When you’re the facilities manager, people expect you to be everywhere and know everything. Being on top of things isn’t enough. They want you a step ahead. It’s a tough, fast-paced job. But the right facility management software makes it a lot easier. Suddenly, you’re always available and easily approachable, fully informed on every aspect of your operation, completely in compliance, and comfortably ahead of the maintenance curve.
Those are some big promises. Let’s see how facilities management software delivers.
User-friendly request portal makes you always available and easily approachable
With good facility management software, everyone can reach you, but no one can slow you down. Without it, people with maintenance concerns waste their own time trying to connect with you on the phone so they can then waste your time with rambling voice mails. Or they write you long emails that miss all the important details. They’re unhappy because they feel that you’re not responding to their concerns. You’re trying your best, but sometimes you’re not even sure what those concerns are. The lines of communication are either broken or just not there.
With the request portal built right into your facilities management software, communication is simple, direct. Because everyone is contacting you through the same channel, it’s easier for everyone. People don’t have to guess how or when to contact you. And you don’t have to worry about constantly checking your voice mails, texts, or emails for maintenance requests. Because there’s an easy-to-follow template with check-boxes and pull-down menus, you get all the information you need to review each request. Approved requests then seamlessly flow to the next module, where you generate, prioritize, delegate, and track work orders.
Here’s another great feature. When requests are approved or rejected, you have an option to email the requester, explaining your decision. In both cases, this shows them that you listen, you care, and the facility is in good hands.
Work orders are a big topic all their own. To learn more, check out Build a Well-Oiled Machine with CMMS-Backed Work Order Management Workflow Efficiency.
Auto-generated reports and KPIs keep you fully informed
With the right facility management software, what was once guesswork becomes data-driven decision-making. Without it, you can’t see the maintenance big picture. If you’re still trying to manage work orders using more traditional methods, your data is loose on scraps of paper or trapped in endless rows inside spreadsheet files. You could sort through everything and work out where your budget is going, but it would take a ton of time and energy. You’ve got the data, but there’s no practical way for you to leverage it.
With auto-generated reports and KPIs, the maintenance big picture finally comes into focus. Traditionally tough repair-or-replace decisions are easier when you can see exactly how much an asset is costing you in time, parts, and materials. Creating accountability is easier when you can track resources and time on wrench. Setting up an effective preventive maintenance program is easier when you know how often assets are failing and the types of repairs they required.
Leverage data for the big picture
To learn more about KPIs, check out Classic KPIs for CMMS ROI.
Scheduling in-house and third-party techs puts you completely in compliance with local laws and regulations
With full-featured facility management software, compliance is a lot easier to both achieve and, just as importantly, prove. Not only is the work getting done but you also have the records to prove it.
Without facilities management software, it’s hard to keep track of all the compliance-related work that needs to get done. Even when you can remember to do it, it’s challenging to ensure it gets done properly. Take fire suppression systems, for example. Compliance likely involves both regular visual checks carried out by your department and annual or semi-annual checks that need to be done by licensed professionals. CMMS software makes both easier. For the simple visual inspections, everything is scheduled ahead of time as a preventive maintenance work order (PM). Instead of scribbling notes on a scrap of paper or cramming lines into a spreadsheet cell, preventive maintenance software has everything your technician needs to do the job right, including:
- Step-by-step instructions
- Customizable checklists
- Digital images of the inspection tags
- Interactive floor maps
Straight line right to the asset or equipment
Those interactive floor maps are especially handy when working with technicians who are new on the job. Instead of asking a senior technician to act as a guide, which is an expensive waste of a valuable labor resource, you can trust the junior tech to find their own way.
The software also makes working with third-party vendors a breeze. Once you’ve set up the recurring PMs, the software sends out email reminders ahead of the due dates. Vendors know what you need done and when. Best of all, even though everything is done through the facility management software on your end, vendors never need to access the software themselves.
Preventive maintenance keeps you comfortably ahead of the curve
With good facility management software, you’re safely ahead of the maintenance curve. Without it, you’re only ever doing reactive, on-demand work orders. Instead of catching little issues before they have a chance to grow into big problems, you’re dealing with budget-busting asset failures. You’re spending money on assets, parts and materials, and labor. Remember that on-demand work orders can come up at any time, and technicians’ rates jump on evenings and weekends.
The software helps you both set up a preventive maintenance program and keep it running. First, you use the historical data in work orders to decide on maintenance tasks and frequencies. For example, a timing belt slipped last month, and twice the month before. So, you set up a PM to inspect and realign it every two weeks. You can set up time- or meter-based PMs. So, you might visually inspect the roof at the end of each season, but you inspect and lube a pump after a set number of cycles. Once the program is set up, the software automatically sends out email reminders and PMs.
Preventive maintenance is a big topic all on its own. To learn more, check out From Reactive to Preventive Maintenance: Out of the Red Volcano, onto the Calm Blue Sea.