We've all been there, frustrated by pen and paper or spreadsheets, or sometimes even worse— a facility management software that we thought would fulfill our needs but instead missed the mark. Your software now probably sits stagnant and seems to cause more trouble than it said it would solve. Here's a list of nine key features you should look for when looking for a solution that actually checks all the boxes so your next investment delivers on all its promises.
9 Must-have Facility Management Software Features
1. Asset Mapping and Space Management Module
Keeping track of all the spaces and equipment in your facility is crucial for maintenance teams. Being able to overlay standard operating procedures, asset data and space data on respective floors keeps everything tidy and easily accessible. Think of asset mapping software just like you would use Google Maps - you'd pin a specific location (in this instance, on a floor plan) and instead of a pin being a place on a geographical map, mechanical and space data are pinned on a floor plan. Your facilities team can easily flip from a list view of space and assets to a visual, floor plan-based view of your facilities with pins that show where virtually everything is located and documented, saving you tons of time as your technicians plot their routes for the day.
2. QR Code Scanning
Did you know that 95% of US adults have some type of cellphone? Of that, 77% carry a smartphone around regularly. So it should come as no surprise when we say that your facility management software should definitely be mobile friendly. But beyond playing nice with smartphones, when maintaining your facility, reduce unnecessary trips to the maintenance office by accessing and updating your data right where you stand. All you have to do is point and click, and your phone scans the QR code placed on the building asset, bringing up that asset's full profile within your facility management software.
3. Facility Data Collection Add-Ons
Your facility management software is only as powerful as the data maintained inside of it. For many facility managers, updating and maintaining space and asset data can be a lofty goal or outright challenge, especially if building documents, such as floor plans and asset O&M manuals, have been lost or destroyed over the years. Certain facility management softwares come with supplemental data collection services to make sure your software is turnkey and up-to-date as soon as you start using the platform (and in some cases as little as 90 days, if you choose a provider like AkitaBox).
4. Preventive Maintenance Module
Reactive maintenance has proven time and time again to be a temporary bandage for a critical wound. Your facility will lose more money over time as major assets and structures deteriorate with minimal repairs. You can reduce unexpected equipment failure and ensure facility compliance with ease by flipping to a preventative maintenance model, and a facility management software can get you there. Instead of opening a work order every time something breaks, a preventive maintenance module in a facility management software schedules out reminders in advance on mechanical or space assets to remind facility managers to perform maintenance ahead of time. This can tack on years of expected useful life to assets and buildings and save organizations time and money.
5. Capital Planning Tools
There's nothing more frustrating than not knowing where most of your time, money, and resources have been spent day in and day out. With facility management software, having total documentation on work orders completed, assets fixed or replaced, and preventative maintenance hours waiting to be completed, facility managers can accurately paint a picture to leadership to explain what future funds they will need and whether they will need any additional headcount to get the job done.
6. Unlimited Users
In today's day and age, software has shifted. Most software is subscription-based and mobile friendly. But facility management software has often lagged behind the trend. One of the ways it has fallen behind is with user management. Don't get nickeled and dimed by how small or large your team is, especially with how critical it is to communicate information quickly about your building and workflows. The difference between a good facility management software and a great facility management software is one that allows everyone to have access to the platform.
7. Simplified User Interface
Another way other facility management softwares have fallen behind the times is through the look and feel of their interface. Many options on the market haven't seen a facelift in years. While menus, dropdowns and the way you point and click may not seem important, a clean, simple and modern user interface not only shows that your software is up-to-date — it reduces clutter in your team's view, speeds up training time and quickens the pace for faster team adoption.
8. Fully Customizable Fields
You can fully customize a spreadsheet, so why shouldn't you have the same power over your facility management software? If your current software is too locked up, you're missing out on valuable ways to track space and asset data. With the right facility management software, you can create your own dropdowns, input fields and even pin types if you're utilizing an asset mapping module. Pair that with a simplified user interface and unlimited users for your entire team, and you'll have a custom-tailored solution to get your entire department onboarded in no time.
9. Facility Document Storage
What's in your plan room? Your desk drawers? The hall closet? If the answer is too much paper in any form, it's time to go digital. The right facility management software can help take you there and transfer all of your floor plans, work orders, O&M manuals and warranties and serve as a "vault" that protects all of that priceless information in case it needs to be accessed by anyone on your team. Just think — what if there was a flood in your facility? A fire? What if someone retired or left the position who currently holds all of that information in their head? It's time to document this information in a software.
Looking for more ways to analyze your current software system or workflow against the other options on the market? Check out our Key Features Checklist to make sure you're getting the most out of your current investment, and then make sure to schedule some time with one of our implementation specialists to chat to get a custom recommendation on your next steps. We're here to help!