Ultimate Guide to Modern Facility Management Solutions

Facility Management
Published on:
February 23, 2024
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The facility management industry is constantly developing, presenting several chances to improve the way we work and our businesses' bottom line. Facility managers play an important role in today's changing working environment since the most precious assets of an organization are the buildings, equipment, and people.

The job growth rate in facility management is expected to be around 10% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States. Professional facility management businesses operate in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, finance, technology, real estate, retail, and healthcare.

The noted upward trend of the job market reflects an increasing understanding of the practice’s importance in virtually any organization, as the need to optimally manage physical spaces, assets, and resources applies to all.

Facility management is the use of a set of procedures, rules, and services to coordinate the physical workplace with the people and work of the company it serves. This comprises asset management, operating norms and guidelines, maintenance, furniture provisioning, and other activities. The notion of using facilities management software has gained popularity since it allows such companies to focus on their main strengths without having to worry about the management process.

facility management is a demanding job that requires a variety of skills. Managers are in charge of a wide range of tasks at work and have different responsibilities to juggle. An FM's job description usually ranges from building maintenance, recruiting, and staff management, to data collection for decision-making purposes. 

This guide is a way for us to simplify your job with the use of an integrated facility management system.  We have researched, gathered, and analyzed procedures and techniques for managers looking to maximize their talent and reach their full potential.

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Overview of Facility Management Solutions 

Companies utilize facility management tools to help streamline the coordination of all of their repair and maintenance activities.

This is where efficiency gets compounded and results get accelerated.

Facility management tools are also used to integrate various forms of facilities, such as buildings, spaces, assets, and all associated paperwork. The overall objective of this approach is that businesses want their facility management systems to reduce maintenance costs while improving revenue. This program also allows front offices to know when an apartment has been cleaned. On top of that, users can reserve items and create spaces all on the same platform. 

How Facility Management Solutions Can Improve Operations

Asset management: By employing the right facility management platform, managers can ensure the systematic use of a company's assets to maximize value or return over time. This approach helps in optimal asset productivity, by doing more with the same asset base or achieving the same flow with fewer resources.

Compliance: Employing the right facility management strategies can be the most efficient and effective way to decrease the amount of time and effort spent identifying and hiring a contractor, as well as ensuring that the contractor complies with any regulatory requirements.

Work Order Management: Manage and handle your work order process efficiently so every managerial aspect is according to your line of thinking. This includes work order creation, planning, and assignment to meet the timely resolution of tasks.

Data Analysis: Utilize a data analytics tool to monitor space utilization, spending trends, and compliance, as well as uncover cost-cutting options. This approach cut out all the red tape from the process.

Communication Tools: Upgraded communication tools such as chatbots to communicate more effectively with service providers and internal stakeholders, resulting in more fruitful collaboration.

Types of Facility Management Software

  1. CAFM Computer Aided Facility Management)

This type of facility management tool coordinates places, infrastructure, and people using an enterprise-level suite of interconnected software modules. CAFM's administrative skillset comprises asset and space management, hotel bookings, furniture and layout design, and maintenance management. 

A CAFM will also involve strategy planning, disaster preparedness, relocation planning, and staff scheduling.

  1. CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System)

CMMS primarily focuses on three aspects of maintenance/repair: scheduling, tracking, and collaboration between staff responsible for maintenance/repair. It improves communication between managers and service providers by providing features such as Building Space Management, Equipment and Asset Management, automated maintenance scheduling, preventative maintenance (PM), tracking (work orders, etc.), reporting, and analysis.

  1. IWMS (Integrated Work Management System)

Such facilities management software optimizes workplace resource and property management processes by including key functionalities such as property and lease management, scheduling maintenance management, asset, and maintenance management, project management, and real estate portfolio management, among others.

Building Management Software 

After digging into the general notion of facility management software, let's look at what a building management system performs and how it may improve the day-to-day operations of your facility/s.

The building management system (BMS) monitors your facility operations in your building to ensure maximum efficiency.

Integrated with advanced tools, building management software organizes data exchange across a large number of linked devices. This data offers analytics, allowing the present management of your property to make informed decisions. Building management software helps managers regulate 

  • HVAC
  • Lightning
  • Electric
  • Water Supply
  • Piping 
  • Finances
  • Emergency fire system
  • Access control

Incorporating these features into a single unified BMS improves the effectiveness and efficiency of building operations.

Energy-efficiency upgrades can cut facility energy use by up to 40%. facility management software helps companies gather and analyze trends and data within a facility to identify areas of inefficiency and improvement.

Insights into Facility Management System 

Moving forward, Facility management tools encapsulate a collection of features that can be utilized to assist in managing and maintaining facilities in the most effective manner possible.

Unlike independent systems, FMS integrates several tools and capabilities into a single platform, allowing various functions within the facility to seamlessly coordinate and interact. They are more than just the core service supplied; they supervise all areas necessary to ensure an optimal corporate operation.

How Facility Management Apps are Different from Traditional Methods?

  1. Goes Beyond Physical Components 

One of the primary differences between the two is that the conventional approach to facility management focuses solely on the physical components of a structure. It is largely concerned with the building's cleanliness and upkeep. In contrast, Smart facility management strives to cover emerging technologies that are not limited to the physical features of building facility management.

  1. Smart Integrations 

 facility management apps integrate new technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), IoT (Internet of Things), DT (Digital Twin), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and blockchain to increase overall facility management efficiency and enable more informed decision-making.

  1. Focus on Training Purpose

Intelligent facility management aims to assist fundamental facility management tasks and is often viewed as independent from the core educational goals of teaching and learning. An integrated facility management system aims to harness the facility's main operations to create a learning environment conducive to educational success.

  1. Efficiency and Resource Optimization

The advantage of smart technologies included in facility management systems is that they reduce the amount of time and money spent on managing real estate issues. By using these technologies, managers can minimize building and engineering system damage, hence lowering the environmental effect.

  1. Data-Driven Decisions

Data-driven decision-making supplements informed decision-making based on representational data and collaborative efforts. Smart facility management provides actionable insights by combining real-time data from on-site devices and the linking method with BIM.

  1. Advanced Integrations 

Smart facility management offers more advanced and integrated solutions than traditional methods. By using technology, managers can streamline operations, improve service quality, and allow for a more flexible and responsive approach to facility management.

Integrated Facility Management- Explained

 Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) is an outsourcing model that centralizes the administration of several services (enlisted as part of the contract) into a single contract with a service provider, utilizing a single technological platform with defined objectives such as;

  • Lowering and managing costs
  • Increasing operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Focusing on the company's core deliverables.
  • Facilitating change management and improving customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Integrated Management System 

Shared data, irrespective of industry or operation, promotes enhanced efficiency, cost savings, and advancement. An integrated facilities management solution can help you achieve such advantages by providing the following features:

Industry-Leading Technology

The IFM technology platform includes industry-leading customized features for work order management and other functions.

Doing so enables total transparency in your facilities management program.

At the same time, it collects all relevant information, such as asset history, program activity, spending, and more. This enables you to gain useful information that can assist you in improving efficiency and making faster and better short- and long-term choices about your facilities management operations.

Using the IFM technology platform, you can share these insights in real time with your IT, procurement, budgeting, marketing, sales, and other departments across the company.

If you want contractors, IFM providers, or other vendors to have access to the platform, you can let them in.

When calamity hits, you will not have enough time to seek assistance. With an IFM solution, you'll have access to a nationwide network of reputable, licensed Independent Service Providers (ISPs) that will work for you. Your IFM solution provider will contact the relevant ISP, coordinate processes, and manage all interactions, allowing you to focus on what you need to do.

Total Cost Approach

IFM employs a whole cost approach, grouping FM activities and identifying the linkages between equipment, processes, and people that can drive productivity, workflows that can be simplified, and practices/materials that can be eliminated to ensure cost savings.

For example, negotiated pricing (not hourly) and service level agreements (SLAs) for service providers allow for coordination across various facilities, improved processes, and identifying and addressing operational inefficiencies in ad-hoc service provider management leading to significant program savings. 

Depending on the strategies and billing models used, each FM business will guarantee varying degrees of savings. Best-value IFM system utilizes a comprehensive, cost-effective method.

Advanced Analytics

One of the most significant benefits of using the IFM is its superior analytical capabilities, which can help prevent highly costly or catastrophic problems before they occur. By efficiently tracking individual assets by model type, age, location, and other factors, you will gain incredible, accurate information about where your problem areas are and will be much better prepared to help reduce the need for emergency repairs by implementing preventative and predictive maintenance techniques.

Finance Management 

The right integrated facilities management application will fundamentally change the way you budget. Some can even create a spending strategy, utilizing previous program data to understand your stores' budget requirements, as well as an emergency plan for you so you'll know what to expect in the case of a significant disaster.

This is especially crucial if your stores' service requirements change rapidly. With the right FM tools, managers can identify any utility at a given time and, owing to their knowledge of store sales and occupancy rates.

Consultative Support

Software alone cannot provide true value to an FM program. It needs human intellect to convert data into action, and this is one area where an IFM solution may be really useful.

Moving from an isolated, historical paradigm to an integrated one enables facilities teams and senior leadership to collaborate more effectively to advance the business.

It's a facility management strategy that can have a huge influence on your company: well-informed data-driven decisions based on insights from a source that truly understands your industry.

The Rise of Facility Management Apps

Mobile apps are critical in building on the integration principles laid out earlier bringing facilities management to your fingertips.

With facilities management apps, you are never limited to your physical workplace. These apps give important, actionable information whether you're in the field, at the office, or working remotely.

Moreover, a facility management app allows users to check in, receive notifications and updates, recognize when challenges arise, and what more is required to properly manage to complete tasks while on the go.

Maintenance workers can employ mobile technologies to easily produce, identify, record, and track tasks. With this in mind, a full work order and assignment can be easily completed without any issues. This essentially allows all maintenance professionals, from the team leader to the individual worker, to manage tasks seamlessly while increasing overall productivity.

Moving on, Facility Management Apps simplify asset tracking by allowing users to track asset condition, and maintenance history, and estimate future service and requirements. 

Furthermore, managers can monitor and operate different building systems remotely and on their own time.

For example, building owners or facility managers can change HVAC schedule settings or ensure that the facility enters an unoccupied security mode when a mobile phone is no longer in use at the end of the day.

Advantages of On-the-Go Management

  • Facility managers can tackle issues as they emerge, ensuring that operations operate smoothly.
  • Managing tasks and gathering vital data via mobile devices is convenient and makes facility staff more productive.
  • Facility management apps provide the ability to make proactive decisions since the operational manager has real-time information on the system's overall resilience and can use the data being entered to make timely decisions.
  • Mobile solutions enable the connection between facility management teams, service suppliers, and stakeholders, which drives collaboration. They provide and support a smooth communication route, increasing collaboration among all stakeholders.
  • On-the-go facility management enables agile resource allocation depending on current demand. This optimization ensures that resources are allocated to where they are most effective, resulting in cost savings.

Xenia- Your Ultimate Facility Management App

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In the continuing growth of the facility management spectrum, where mobile apps have become necessary, Xenia can be your go-to solution.

Unlike other service providers in the industry, Xenia concentrates on providing superior operational facilities to accomplish an on-the-go facility management approach.  This enables facilities managers to efficiently manage property inspections anytime, anywhere.

The platform is the most effective and convenient way to provide facility inspections following monthly rental property inspections or end-of-contract rental property inspections.

Bringing order into the chaos of facility management, Xenia offers a unified mobile-first digital solution. This allows field workers and teams to view work orders, tasks, property inspection checklists, records, and SOPs. 

What sets it apart is its configurable and flexible approach to reporting and analysis, conveniently making it a mobile-first solution that any type of facility manager can put to use.

A customized AI-powered SOP-generating module enables companies to create standard operating procedures for a wide range of business sectors, not only construction.

From building management to food and beverage business safety inspections, Xenia's user-friendly solution is adaptable to a variety of industries.

The software's reporting and analytical functions provide facility managers with insight into completed work vs pending work, as well as full asset work history and current progress tracking.

In a broad sense, this data-driven strategy enables them to arrive at maintenance and improvement decisions based on current information.

Safety Inspections: With a few clicks, you can create, assign, and track safety inspections for all of your construction projects. Stay up to current in real-time, connect with your team, and analyze safety outcomes to enhance your safety with an easy-to-use Management System.

Compliance Tracking: Set tasks, develop timelines, and ensure safe work. Increase understanding by including visual aids to maintain a high degree of safety.

Corrective Actions: Corrective measures can be improved by assigning quick assignments in response to safety infractions. Inspection reports provide corrective action data that can be easily audited and accountable.

Asset Management: Monitor asset health over time, noticing patterns and forecasting future requirements.

SOPs and Document Management: Use Xenia's AI-powered SOP writer to freely create new SOPs and safety regulations. Catalog policies by storing photographs, or files in cloud data.

Analytics and Reporting: Create completely customizable reports using several graphs, charts, and tables to dive down into various project characteristics. Analyze job history and performance levels to obtain all relevant information for your operations.

Work-Order Management: Simplify monthly inspection scheduling, ensuring regular inspections are performed, and allowing timely reminders to be issued to a landlord or property management to ensure periodic inspections are completed on time.

Chats: Xenia's chat function keeps everyone in the loop. Furthermore, managers can get timely updates, queries, and direction through the chat channel with any team member or tenant.

How to Choose the Best Facility Management Tool?

To choose the best facility management solution, facility managers must first assess several factors.

  1. Features and Functionalities 

Assess the software's basic features. These should encompass a wide variety of facility management features, from asset management to preventative maintenance, and should be tailored to the facility's particular requirements.

  1. Easy-to-Use 

The program must have a user-friendly interface. Anyone on the facilities management team can simply learn how to utilize this program on their own.

  1. Scalability 

As the facility grows or changes, the software should be able to grow to meet the new demands and requirements without losing data or disrupting the software's operation and reporting.

  1. Integrations

Look for software solutions that work seamlessly with other tools and systems. Having an integrated application allows you to operate more efficiently by allowing data to flow across different areas of facility management, resulting in a unified facility management system.

  1. Customization

Having control over the software is essential since each facility has unique requirements. As a facility manager, you want a versatile platform that can be tailored to your operations and processes.

  1. Mobile-Accessibility

The program must have a mobile-friendly interface or, better yet, a mobile app.  In this manner, if you have a day off and don't want to travel to your workplace, you can oversee operations from anywhere.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness is measured by the total cost of ownership, which includes initial setup costs, licensing, and any additional fees.

  1. Security Measures

With security as a top priority, the software should follow industry-standard security measures to secure sensitive facility management data from unwanted access and breaches.

Future Trends in Facility Management 

The landscape of facility management is changing rapidly and the future will be shaped by advanced technological innovations. Several key emerging trends in the market will drive smarter and more effective facility management. 45.1% of workforce managers indicated they want to increase total worker productivity. Managers can enhance their facility management operations by concentrating on IoT integration and facility automation technologies.

  1. IOT Integration
    In facilities management, the integration of "Smart" technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed this industry. With IoT integration, all assets, building systems, and gadgets can linked to exchange data via the Internet. All networked data is transferred to the cloud for analysis, which aids in the automation of operations and the proactive planning of maintenance activities. It allows your maintenance staff to stay connected to the field in real-time.
  1. AI Automation 

Facilities management is the next commercial frontier, and automated solutions are likely to make rapid advances. work expenses can be reduced and technology enhances efficiency and complements human work rather than replacing it. Meanwhile, as AI becomes more integrated, FMs will be able to utilize predictive analytics to anticipate maintenance and hence plan more successfully in advance.

  1. Increased Mobility 

The increased ability to achieve worldwide data and transmission gives Facility Managers (FMs) more mobility than ever before. These mobile apps enable technicians to submit work orders, consult user manuals, and retrieve equipment maintenance history from anywhere in the field. This aspect results in more efficient follow-up on work orders and more responsive facility operations.

All of these trends are linked. For example, the Internet of Things provides greater data-driven decision-making while also increasing mobility.

Facility equipment and processes communicate data via the Internet, which may be accessed from anywhere via mobile applications. This connection enables a constant flow of information, allowing FM teams to make data-driven choices on the go.

Facility Management Software- FAQs

How does facility management software increase operational efficiency?

Facility management software improves operational efficiency by automating procedures, enabling real-time asset monitoring, offering data-driven decision-making insights, and allowing stakeholders to communicate seamlessly.

As a result, it leads to more efficient resource allocation and overall enhanced facility performance.

What are the most important things to look for in facilities management software?

Comprehensive asset management, preventative maintenance scheduling, integration capabilities, mobile accessibility, and configurable checklists are the key things to look for in facilities management software.

Why do we need Internet of Things (IoT) facilities management software? 

The Internet of Things in facility management software enables managers to link assets, building systems, and devices over the Internet.

This allows to automate processes, schedule maintenance with assurance, and transmission of information in real-time. In this manner, anyone can connect each system directly, making facility management more interactive.

The Bottom Line 

Data integration throughout your organization is vital to being agile, competitive, and productive in today's corporate environment. Facility management software has taken on an essential role in assuring efficiency, accuracy, and deliberate decision-making. In this guide, we have thoroughly studied facility management software, beginning with the many types of software on the market and progressing to the importance of installing an integrated solution, followed by the influence of mobile technology.

In light of this, Xenia represents the future of facility management technology. The mobile-first service, adaptability, and capacity for customization all combine to make it the best choice for those looking for an all-in-one app that gives the facility manager total control.

Explore all of the top-notch features of Xenia, to see how this advanced facility management app streamlines your operating efficiency.

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