Due to the rapid advancement of technology and the ever-evolving needs of the organisation and its employees, the role of a facilities manager is undergoing significant change.
Ensuring the security and maintenance of a property is no walk in the park at the best of times. However, now faced with a post-pandemic business landscape and the shifting nature of work, facilities managers are evolving to meet the demands of the modern workplace and drive organisational change.
In recent times there has been a tendency for facilities managers to rely heavily on legacy processes, using pen and paper methods to capture data or, at best, excel spreadsheets.
According to research, 43.9% of facility managers and building owners still use Microsoft Excel to keep track of their assets and facilities. These outdated, time consuming ways of working simply no longer cut it.
Facilities management is becoming increasingly integrated with the wider business and its processes, feeding in vital information from a range of software solutions to support decision makers in other departments.
But with so many software choices out there for facilities managers, choosing the best tools to take advantage of can be a daunting prospect, especially for those resistant to change.
Why is technology important for facilities management?
Facilities management is a time consuming role that requires a wide range of skills. Among other things, facilities managers oversee contracts and external service providers, supervise teams across the organisation, advise on energy efficiency and oversee the allocation of space.
At one point in time, facilities managers had little say in the decision making process, but now they are crucial to every decision made about the operation and maintenance of corporate real estate, with their work often informing the design, planning and implementation of space.
Despite an evolving role, technology adoption still lags behind. 77% of facilities managers feel that the industry as a whole is behind on smart technology, using obsolete tools to complete even more tasks than before. So, here are six of the best tools to help facilities managers work smarter and more efficiently.
The best facilities management software
Best for digitising work orders
Although traditional maintenance and operations software is made for desktop computers, the majority of a facilities manager’s work is conducted in the field, on the go. Being tied to a desk is no longer viable, so having a mobile-first maintenance and operations software will help facilities managers stay productive wherever they are.
This is what MaintainX does exceptionally well. Aside from being one of the most recognised facilities management software brands in the United States, serving 4,000 organisations handling over 1.5 million assets, MaintainX has a footprint in South America and Asia, too.
MaintainX encourages facilities managers to ditch the expensive, obsolete software and opt for a streamlined, modern multi-platform app to carry out their daily tasks and become more efficient.
Best for connecting teams
As we’ve mentioned, facilities management is becoming more intertwined with the wider business than ever before. Decision makers lean on the expertise and insight of facilities managers to make important choices about the usage and provision of space. But to do this effectively, departments need to communicate.
For organisations with a vast portfolio of buildings and facilities, this has historically been tricky. Sure, mobile phone calls and texts can help connect, but it is hard to audit as it doesn’t leave a record that everyone can access. This is what Infraspeak does best, enabling cross-departmental communication between teams, facilities, software and hardware, transforming data into action.
What’s more, Infraspeak integrates with a range of other tools and apps, so that facilities managers can easily share insight and information across different systems.
Best for space management
More and more organisations are beginning to adopt hybrid working, so it’s important to be agile and efficient. The nature of the workplace has changed, so how we use those spaces is much more different than it was even a few years ago.
Witco helps businesses understand how employees use workspaces, giving insight into occupancy so they can improve space usage and corporate social responsibility performance.
Whether the organisation needs solutions for flexible working arrangements or tools to help them streamline processes, like desk booking and so on, Witco analyses the space and provides feedback.
4. eMaint CMMS
Best for maintenance management
One of the West’s best-known CMMS tools, eMaint states that 42% of unplanned downtime is caused by aging equipment, which costs manufacturers approximately $50 billion each year. As such, eMaint is a champion for preventative maintenance, building its system around the streamlining of maintenance management and automation.
Using a CMMS like eMaint can increase the reliability of assets, which extends equipment life saving the business unnecessary costs. In addition, they help facilities managers schedule work orders, track their inventory, acquire labour and resources and monitor the condition of their assets.
To make things even more intune with the rest of the organisation, the eMaint API helps facilities managers integrate different business processes and solutions, such as SAP, Sage, Power BI, and a range of industrial suppliers.
Best for digital checklists
Sometimes facilities managers are looking for simple tools to do simple jobs a little smarter. That’s the allure of Jolt, a facilities management platform that digitises checklists and maintenance reports. They strive to make accountability and compliance easy for any facilities manager, no matter the size of the task at hand.
While checklists are a primary function of the Jolt platform, users also benefit from employee scheduling tools, remote monitoring alerts and training documentation storage, making it a well rounded solution to manage smaller teams. The Jolt platform is customisable for a range of industries, most notably hospitality, but it can also be applied to manufacturing, real estate, food services and more.
Best for comprehensive building intelligence
It’s becoming more and more common for facilities managers to take an active role in environmental and sustainability initiatives these days. The performance of a space, building or portfolio is crucial for ensuring financial stability, especially with sky high energy costs and fast-approaching, mandatory ESG reporting in some regions.
Beringar is used by facilities managers throughout the UK to measure and improve indoor air quality, CO2, light levels, occupancy and much more, making it one of the most well-rounded solutions of its type. It’s a modern, integrated smart building solution that can improve desk utilisation, optimise space allocation and reduce carbon emissions in the drive to net zero.
The system is made up of two parts – sensors and a dashboard. The sensors capture environmental and occupancy data which is then fed into an easy-to-use dashboard, which can be shared company-wide so that everyone has access to insights. Businesses using Beringar’s hardware and software have been able to free up wasted space, reduce their energy consumption and improve their indoor air quality, leading to huge productivity gains and drastically reducing operating costs.
If you want to learn more about how Beringar helps facilities managers optimise their buildings, book a demo.