Posted on 04/02/2015

How Technology Transformed Facilities Management

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 declines.

But with the use of technology, Jane logs into 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 her work.

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) have streamlined the tactical activities of the facilities management department through automation, providing:

  • real-time feedback for issues
  • an opportunity to analyze data
  • a focus on becoming even better at serving 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 staff 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 take hours to complete) they now have the opportunity to take a more strategic role within the organization.

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

On top of that, the facilities team can broaden their focus to include strategic initiatives, such as 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, technology has 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 how your facilities management team can become more strategic within your organization. Get the free white paper, 7 Ways to Make FM a Strategic Contributor.