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3 Facility Management Technology Trends to Look Out For

Technology should make it easier to implement preventative maintenance plans and keep your workers and facility occupants safe. Every year, technology offerings keep advancing, and your peers pointed out three facility management technology trends they’ve noticed at their facilities.

Trend 1: More Mobile and Less Paper

More than 50 percent of facility management teams have a facility management software (FMS) or a similar program in place.

Organizations have been going paperless since the late 1990s, and tablets and smartphones have made printing off a work orders and using paper records on the job history. Instead, technicians have all the information they need on an asset and how to perform a repair easily available through their browser-based facility management system (FMS).

Download - Technology Trends in FM Report 2018

Transitioning to a digital workflow is more efficient because work orders, asset locations and maintenance updates are easily accessed, shared and updated without phone calls or running back and forth. A FMS can also to make your team do work more safely. In the list of required tools for a task, you can include personal protection equipment (PPE) and other safety tools. Also, occupants expect to communicate with your team digitally, meaning if something is spilled or breaks, they want to submit a service request instead of taking the time to find you.

Trend 2: Cost Still Drives Purchasing Decisions in FM

Nearly 60 percent of people say cost is the biggest deterrent from investing in new facilities management technology.

The cost of new technology is the most common hurdle to investing in a new system for the facility management team. The best way to argue your case is to work with suppliers a few months before budgeting starts to identify what unique services they offer, such as on-site data collection that can expedite software implementation.

Then, create a proposal for your manager that includes a list of department goals, how the software will help address challenges to those goals and a comparison of other technology that may or may not meet your requirements. They’ll use this to present the budget request to your leadership team. Cost will always be a factor, but communicating your needs will help your receive the tools you need to help your team succeed.

Trend 3: Other Departments Are Seeing Inaccurate Facility Data

Facility teams say they can only trust their facility management data about half of the time, but admit their data affects other departments, such as business operations, IT and accounting.

Most facilities teams have a FMS in place but say they can’t rely on it for accurate data to help make day-to-day and long-term decisions. The good news is suppliers, such as AkitaBox, offer data collection services as a standard step in their software implementation, which means your team will be able to trust the data they’re seeing in the system.

Accurate data in an FMS affects nearly every aspect of facility management, such as:

  • Servicing and Maintaining Assets: When a technician needs to work on an asset, they have all the service-related information needed before leaving the shop. They'll have the right tools and replacement parts and know the make and model of the asset. Once they arrive, it’s easy for them to locate the asset at your facility with the help of an interactive floor plan viewer.

  • Planning Custodial Zones: A FMS will not only contain the square footage individuals will be required to clean, it will also include flooring types so the right team members are scheduled most efficiently and prepared with the right tools and chemicals.

  • Managing Work Orders and Workload: All tasks your team does are stored in a central location, so you can stay updated on what they have done, are working on and have completed. This helps you manage different workloads, and rearrange scheduling so the busiest times have the right people-power.

  • Finding Future Purchasing Information: When you need to replace the flooring in a space, accurate square footage in your floor plans means you can order the right dimensions the first time. This not only saves you from manually measuring each room, but it saves you money if you wrongly guess the dimensions instead.

These three technology trends are found in many departments outside facility management but have a huge effect on your team’s performance. Finding the right technology partner will help you navigate these issues so your team can spend more time working on what matters.

Get the full Facility Manager's Guide to Technology eBook here and explore all things building technology.

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