To be successful in today’s competitive landscape, facilities management (FM) leaders must adapt their business models, according to the2019 CBRE Global Workplace Solutions trend report. Most of the trends cited represent an opportunity to improve facility operations with technology. In other words, now is the right time to implement a more robust facilities management software.
When multi-site facilities managers and manufacturers make changes or upgrades to their operations, implementing an enterprise FM software application can help support and enhance new growth objectives. Those big-picture strategies might include security protections, operational modifications, cost-saving measures, and more.
Here's how to recognize when you've outgrown your current system and might be ready to level up your asset and facility management software.
1. When you’re frequently running into limitations of your current processes
Many organizations are realizing how much legacy systems, such as basic computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) or multiple sources of truth for asset data, are holding them back from advancing performance and profitability. This can leave too much room for human errors caused by manual data entry, lack of access to collected data, and an inefficient balance of preventive and reactive asset maintenance.
When moving from a paper-based facilities management strategy to a digital interface, most organizations adopt a CMMS, which can be a great first step. However, large or fast-growing businesses may find the need to move beyond simply managing service requests, work orders, repair history, and scheduling. If you're kept up at night worrying about regulatory compliance, are looking for a smoother way to work with procurement and supply chain teams, or need more details on total cost of ownership and asset capitalization, it may be a sign that you need to move beyond limited CMMS functionality. The gains in efficiency and productivity when adopting an enterprise FM platform are well worth the investment.
2. When you’re ready for integration
Integrating complementary software solutions is a popular trend in our connected world. For example, many organizations are linking their facilities management systems with sensor data, finance and budgeting tools, or GPS devices. They gain a number of benefits, including greater efficiencies in asset maintenance and management.
When you’re ready for an integrated tech stack, that’s a great opportunity to deploy or upgrade your FM software. An advanced system with full integration can improve both operational and strategic facilities management as well as associated metrics, such as energy consumption, risk assessments, and budget forecasting.
And a streamlined tech stack saves time and money. That’s a smart investment.
3. When you’re optimizing preventive maintenance
Even the smallest breakdown in an asset can bring your operation to a screeching halt. At best, it throws off efficiency and productivity for an hour or two. At worst, a breakdown can significantly compromise the organization’s profitability.
With the right facilities management software application, organizations can monitor asset performance in real time and avoid costly failures by organizing and scheduling preventive maintenance methodically. That way, nothing falls through the cracks.
There's more to automation than just sending reminders for certain tasks. Automation capabilities can alert managers to new work orders, missing parts or materials, incomplete maintenance tasks or upcoming inspections.
With a complete facilities management platform, you can set automatic notifications for critical maintenance tasks as well as supply chain needs and KPI tracking. In fact, wide-scale process automation is one of the main reasons why firms make the switch from simple maintenance to enterprise FM systems.
4. When you need asset protection
Security and privacy are bigger issues for today’s organizations than ever before. Security threats to manufacturing and energy suppliers in particular are complex, persistent and often evolve in response to regulatory concerns.
Obvious threats might include asset destruction or theft. But positive business transformations can sometimes also result in risks that may be overlooked. For example, companies that are growing or creating new partnerships could potentially be giving too many people extended access to their valuable assets.
When you’re considering strengthening your building and asset protections, that can be the perfect time to implement an advanced facilities management system. Today, facilities management plays an important role in ensuring the highest levels of protection for everything from machines and equipment to products and infrastructure.
For example, analyzing workflow patterns and asset locations in real time will help verify that assets are always secure. Using FM software to record asset utilization can also alert leaders to unexpected use that may require investigation.
5. When you’re modifying operations to gain efficiency
Operational efficiency and productivity are essential requirements for today’s world-class organizations. To maintain the highest levels of performance on both fronts, managers may tweak or reconfigure daily operations on the floor. Practical workflow modifications can result in new opportunities for cutting waste out of the system, which leads to cost savings.
When you’re developing plans to streamline operations, including modifying workflows, that’s a great time to deploy a performance-driven FM software platform. The right solution will support your operational improvements by optimizing automation of repetitive tasks, accelerating cumbersome processes, sending helpful alerts, and tracking and reporting on performance.
When your FM software delivers the data you need, that data can inform your strategy for efficiency and track the milestones along the way. If you’re shopping around, look for a platform that will allow you to customize your data reports so you can evaluate the metrics that are most important to your organization’s productivity.
6. When you need data-driven decision support
Manufacturing plants, busy warehouses and other facilities are shifting toward data-driven decision making. Whenever you’re making a decision—whether it’s to set production ratios for different products based on forecasted demand, or to reorganize your distribution center to optimize resource flow—that decision should be based on quantified information.
Companies looking to enhance business operations by leveraging data will likely decide to implement an FM software solution. Modern facilities management systems not only support operations, but also contribute to maximizing uptime, reducing costs and right-sizing your inventory.
Additionally, with an FM solution, organizations can gain a quick snapshot of the total value of their parts and materials in available inventory. Combined with the maintenance forecast, the inventory data can inform future purchasing decisions. Too much inventory is costly. Too little causes delays in scheduled maintenance. An FM platform will help you balance the right amount of inventory to keep equipment running at peak efficiency.
7. When you’re developing cost-saving initiatives
Asset and facilities managers are continually looking for new ways to improve operations and save on costs. It’s a performance metric that’s always top of mind so your organization can be more competitive and more profitable.
Rather than making large cuts across the enterprise, you can achieve additional output through several smaller cost-cutting efforts that add up to measurable savings. For example, you might design a maintenance strategy that allows you to get an extra year out of an asset, thus avoiding the cost of a replacement. Do that for several assets, and it adds up to real savings.
It would be difficult to track a cost-saving initiative without leveraging the capabilities of an FM software solution. An advanced application can help gather the data every step of the way, allowing you to track and compare savings over time.
For example, knowing labor is always your biggest cost center, you might aim to streamline tasks and reduce wasted technician time. With an FM platform, as maintenance teams complete work orders, they can log the data into the system directly. FM maintenance software also makes it easy to assign tasks to technicians with automatic digital alerts.
And with mobile capabilities, your FM platform can enable reporting from the field as well as data retrieval anywhere, anytime, allowing your teams to get more tasks done each day.
Whether it’s improving productivity, cutting costs or some other mission unique to your business, never underestimate the power of technology as a critical building block.
ManagerPlus Lightning is the modern facilities management solution that helps firms of all sizes enable their uptime strategies. See it in action in this short Lightning demonstration video.