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Introduction to Facilities Management Software

Facilities Management Software can includes a range of functions from maintenance to resource planning.
Alistair Bell

By Alistair Bell Membership Manager, Updated 17 May 2017

The Facilities Management Software market is crowded, with over 200 vendors operating in the UK alone.

This means that it can be difficult to find your way around the market as different terms are often used to describe similar functions. Terminology in common use includes Enterprise Asset Management, Computerised Maintenance Management and Integrated Workplace Management.

Facilities Management, as defined by the International Facility Management Association, is about bringing together the workspace and the people who work there. This can include a range of functions from equipment and building maintenance through to planning the most effective use of space. The point of Facilities Management Software is to provide applications to manage maintenance records, assets, buildings, space planning and more. The software is usually modular in nature, allowing it to be rolled out in stages. This introduction to facilities management software describes the features and benefits, so that you can more easily find the solution that suits you.

Facilities Management Software Features

A Facilities Management Software package will generally include a number of key features to help companies reduce the cost of managing their facilities and improve the sharing of information. Common software modules are: asset management, maintenance management, space management, lease administration, move management, real estate management, and environmental and energy management. All of these, whilst being able to operate individually, are complementary in that they collectively support the smooth running of the organisation and ensure that buildings, assets and plant are being used effectively.

By bringing together information that might otherwise have been scattered across the organisation, Facilities Management Software can improve management decision-making and avoid unexpected expenditure and downtime.

Facilities Management Software Benefits

Each of these areas offers specific features which can help organisations streamline their operations and cut their costs. Space Management, for example, helps to ensure that organisations use their space efficiently and can help to reduce the cost and avoid the upheaval of reorganisations or moves.

Asset Management and Maintenance Planning can combine to extend the lifetime of assets and help to minimise the cost of ownership. Waiting until something breaks before maintaining it can be costly for the business, resulting in unscheduled downtime.

In contrast, a regular planned maintenance schedule ensures that things continue to run smoothly. Moving can be one of the most stressful and costly projects that a business can undertake. Effective Facilities Management can help to make better use of existing resources so that, in many instances a move can be avoided. If it still proves to be necessary, then FM software can help in planning it effectively.

For example, it can ensure that physical assets and human resources arrive at a new location in a planned way, so that people are able to begin work straight away and downtime is minimised. If a new build is required, the software can help to oversee the process, from initial planning though to final sign-off.

This helps to ensure that the building is going to meet the organisations needs and that the project budget is spent effectively. By monitoring all stages of the build it helps to keep everything on track and ensures that systems are in place to manage the new location as soon as it is completed.

Effective Asset Management can cut energy costs too. Increasingly, businesses are looking at their energy usage in the light of rising bills and pressure to be more environmentally conscious.

Facilities Management Systems can offer energy dashboards that let you monitor day-to-day consumption and identify any times or areas where energy is being wasted. This can lead to almost instant savings from improved energy awareness. FM software can help to achieve compliance with reporting standards too. Whether this is for internal audit and accounting purposes or to comply with the legislative requirements.

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