Keeping the House in Order – The Value of Facilities Management Solutions

“Housekeeping ain’t no joke” – Louisa May Alcott

The author of literary classics like “Little Women” was probably not talking about modern facilities or state-of-the-art offices when she said that, but she might well have been. As enterprises have grown, more and more attention is being paid to managing the facility. A MarketsandMarkets report, “Facility Management Market by Solution” released late in 2015 forecast that the market for such software based solutions in 2015, stood at $ 27.5 Billion, and was slated to touch $ 49.44 Billion in 2020, a CAGR of 12.7%. It would seem enterprises are convinced of the value of these software-based facility management solutions – so is that value exactly?

Transparent visibility, better planning& faster decision-making: As enterprises have grown, their facilities have become more diverse, geographically spread out and generally become more complex. In such a scenario, a software-based solution offers those tasked with managing these assets a single window from which to see the most current state of the facilities and a single source to manage them from. Software-based facilities management solutions can hook up with internal systems like ERPs and even external GIS and other systems. This transparent visibility also allows the leadership to plan better for the future as they have the most complete and current data at their fingertips when they need it.Decision making is also faster – rather than wait till information comes in from across the enterprise, from various manual and diverse systems of reporting, the leaders can view the information at hand quickly, understand the issues and take the right call on what to do next in near real-time.

Cost savings: This may be the single greatest benefit to enterprises as they seek to rationalize spends on infrastructure. Facilities Management solutions help the enterprises utilize the available assets better – the consolidated view allows more streamlined allocation of resources, and hence more efficient utilization. That’s not all – taking a consolidated, rather than a piecemeal view allows savings in the purchase of spares and supplies needed for “keeping the lights on”.Needs can be aggregated across locations and units to reduce overstocking and removing duplication.

Tomorrow ready: Technology is changing rapidly, facilities are becoming smarter and smartphones are becoming more ubiquitous. There is great potential value to leveraging the greater data-gathering capability of such technology movements and the mobile compute-power suddenly created. Software-based solutions today have the capability to interface intelligently with other technology solutions. This opens up an array of potential advantages from the opportunity to leverage these technological advancements.

Safety: The safety of employees and of the work environment is of paramount concern to enterprises. Software-based solutions can help in enhancing the overall safety as managers can use them to get the most current view of the facility and of equipment deployed there, rather than have to wait for scheduled or annual inspections to take place. Potential issues and accidents can be prevented, as remedial measures can be taken proactively.

Ease of reporting and Compliance: There is a slew of rules and regulations related to workplace conditions, safety, and environmental impact that enterprises are expected to comply with and also report on. Complying with these regulations becomes easier with a “single window” solution since it becomes easier to identify points of likely divergence early and put corrective measures in place. Post that, reporting and certifying that compliance also becomes easier with a comprehensive software-based solution given the enhanced reporting capabilities of such solutions.

Clearly each of these points deserve greater elaboration, and we do propose to touch upon them in future posts.

An un-named source had said, about the ideal facilities manager, “An ideal facility manager must have Aristotle’s logic and Solomon’s wisdom, a priest’s discretion and a gambler’s poker face, a lawyer’s shrewdness and a marketing director’s charm, a gladiator’s guts, a marathon runner’s perseverance and a sprinter’s speed, a leatherneck’s toughness and a dancer’s agility, lots of good luck and 30 hours per day.” I think we can all agree that the job is a tough one – a comprehensive software-based facilities management solution could help make it just that bit easier.