Facility management software is more than a game-changer. It can be a lifesaver. That’s a bold claim, but one that’s easy to back up. By looking at just one average day, we can see how the right software solution streamlines workflows, delivering more asset uptime for less money.
Best of all, we can show you how it makes your life easier.
Let’s look at a day in a facility manager’s life, first without and then with facility management software.
See your schedule on dashboards with facility management software, not endless cells or Post-it wallpaper
You walk into your office and fire up the computer. The screen fills with spreadsheets, but no matter how much you try, it’s hard to get a real picture of what’s going on. It’s just endless columns of cells.
Around the edge of the computer screen and on the wall behind you, there’s a sea of pink and yellow sticky notes. You notice a couple of them have fallen onto the floor, and while picking them up, you think how lucky you are that you didn’t lose them altogether.
But with good facility management software, you can set up calendars and customizable dashboards to see your entire schedule at a glance. Every preventive maintenance and on-demand work order is right there, and with a few quick clicks, you can see what you’ve assigned to different techs and how much progress they’ve made.
You can also easily selectively share your schedule with everyone from the C-suite to junior technicians. By setting up user permissions in the software, you’re in complete control of what people can see on the schedule and what they can change.
For example, you can set up the software so that the CEO can see everything while technicians can only see their assigned work orders. Or you might set it up so that technicians can see their work plus work orders you’ve assigned to the other technicians on their team. All your plumbers see plumbing-related work orders while all the electricians see the work orders related to their trade. That way, if they ever close out early, they know where they can go to lend a hand.
Receive detailed maintenance requests with facility management software, not confusing random messages
Coming back into your office after grabbing a quick cup of coffee, you notice someone left a hand-scribbled note on your desk. It takes you a few minutes to decipher it, but eventually, you make out that it’s a maintenance request to fix a leaky sink.
Here’s the problem: the note doesn’t tell you where the sink is, how bad the leak is, or even who left the note, which are all things you need to know before deciding to approve the request and generate a work order. Now all you can do is hope the leak’s not too serious and that your mystery note-writer comes back or calls.
But with the right facility management software, you get everything you need for efficient on-demand work orders. People don’t have to track down your email or phone number. They never have to swing by your office to tell you about a problem. With an online open request portal, everyone in the facility can contact you right away, directly.
And because there are predetermined data fields on the request form, people know what information to include. You can look at the request and decide if you need to generate a work order. If it’s serious, you can prioritize the work and assign it immediately, all inside the software.
Get progress updates when you need them with facility management software
On the way to the delivery bays to check the paperwork on a shipment you’ve been expecting, you run into one of the senior techs. Which is surprising because you know they’re supposed to be working on an asset located in the basement of another building. Why are they over here?
They had been working on that asset, but halfway through the preventive maintenance inspections, they found a few parts they need to replace. It’s nothing too serious, but the whole project is going to take about an hour longer than expected. And it turns out they need a second pair of hands. So not only are they here to pick up the parts, but they’re also looking around for someone to help them.
It’s just dumb luck that you ran into them in the first place. Otherwise, you would have wasted time wondering why they were so far behind.
But with facility management software, that technicians can reach you directly. Using the maintenance mobile app, they can add notes to tasks and work orders, explaining delays or other extra steps they’re taking. They can also use these maintenance app features to ask questions or get clarification.
And because the app ties directly into the mobile device’s hardware, technicians can also use it for direct image upload. Now instead of explaining something, they can send a picture. It’s a fast, simple way to ask questions and get remote visual inspections on completed work before closing out.
Protect the organization with seamless data capture and automated reports
It’s ten minutes into the monthly safety meeting, and some of the techs are complaining about missing and broken safety guards on machines. It’s a huge problem and one of the 10 ten most frequently cited OSHA violations. You need to replace or fix those guards right away.
The problem is that compliance always has two parts. First, you have to do the work. And second, you have to be able to prove you did it. But with paper- or spreadsheet-based methods, it’s hard to keep good records.
When your data is all on paper, it’s hard to duplicate and easy to lose. When it’s on spreadsheets, you end up with the opposite problem: it’s too easy to duplicate. With all those copies floating around, it’s impossible to know which one is the current copy. You have a lot of data, but it’s spread out, and most of it is out of date.
But with the right facility management software, everything lives in one database, where your solution provider keeps it safe, secure, up to date, and accessible. Everyone looks at and works off the same data. And now that it’s accurate and centralized, you can use the software to quickly run automated reports. Need to know when you assigned PMs and when the techs closed them out? Or how much the department spent on maintenance? Which asset is costing you the most to keep running?
Answers are only a few clicks away.
Hold on to hard-won know-how with systematic knowledge transfer and facility management software
You head over to the break room, where some people have gathered to say farewell to one of the senior techs. It’s his last day at work, and everyone is sharing cupcakes and talking about how much they’ll miss him.
It doesn’t matter how close you are with that tech personally, you know you’re going to miss him more than anyone else will. He’s the only one on the team who can quickly troubleshoot the boiler. When the lights stopped working on the fourth floor, he was the one who figured out the old wiring. Why? Because he had been there all those years ago when the wiring was first installed.
In fact, there’s a long list of things he can do better and faster than the other techs. And when he walks out the door at the end of the day, he’s taking all this know-how with him.
If you had the right facility management software, though, it wouldn’t be a problem. Long before he retired, you could have systematically transferred all that knowledge into customizable checklists and step-by-step instructions, which you could then add to PMs and on-demand work orders. The whole department could benefit from everything that tech knew about your assets and how best to keep them up and running.
On top of helping you capture and keep tribal knowledge, working with the maintenance techs to build out standards for best practices helps keep them engaged and invested in the department’s success.
Go home on time, leaving work at work, with preventive maintenance and facility management software
It’s getting close to the end of the day, but you find it hard to leave your desk. There’s that sinking dread you get at the end of most days, the feeling that as soon as you turn your back, something bad is going to happen.
But it’s important to leave work at work, and one of the best ways to do that is with a preventive maintenance program.
Once you have your PMs scheduled in the software, you can finally get ahead of the maintenance curve, where you find and fix small issues before they can grow into major problems. With a steady schedule of maintenance inspections and tasks, you can boost reliability and availability while also cutting labor and inventory costs.
It’s always going to be cheaper to check and change the oil than replace a seized engine. And when you can schedule everything in advance, you don’t have to worry about paying overtime for techs or rush delivery fees for parts.
Best of all, you can stop worrying about getting called back in to work late at night or over the weekend to deal with unexpected breakdowns.
If even a little bit of your day looks like life without facility management software, it’s time to start talking with providers to get a sense of your options.
Once they’ve had a chance to hear about the specific problems you need to solve, they can tell you more about the feature sets that work best for you.