Facility managers can use facility management software to track, plan and manage the operations of their facilities. The systems allow the managers to be more efficient in carrying out various administrative functions such as ensuring the building is properly inspected, maintained and repaired.
Depending on where they are used, facility management systems can provide important information about the properties being managed. For example, you can get information regarding:
- Specific tenants in your properties
- Staff in charge of maintaining the property
- Furniture available in your properties (beds, TVs, phones, etc.)
- Equipment connections (communications, air conditioning, electrical, etc.)
Modern FMS use information technology (IT) based systems in the built environment to help managers ensure their organizations’ facilities are fully utilized at the lowest possible cost. Moreover, the systems support operational and strategic plant management.
Advanced FMS systems have intuitive user interfaces and are powered by multiple technologies including, Building Information Models (BIM), CAD systems, object-oriented database systems, among others. Most of the software programs have inbuilt capabilities such as analysis and scheduling. The software applications can be programmed to collect data from a variety of sources.
For example, data can be input manually by managers or automatically relayed through an intranet. The data gathered can be analyzed, retrieved or stored from a single data store to provide real-time information on the performance and state of a facility at any time.
Features of Facility Management Software
Cloud facility management programs have intelligent interfaces, advanced automated management functionalities and are compatible with various external applications. The most common features of facility management software include:
a) Data Management Tools. Facility management systems reuse existing data and can analyze and output external data into useful information. The software applications have intuitive interfaces that make it easy for users to input, edit or analyze data.
b) Interactive Graphics. Some FMS systems have interactive modules that allow managers to carry out basic drafting and modification of facility plans, layouts, and other visual documents. Some systems can be integrated with industry standard CAD engines to use standard CAD file formats.
c) Interactive Databases. In facilities management, data is everything. FMS programs are powered by fully developed relational databases that are designed to handle various requirements of managers.
Benefits of Facility Management Software Systems
Below are some benefits of using facility management software in your organization:
Managing Services and Contractors
You can use facility management software to keep track of different authorized traffic within your facility. For example, you can monitor and schedule building maintenance services performed by a third party. You can also manage a large number of contractors that may be involved in your company’s core operations.
Managing the traffic in your facility is critical to the security of your company’s sensitive data that may be hosted in machines inside the building.
Regardless of the industry that you are in, your facility has to comply with specific national or international standards. Regulatory bodies usually carry out random inspections and periodic audits to find out whether buildings are compliant with regulatory requirements.
Maintenance software systems can make it easy for your facility to be regulatory compliant. The programs can also help to reduce the amount of preparation and paperwork required before an audit. Through the software, you can generate reports that detail the maintenance carried out on the facility or vital machinery.
You can also use facility management software to keep track of trucks, corporate fleets or other vehicles coming in and going out of your premises. The software can be helpful in planning the flow of traffic inside your facility. For example, some of the programs have modules that allow you to mark areas that require exclusive access, restricted bays inside the facility and so on.
Another application of FMS is in property management of facilities. On a daily level, the software can help with tasks such as scheduling conferences as well as booking rooms. The software will also come handy in situations when the company will need to use particular areas of the building over a particular period.
In the long term, the system can be used to manage rentals and leases. Managers can use FMS to keep abreast of the contractual responsibilities of tenants.
Maintenance features are available in nearly all facility management software. The features allow you to easily schedule and complete maintenance tasks for assets within the building. Some systems are specially developed for maintenance of equipment and systems.
A computerized management maintenance system (CMMS) is similar to facility management software. However, the main difference between the two systems is that the latter takes maintenance into account. With an FMS system, you have more robust and comprehensive management support.
Most FMS systems have a range of workspace management tools that make it easy for the people working in your company. The tools can be used for allocating equipment, positioning individual workers, moving items around a workflow, among others.
Another reason why you should be using facility management software is to reduce downtimes and ensure optimal operations. The software allows you to track past, ongoing and upcoming maintenance services, thereby reducing the needs for emergency maintenance. You can also schedule maintenance to ensure the contractors work more effectively and efficiently.
Using a facility management software helps to improve the efficiency of your organization’s operations and lowers cost. The cost savings of using the software can be quite significant. However, you need to choose an FMS with the right functionality to get a positive ROI on your investment. Get an FMS recommended by an experienced vendor who will be there to support your organization as it scales and its maintenance operations evolve.
Amit Prasad is the founder and managing director of SatNav Technologies and has business interests in a wide range of IT products. SatNav Technologies is an IT products company focusing on cloud based map data products and a pioneer in GPS, FMS & LBS Technologies. The product suite includes SatTracx in-the-field location based solutions and A-mantra in-the-office facilities management solutions. QuickFMS from a-mantra is a cloud based facility management system which enhances organization’s efficiency.