated with digital record-keeping. As employees rely more on mobile devices—like smartphones and ipads—they’re better prepared to adopt the other technologies we’ll be looking at in this list.

Mobile devices help establish Internet of Things (IoT) integration and the spread of cloud-based platforms, ultimately providing employees with real-time data that enhance the ability to do better work. A technician working on a conveyor belt, for example, will be able to see the history of that asset, as well as what prompted the current work order—whether it was time, regular use, or a failed inspection. 

Mobile-first is the perfect way to bring workstations and workplaces together in a way that increases technician productivity.

Facilities management will shift to cloud-based solutions rather than on-premises

The foundation of current trends on facilities management on this list comes from breakthroughs in the affordability and capabilities of new cloud-based facilities management platforms like ManagerPlus Lightning. While the technological capabilities of asset management platforms have been available for years, they typically came with hefty price tags—often in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to implement. This meant that while these systems were technically available, they were far too expensive for all but the largest companies.

Luckily, better technological advancements and a fast-growing market have greatly increased the availability of cloud-based platforms by drastically lowering the price of enterprise-level capabilities. As 2020 ticks forward, watch for cloud-based platforms to bring new technology to smaller companies.

Cloud-based facilities management platforms bring a whole set of specific advantages over past technologies. Because they’re internet-based applications, issues with connectivity are never an option. Everything is designed to connect to everything else. These cloud-based platforms feature greater accessibility, require less hardware, and always stay up-to-date.

But perhaps the greatest benefit of cloud-based facilities management platforms is that they’re constantly being fine-tuned. New features are being added, but at a cost that is far more affordable than the traditional offerings. To learn more about the way cloud-based platforms have overtaken on-premise software and servers. The best of these cloud platforms combine experience with innovation.

IoT will create major efficiencies in manufacturing maintenance processes

While many people think of the Internet of Things as fridges with display panels and houses with special thermostats, the truth is that everything is becoming more connected, and those connections do much more than just let you surf the internet from the refrigerator.

IoT connects all of your physical facilities and assets to your maintenance management system. With IoT, each individual asset has its own identifier within your facility management software, which allows you to track assets and connect them to the parts they use, their current conditions, their maintenance history, and other useful information. 

By connecting all of your assets and facilities in such a way, companies gain advantages that are only possible when everything is synced. This includes the prevention of unnecessary maintenance, ordering inventory before it’s needed, scheduling maintenance automatically based on time or other factors. These connections enable hundreds of small optimizations that together are revolutionizing the asset and facilities management spaces.

Manufacturing will reap the benefits of proactive maintenance management solutions

In 2020, fixed assets and facilities will last longer and provide more value for their respective organizations through proactive maintenance efforts. Much like cloud-based systems, the era where only big corporations could do more than routine maintenance is long gone. Modern asset management platforms are working on various methods to help their customers anticipate maintenance needs before breakdowns occur. 

Proactive maintenance starts with the ability to schedule custom work for an asset or facilities. Routine maintenance will be a good starting point, but no longer has to be the end of preventive maintenance as companies find better ways to predict when maintenance will come due. Some of this is coming from better inspections that can automatically generate work orders based on the results of line items. Breakdowns can also be avoided with the development of a maintenance oriented culture where it is possible to easily report issues to maintenance. As sensors grow less expensive and integrations get more advanced, conditional monitoring and AI-neural networks will be integrated to help identify even the most obscure problems before they escalate.

A focus on Big Data will drive more strategic, intelligent facilities management decisions

The term Big Data can be misleading. Often interpreted to mean that lots of data is being collected, in the world of facilities management, it is only the beginning of the story. Big Data is about using all of the data to make better business decisions. This starts with data collection. The more advanced facilities management tools have only begun to realize the full value of organizing and storing all data that is recorded in their systems. 

After data has been collected, the next step is the organization and presentation of that information. While some of the more basic CMMS software will create lists of work orders and other basic reports, the more advanced solutions can provide fully customizable reports in visual formats or any other formats that will help users understand the significance of their data. This is crucial to gleaning insights.

Finally, Big Data involves how companies use the reports that are generated to make better-informed decisions in real-time instead of waiting to understand. Convenient, at-a-glance insights are transforming the way that businesses operate and paving the way for the new Industrial Revolution 4.0.

How manufacturing and facilities management professionals can set themselves up for success

The future of facilities management is one that creates a fully connected experience for all people and facilities involved. So, if you’re looking to bring your organization into the future, it’ll  be important to seek out opportunities to connect people with the equipment they use and the buildings or sites they work from every day. The first step is bringing the perfect facilities and asset management solution aboard. This will act as a jumping point for your future efforts.

Depending on your needs, it may be wise to look at your employee experience and work to make it more productive by using an IWMS like those iOFFICE offers. Full workplace integration has quickly become a game changer, and the differentiating factor between the organizations that thrive within quickly evolving markets and those that don’t.

If you have questions about what an asset management platform can do to enhance your facilities management process, we’d be happy to help. We’ll provide a free demonstration of ManagerPlus Lightning and show you what the future could look like—it’s closer than you might think.

About the author


ManagerPlus is the preferred solution across the most asset-intensive industries, including Fortune 500 companies, to improve reliability and minimize downtime.
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