:

Software Solutions for the Modern Facilities Manager

:
With a plethora of software platforms available today, Bryan Christiansen, founder and CEO of Limble CMMS, cautions facilities managers to be vigilant in selecting solutions that meet their operational needs.

 

Busy facility managers now have access to a wide range of workplace technologies to help them manage their diverse roles regardless of the industry they work in.

 

However, the last thing that any FM needs is to spend time and money on software solutions that add little or no value to their operations. With that in mind, the following is a discussion about 5 of the most important solutions that a modern facility manager should consider employing on their premises, why they matter, and in which circumstances do they offer the best bang for your buck.


1. CAFM

Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) is a software solution designed to facilitate the management of building-related logistical tasks in a digital space. It allows FMs to manage several activities that are key to business continuity. These activities range from everyday tasks like move management, desk space usage or conference room allocation, to more strategic-level management of the overall space usage in an organization.

 

A CAFM solution is very visual in that it combines computer-aided design (CAD) images with a building’s data. The result is a system that gives its users a user-friendly and comprehensive view of all the assets under consideration.

 

Key features to look for:

 

  • Space Planning and Management. Inbuilt interactive graphics module for easy management, drafting, and modification of building spaces and tracking of equipment location.

  • Project Management. Management of different aspects of major projects like documentation, design, budgeting, work allocation, etc.

  • Manage Maintenance and Repairs. Monitoring of preventive maintenance activities and routine repairs.

  • Real Estate Management. Maintaining all the relevant information about different properties especially as it relates to occupancy, costs, and leasing.

  • Environmental Sustainability. Monitoring the ecological footprint of buildings by tracking processes like energy consumption and water usage, carbon dioxide emissions, and waste production with a view to making improvements.

  • Mobile app. It is important that any chosen CAFM solution comes with mobile capabilities so you have access to everything on the go.


When should you use it

Use it to plan the day-to-day operations in busy facilities with multiple users especially where you need to maximise available workspace and coordinate activities like reservations, move management, and re-arranging the physical spaces for different groups of people.

 

2. CMMS software

Computerised maintenance management system (CMMS), is a software that stores a comprehensive database about an organisation's maintenance operations. CMMS is easily the most popular and widely used maintenance management software solution today. This is largely due to its ability to automate every step of the maintenance process in modern facilities and also keep assets running at peak efficiency.

 

CMMS is designed for the specific purpose of managing all maintenance-related information so that its users can streamline all maintenance processes. It allows the easy planning and scheduling of tasks, allocating of the required resources for every job, and execution of work in the safest and most cost-efficient manner possible.

 

Key features to look for in a CMMS

 

To ensure that you get the highest ROI on a CMMS, look for one with the following features:

 

  • Work Order Management. The ability to create, issue, and track work orders from start to finish plus allowing users to create reusable templates with the same instructions for frequently occurring tasks.

  • Report Generating. Collate vital information and view them in the form of concise reports to gain insights into issues like problem equipment, largest cost centers, maintenance performance, gaps and areas for improvements.

  • Preventive Maintenance Management. PM features for scheduling maintenance tasks and keeping reactive repairs to the barest minimum. Also, creating PM work orders based on a schedule and consolidating all relevant tasks into a master schedule without any overlap or omissions.

  • Inventory Control. Continually update spare parts inventory information with a focus on optimum reorder levels, inventory value, and usage.

    This pretty much overlaps with the research we conducted in 2018 which looked at the list of most requested features from businesses that were searching for a CMMS at that time:

 

When should you use it

CMMS is applicable for all kinds of buildings (whether commercial or residential) and in all industries that have any kind of maintenance needs. That being said, it is especially useful for organisations that are struggling with excessive maintenance costs, have a lot of assets to take care of, or have a few expensive assets that need to operate in peak condition. Industries like manufacturing, construction, oil & gas are the main adopters but schools, hospitality industry, campuses, zoos, and similar are no strangers to CMMS solutions.


3.BMS

A building management system (BMS) is a computerised control system that is installed in buildings to monitor electrical and mechanical installations. These installations include power, ventilation, fire fighting, security, and lighting systems.

 

BMS systems have both hardware and software components that work together to manage a building's energy usage. When installed, they can save up to 29% on energy consumption. They also play a significant role in the comfort and productivity of the building's occupants by managing indoor air quality.

 

Key features to look for in a BMS


  • Temperature Control. Keep the temperature constant in boilers.

    For HVAC, control fans and dampers, maintain specified temperature and humidity levels, control air handling and fan coil units.

  • Automate Controls. Switch boilers and lighting on/off following a schedule. Control plumbing and water valves. Control and monitor major electrical and mechanical equipment.

  • Security. Detect intrusion, control access to the facility, and monitor surveillance.

  • Fire Fighting. Control smoke from spreading, take immediate action e.g. stopping elevators from running during a fire outbreak.

 

*Note that although “BMS” is often used interchangeably with “EMS”, they are not the same. An Environmental Management System (EMS) monitors the systems that make up the environment of a facility and then gives you the data you need to make further decisions, while a BMS actively controls these systems.

 

When should you use it

BMS is quite expensive so it is best suited to effectively monitor energy consumption in very large facilities with high energy loads.


4. VMS

Visitor management software tracks the usage of buildings by visitors and provides information about their whereabouts at any time. They allow users to screen visitors at a central entry point and restrict access to unauthorized people where necessary.

 

VMS is the modern replacement for the old pen and paper-based visitor registers. It allows building managers to monitor and control visitor access rights from remote locations without issuing physical keys or keycards. In addition, FMs can use it to automate the reception area of busy facilities and improve security and privacy.

 

Key features to look for in a VMS

 

  • Automated Check-In Process. Collect and check visitors’ information at the reception area then grant or deny access. Provide safety and emergency evacuation information for visitors. All this happens with minimal intervention from staff.

  • Generate Reports. Provide historical data and real-time reports on visitors without violating data privacy regulations.

Mobile-Enabled. Allow real-time notifications or alerts on mobile devices for issues like overstayed visitors or attempted unauthorised entry.

 

When should you use it

 

You can use VMS to improve security in facilities like schools, and to quicken the check-in process without errors in busy hotels and other commercial buildings.

 

5. Productivity Software

A facility manager’s day is typically filled with different activities. But whether it’s small tasks like keeping the floors clean or major maintenance work on building systems, every job requires attention and must be attended to. With productivity software, facility managers can prioritize all their tasks, share information quickly with other staff, and keep track of multiple projects.

 

Productivity software offers a wide range of functions from the basic software that organise simple to-do lists and daily goals, or set alarms and reminders to the more advanced project management software that can synchronise data between computers, phones, and other mobile devices.

 

Key features to look for in productivity software

 

  • Different Mediums of Data Exchange. It allows users to communicate through text, spreadsheets, or via graphics and presentations.

  • Reliable and Secure. It keeps all information on the platform secure from unauthorised viewers.

  • Cross-Platform Flexibility. Compatible with different operating systems.

Mobile-Enabled. Accessible on the web as well as through Android and iOS.

 

When should you use it

 

Use productivity software to stay on top of several daily tasks. Also use it to communicate quickly with other staff and people that you need to share information with outside of your CMMS platform.

 

In Conclusion

The above list aims to give you an idea of the most useful kinds of software that modern facility managers can use to keep their work from becoming overwhelming. Hopefully, this information will guide you through the process of selecting the best solutions for your company's needs.

 

 

Bryan Christiansen

Author

Bryan Christiansen

Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS (www.limblecmms.com), a modern, easy to use mobile software solution which facilitates maintenance by helping managers organize, automate,...

Article rating:

vote(s).

0 Comments

Write a Comment

:
Delaware North Places Staff on Temporary Leave Delaware North has placed a majority of its full-time employees on temporary leave following the ...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Supporting Staff with an EAP Facility services provider to the UK's corporate sector Anabas has launched a webinar-based emplo...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Rust-busting Paint for Metal AkzoNobel Hammerite's brand has launched a new range of waterborne protective coatings for direct...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Leading on Health and Wellbeing CIBSE has updated Technical Memorandum TM 40 (Health and wellbeing in building services) which ad...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
The Value of the Smart Workspace Carl Standertskjold, Corporate Segment Marketing Manager for Sony Professional Solutions Europe, ...

0 Comments | Read more +
Gábor Adonyi:
Using Copper in the Fight Against COVID-19 Copper Alliance member SANHA GmbH presents the case for using copper to help contain the spread o...

0 Comments | Read more +
Vidal Balielo Jr.:
The Role of FM in Hospital Hygiene Colin Trowell, managing director of UK hard services provider Artic Building Services, on the rol...

0 Comments | Read more +
Commentary on Green Heat Network Fund in UK Budget Statement Anthony Coates-Smith, managing director of Insite Energy, a London-based heat network metering an...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Mitigating the Threat of Germs Chris Colpaert, General Manager for Philips’ Professional Display Solutions in EMEA, AP & NA, exp...

0 Comments | Read more +
Anna Shvets:
Making Working from Home Work Rene Buhay, VP Sales & Marketing for AV manufacturer AVer Europe, considers the technology busine...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Tackling Asbestos in Post-2000 Buildings James Dodgson, SOCOTEC’s commercial director for Asbestos, considers the application of the Asbes...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Ensuring Sky-high Levels of Hygiene After the Holiday Rush Paul Casson, Technical Field Manager with Rentokil Specialist Hygiene, says February is the perfe...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Postponement of TU-Auto Detroit 2020 Informa Tech Automotive has rescheduled TU-Automotive Detroit and co-located events, TU-Automotiv...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Behavioural Analysis 2020 Philip Baum, Chair of Behavioural Analysis 2020 and managing director of global security consulta...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Debunking the Myth: Why FM is Not Exclusively About Managing Contracts Paul Lucas, managing director of Artic building Services, explains why the daily responsibilities...

0 Comments | Read more +
Luis Quintero:
Is the MBA Still the Holy Grail of Business Degrees? The MBA degree has long been regarded as an essential qualification for managers who want to lead...

0 Comments | Read more +
Huy Phan:
Supporting the Next Generation of Facilities Managers After Retirement If hanging up your boots is the last thing on your mind after a successful career in facilities m...

0 Comments | Read more +
Frans Van Heerden:
A Place for Everything, Everything in its Place Clutter can be the scourge of many an office environment, with documents competing with stationer...

0 Comments | Read more +