Posted on 04/02/2015

By Lora Mays, Product Marketing Manager

Imagine you’re at work when Jane, who works in your company’s Human Resources department, notices a burnt-out light bulb in her office. Her dimmed environment makes it hard to see, and her productivity takes a nosedive. Thanks to technology, she logs onto her computer and notifies the facilities department of the issue within 15 seconds.

A technician currently working in Jane’s building receives the alert on his mobile phone, so he can quickly grab a light bulb and head down the hall to her office. Within 15 minutes of submitting the request, the technician installs the new light bulb and Jane resumes work without missing a step.

This is what life looks like today with computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and integrated workplace management systems (IWMS). They have streamlined the tactical activities of the facilities management department through automation, providing real-time feedback for issues. They also give departments an opportunity to analyze data and focus on becoming even better at serving their internal customers.

In addition, automated solutions centralize an organization’s data. Before technology, work order requests were submitted in a number of methods – phone, paper copies and even in person. Tracking this data was difficult, if not impossible, unless you had a full-time person dedicated to maintaining this information.

Through centralized data, you can easily standardize procedures and ensure everyone has the latest information – minimizing errors and inefficiencies within the team.

Because facilities departments no longer have to focus on manual processes, which took hours to complete, they now have the opportunity to take a more strategic role within the organization.

For instance, accurately tracking preventive maintenance activities helps indicate the condition of an asset. Replace versus repair decisions can be backed by data – not just because a machine doesn’t appear to be working properly or makes a strange noise. In this instance alone, an organization can save thousands of dollars each year.

On top of that, the facilities team can broaden their focus to include strategic initiatives like capital planning. Instead of viewing what they can do with today’s budget, they have an opportunity to evaluate the facility in terms of its future needs. When you understand key gaps and issues within the condition of the building and assets, you can prioritize and spend your budget wisely. After all, you don’t want to be spending several million dollars renovating your kitchen when your roof is about to collapse.

Technology has changed a number of industries, but none quite like facilities management. By transforming the day-to-day operations of the team, it elevated the role of the department within the organization. At last, the facilities team has earned a strategic role within the organization and can impact the business from its core.

Learn 7 ways that your facilities management team can become more strategic within your organization in our free whitepaper, 7 Ways to Make FM a Strategic Contributor.