Standing out is hard. Back in high school if you showed up to school with a new haircut or backpack, everyone noticed. It was easy. Unfortunately there is no hair to dye or sweet backpacks to pass out that will catch your clients’ attention. In the architecture firm space it is really challenging to differentiate what you do from your competition.
This is especially true when it comes to your Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) services. Clients have certain expectations based on their experience over the years. Most providers complete these the same way and deliver almost identical reports. This forces you to try and differentiate on small, minor points that aren't as meaningful to your clients.
But what if you could differentiate your offerings based on your actual service? And what if that not only helped build your FCA client base now but opened up future engagement opportunities? Let's take a look at how you can start separating your firm from your competition using Facility Condition Assessment software.
What is Facility Condition Assessment Software?
Facility Condition Assessment software is comparable to what CMMS or Facility Management software is doing for the operations and maintenance of facilities. Historically FCAs have been completed manually. With FCA software, engineers do the same basic work: they always have to collect conditions and photos, but can now complete them on a tablet or cell phone within an app. Standard offerings amongst FCA software providers are digital checklists, offline collection, and report building with a PDF export.
How Software Improves your FCA process
Spreadsheets. Clipboards. Checklists. PDF reports. The typical FCA process has been built over decades of trial and error. Relying on these manual processes is time consuming to complete, requiring hours of data collection, recording, and report building. It also adds risk at every stage of the process, as these are notoriously error prone. There is nothing worse than showing up to present your report to a client and have them call out some inconsistencies and errors.
FCA software has helped move many architecture firms from paper to digital processes. Whether using a 3rd party vendor or an in-house system, FCA software puts those spreadsheets and checklists onto your tablet or smartphone. Engineers can now walk facilities and grounds collecting the photos and conditions faster and without the worry of being booked by some passing college student. Once they complete their digital checklists, that information is already organized and available allowing them to build their PDF reports faster.
These Legacy FCA Softwares Were Good….
...20 years ago when they were first introduced, but there has been little innovation since. The way that firms deliver FCAs to building owners still look and work just about the same. They have digitized what used to be manual processes, helping build efficiency in the collection. But without making significant improvements to the actual report and the data provided. PDF reports are still the main deliverable to clients, creating a "Thank you, see you again in 5 years" mentality from clients.
The way FCA reports are designed today offers little beyond the initial FCA engagement. There is no next step in these engagements. After the presentation of the assessment, clients take their report and use it as best they can on their own. Maybe they come back to you for additional services, maybe they don't.
When everyone does the same thing, you have little to separate you from every other competitor of yours. Clients expect the same thing no matter who they go with, not because it is the best solution for them, but because there isn't another option. Until now.
Differentiate your FCA offering to stand out from the crowd
FCAs are an expensive undertaking for your clients. Static PDFs aren't going to cut it in the near future as they are already starting to look for partners who can deliver beyond a simple report. Clients are looking to not just understand the current conditions of their facilities, but gain insights in how to meet initiatives like sustainable operations or determine capital budget needs based on Facility Condition Index (FCI). Delivering more than customers expect helps your firm stand out and builds brand recognition in the market.
Delivering more than a static FCA report does more than help you stand out. It helps build a more integrated relationship with your clients and unlocks recurring revenue. It no longer is a waiting game seeing if they will come back for a new service. You work with your clients using the same data, providing opportunities for ongoing consulting services.
To build more integrated relationships with them, you need to start rethinking how you complete and deliver your FCA service. You can't do that if you are relying on spreadsheets, clipboards, or legacy FCA software. Modern FCA software evolves the old PDF report into a living deliverable that delivers greater value. Some of the components of this modern FCA software include:
- Faster FCA report completion - That gets into clients hands within days, not months
- Better designed FCA reports - That are simple to read and easy to find the most important information
- A live data feed - Allowing clients to deep dive into their assets and assemblies, while staying up to date as their facilities change
- Locational intelligence - So clients can pinpoint high-risk areas and visualize what the engineer was seeing
- Consultation beyond the FCA: Unlock recurring revenue by staying closer to your end clients projects
This modern FCA software isn't a day dream. AkitaBox FCA Pulse is helping firms like yours stand out from the crowd and build long-term partnerships with their clients. Streamlined data collection and automatic data transfer help get reports into the hands of your clients faster. AkitaBox FCA integrates with the suite of AkitaBox solutions, providing your clients with live data they can manage to better plan maintenance and capital budgets. Learn more at AkitaBox.com.