8 Must-Have Features for Your Facilities Management Software
By Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Research
Enterprise apps for effective facility management have been gaining popularity these days. Digital apps have substantially complemented the work which facilities management teams provide and there is an increasing influence of technology in the facilities management domain. This software can help in the easy management of the facility by accounting for the resources, managing maintenance, and suggesting opportunities for suitable improvements as well as streamlining day-to-day operations of the business.
Despite all the benefits a facility management solution provides, companies are still wary about adopting software applications for facility management. A recent study suggests that 55% use spreadsheets and schedules, and 44% are still reliant on paper to monitor maintenance. On the other hand 78% of companies who used a solution to manage their assets have reported seeing significant improvements.
The facilities management team mainly consists of professionals who are engaged in managing day-to-day operations, maintenance and repair of the utilities associated with the company. By having an effective facilities management software, facility managers can conduct assessments and track as well as manage the property and utilities of the company. With a facility management software, companies can boost their efficiency and business productivity, while enabling efficient management of business assets. This proves to be cost-effective in the long run and also provides a superior customer experience by improving the response time.
With so many facility management software out there and with everyone promising you significant improvements and a high rate of return, how can one evaluate which facility management solution would suit him the most?
In this blogpost, we have listed down some of the key features which your facilities management solution must have.
1. Ability to Generate, Assess, and Prioritize Work Request
Facility managers are loaded with so many tasks that it becomes very tedious for them to organize each and every task according to their nature, priority, and relevance. Facility management software allows generating work request with complete details and notifying other personnel on what type of service is in need. It helps in the proper delegation of the task. An associated feature is the ability to put ‘priority’ on important work requests. This way it helps the recipients such as contractors, sub-contractors, and suppliers to prioritize and complete the high-importance task first.
2. Integrated systems (with core and third party applications)
Being a single and fully integrated system, it helps in reducing time and effort applied for getting a job done. With the proper categorization of tasks, it saves the facility managers from wandering and keeping away the redundancy.
The integrated system comes with a single support network where you have one point of support for all facility management software needs: a single point of contact for all software issues, relationship with your support team, multiple problems can be solved with one phone call. It also helps in maintaining internal and external consistency at all levels by allowing the easier establishment of best practices, and smooth and efficient workflow.
3. Real-time tracking work orders and data history
The main goal of tracking work orders is to keep a check on the trends of work orders as a future reference. It gives options to track work orders on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly basis. This helps the facility managers in evaluating the areas that need greater focus and attention. It also allows tracking the equipment’s data like their history of issues, errors, and problems to prevent experiencing redundant issues. This way it minimizes the repair cost of equipment that is getting the same issues or defects.
The facility manager is also responsible for maintaining the building at its best and complies with all safety standards. The facility manager needs to take care of all legal processes of the building and those important schedules will not be missed through the help of facility management software.
4. Asset and consumable inventories management
Along with managing maintenance schedules and work order requests, the facility management team also needs to keep track of inventories of chemicals, equipment, and other products. Facility managers have a huge pile of work to complete on a daily basis. Meanwhile, they forget about identifying the tiny-but-important consumable inventories (fittings, light bulbs etc.) that require scheduled orders. Entering them manually into the system is often time consuming and prone to errors. Additionally, the absence of the stock of these essential items can annoy your tenants.
Facility management software helps keep a check on the stocks of all the consumable as well as non-consumable items by setting a stock updating alarm-like system in place. This keeps the facility from being short on any essential reserve. It would be ideal if your facility management solutions that offer barcodes, identification numbers and scannable QR codes related to different pieces of equipment. This type of digital tracking can assist with regular maintenance as well as provide protection against possible thefts.
5. Simplified User Interface
Over time, facility management software have fallen behind the times is through the look and feel of their interface. Some of the popular options on the market haven't updated their user experience for a number of years, significantly affecting their customer experience. While menus, dropdowns and the way you point and click may not seem important, a clean, simple and modern user interface not only shows that your software is up-to-date — it reduces clutter in your team's view, speeds up training time and quickens the pace for faster team adoption.
6. Fully customizable fields
If your current facilities management software cannot be customized to your unique requirements, you are probably missing out on valuable ways to get the maximum value for the amount spend. With the facility management software which gives you the flexibility to design solution based on your unique needs, you can create your own workflows, input fields and even permission settings.
Couple this flexibility with a with a clean and a simplified user interface, and you'll have as close to a custom-tailored solution as possible to get your entire department onboarded in no time.
7. Unlimited Users
Enterprise facility management software application have shifted in the recent years. Most applications today are subscription-based and mobile friendly. However, not many of the facility management solution offer the option of flexible user management. Effective facility management evolves a critical element of seamless communication with team members about aspects in the facility. Additionally, this element of communication also extends to vendors and suppliers who keep the stock at the requisite optimum levels. It would be ideal if your facilities management solution would provide customer (vendor or supplier) access which would ensure that there is a seamless communication in the ecosystem.
8. Preventive maintenance and Integration with emerging technologies
Predictive and preventive maintenance are starting to become the norm in facilities management solutions. A study suggests that 80% of facilities managers and crew prefer preventive maintenance to reactive maintenance. A large part in preventive maintenance should be attributed to the adoption of IoT technologies and sensors, which are having such an impact on the facilities management solution. IoT allows to track, collate and communicate vital data related to the status and performance of the buildings, allowing for preventive maintenance.
However, while IoT seems to be the dominant emerging technology, your facility management solution should allow for seamless and easy integration with other technology applications, be it big data or analytics or anything which could come up in the horizon in the near future.
Steer – One stop solution to all your facility management needs
Facilities Management can be complex and effort-intensive. With a well-crafted Facilities Management Solution with the right features, the effort can be reduced and the efficiency can be improved. Not only should your facilities management solution help you with your needs on an immediate and a short-term basis, but it should also help you with any of the digital advancements which might crop up in the near future.
Steer’s facilities management solution allows for 40% improvement in technician productivity and the streamlining in work order processing allows for a 20% increase in service response time. Using the Steer facilities management solution improves the customer experience significantly as it results in 20% increase in the first time fix rate and an impressive 95% rate for SLA compliance.
 Plant Engineering Maintenance Study : https://www.plantengineering.com/articles/plant-engineering-2018-maintenance-study/