Benefits and challenges alongside
IT applications and softwares for any industry is a must which goes hand-in-hand with the business operations, so does applies to the FM industry to be on par with the competitions. Ramesh Kulkarni, Project Manager, Synergy Software Systems, says, “Yes, there are FM companies adapting to the latest IT trends. There are so many advantages of these softwares that the FM companies can’t ignore their presence in the market. They provide easy access to the data/information. Escalation of any maintenance activities in real time is quicker with web-based software. We can obtain online approval of the work orders/job orders through web/browser based FM Software. Team managers can receive alerts and notifications on re-active critical maintenances. Another important thing to keep in mind is that FM Software provides clear visibility on resource availability.”
In short, most of the benefits are related to less time spending, less transportation needs (users don’t need to go to the office to retrieve the data back to the system), less paper, security of the information, the possibility to attach any document of picture is very helpful and shows in real images that the task has been correctly done.
The cost of softwares that directly supports the FM customers is easy for FM managers to justify like room reservation system, drawing viewing tools and service request systems. What really is a daunting task for managers is to justify the expensive cost of the softwares that directly supports the facility management tasks and provides value to the organization but indirectly. So this is something managers have to work upon by narrating the benefits of the tools they wish to use such as space management, project collaboration, energy management, telecom infrastructure management, etc.
Widely used softwares
There’s so much happening in this field and there are some applications that are widely used for various purposes. Here are some known softwares used in the FM industry: IBM Maximo is world’s leader in asset and facilities management software since a decade and consider as best in its class. Leverage easy-to-use, integrated capabilities for integration with other systems for enterprise resource planning, operational systems, financial management, reporting and analysis to support better quality decision making and continuous improvement through industry focused R&D make it world Leader in its class. Then, Oracle EAM is a leading ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), provides a solution to plan, manage and maintain smooth operation of your facilities. SAP- One of leading ERP also has modules to address the maintenance and facilities management needs. Since it comes in suite will be useful for large enterprises to have a uniformed and integrated solution across the organization. Concept Evolution is a web-enabled, complete CAFM solution. It can be used to manage a single facility and service line or a diverse property portfolio and multiple facilities.
Maintenance Connection is a web-based system that spans across a plethora of industries. Some features include cost tracking, predictive analytics, and scheduling and overall project management. MPulse maintenance software is a flexible FM solution that is broken into four editions, each one designed to fit the needs of your business as it grows.
End user training and support
So what happens once the software is installed, actually the real work starts from there. Softwares needs continuous update and the service providers must keep this in mind. It’s very important to transfer knowledge to the customers/end-users on new features. After sales service is highly recommended, resolving the issues and addressing the queries as on when they are raised is a must. Training should be imparted to the new users,” adds Kulkarni. The training process is one that should not be overlooked. The ideal training should have the equal mix of software and implemented business processes. The training duration must allow the participants to have the good hands on practice. Customized training manuals as per the role of trainee should be provided to each participant that can be used as a reference guide as well. Area champions need to be assigned and trained to provide day-to-day support to their departments or sections that will ensure successful rollout of software across the organization.
Check list before the final purchase
- FM software should be purchased because it is the right package to meet your Organizational long term objectives.
- Forcing all functionality into a single solution is typically not the best deciding factor to procure a CAFM. While most enterprise software packages can perform most tasks, rarely do they perform all of them well.
- Buying a software package that is more than your organization needs likely means that the software is more complicated and more costly than necessary. Do not sacrifice ease-of-use and the opportunity to have a best in bread solution to save a small amount of cost.
- You need to choose software packages that are right-sized for your organization. For small organizational needs Software as a Service (SaaS) may be the best option for your organization
- Implementation, support and annual maintenance are the key factors, which make your investment and efforts profitable to your organization. Company profile and post rollout support setup must be considered on priority, while selecting a software implementation services and it must not be compromised for low cost.
- With much of today’s workforce operating in cross-device, cross-platform environments, you cannot afford to overlook the importance of mobility. Mobility solution should be considered for implementation in such hybrid work environment.