The Importance of Facilities Management Systems
Facilities Management Software (FMS) is used to manage facilities as a whole as well as the space within those facilities. It can be used to determine how to most effectively lay out an office, divide space for various projects, assign space to different groups, and keep track of maintenance.
A recent study by Software Advice looked at a random sampling of clients to determine what they were looking for in a new facilities management software, and what they were currently using. What they found is that a shocking number of facilities managers are using ineffective methods to manage their buildings. In fact, according to this study, only nine percent of those interviewed are using a proper facility management software at all!
A surprising number of facilities managers have no true system in place for managing their space. More than a quarter of everyone interviewed - 28 percent - say they currently do not use any type of facilities management system. A further 23 percent of participants use pen and paper methods for their facilities management. While this is slightly better than no system at all, it still makes it very difficult to collect data, keep accurate records, or gain much insight from the information they have. The remaining buyers were spread among using email, standard spreadsheet or database programs, custom software, or some form of property management software.
Why You Need a Dedicated Software
Facilities management software is much like customer service software in that its purpose is to catalog issues, solve problems, and document results. It helps improve efficiency and by relation, reduce costs of manually tracking this stuff.
Without any sort of system in place, facilities are often inefficiently used. Space is wasted or underutilized, there is no historical data to influence current services or future decisions, and when manual methods are involved it means a lot of manual labor that could be better spent elsewhere.
This is evidenced by the fact that 35% of buyers interviewed (the highest percentage) say that keeping accurate records is the biggest challenge they face with their current method. That is the primary reason they are looking for facilities management software. In fact a whopping 76% of buyers reported they were evaluating software to improve record keeping, improve maintenance scheduling, and to automate more tasks.
Use Varies by Industry:
We found it really interesting that the industry the buyer was in had a significant impact on their use case. The most likely buyer to use a proper facility/maintenance software are those in the Education industry (37% reported using FMS), while health care facilities are more likely to use no system (35%), or at best pen and paper (33%). General offices were the most likely to use nothing (28%), spreadsheets (26%), or pen and paper methods (23%).
Another interesting note from the research is that health care facilities are more likely to use a standalone system for FMS, because their other solutions (ie patient and billing software) don’t typically have facility management components, so they are forced to find their own.
Our final surprising fact? Three quarters (75%) of buyers in the survey sample manage smaller facilities, under 24 buildings – this goes against our initial assumption that only larger companies would invest in dedicated software, but it’s good to see that even SMBs are seeing the value in software that is made for that purpose and can reduce their pain points.
Benefits to using FMS
Facilities management programs are built from the ground up to address the various needs that facilities managers have. People who use other programs are often pleasantly surprised by the features found in a true facilities management program. They have all of the features needed to:
- Optimize space
- Improve efficiency
- Collect and report on historical data (such as…
- Run what-if scenarios
- Ensure easy access to records
- Improve accuracy of records
- Gain insight without going through stacks of files
In today’s digital world, many people find it inconceivable that there are still people out there who use old-style flip phones that have no internet connection. But these same people may turn around and use a pen and paper system to track their facilities – or their customer support, accounting, or any number of standard business components that we would assume are automated.
Are you still using pen and paper to manage your facilities? What about your customer support?