Facilities Management: technology for efficiency and competitive advantage
How people work has changed significantly over recent years and technology has brought big changes to the workplace. The need to capture accurate data, consolidate, analyse and share it is critical to today’s key business decision makers. Facilities Management is no different. Efficiently managing daily tasks, internal and external workforces, as well as providing insights to their clients is paramount.
Technology empowers the customer. Facilities Management companies have to change the way they traditionally operate to become more efficient and customer-centric.
Pain Points in Facilities Management
Pain points in Facilities Management apply to cleaning staff, site staff, managers AND the customer. For contract/cleaning staff, paperwork takes a long time to complete, effort to transport and there’s the risk of losing it. Site staff then find it difficult to understand cleaning staff’s performance since it is tricky to compile information. Auditing performance also takes a really long time. For management, they often don’t have any overview of the current business situation, and are only able to look at outdated information. In addition, they have difficulty in answering customer queries on performance and standards since they don’t have the ability for reactive information searching. In the same way, customers then have a delay while waiting for answers when querying their contracted FM company on status updates, leading to frustration.
There is a greater need for innovation and technology adoption – i.e. moving away from paper based processes. This will ensure FM companies can manage both their workforce and clients more efficiently. Capturing, analysing and sharing big data enables them to make business critical decisions.
As a result, companies gain a major competitive advantage. How?
- By saving time. How? Data is captured remotely as tasks are carried out. This is then synchronised via the cloud to a database. Furthermore, save travel time to the office and manual input time whilst there. As the information is held in a central repository reports can be generated automatically. Finally, share the data seamlessly via secure log in access to dashboards and reports.
- By saving money. For example, petrol, printing, paper, staff time for manual input, email generation and staff time in pulling information together to generate reports.
- By providing better customer service. How? By having access to big data. This with the ability to analyse the data, lets businesses and their customers determine which areas could be more effective through process change. Automatic notifications means remedial/repair work can be carried out more quickly. Additionally, companies can give their clients a tool showing the services and related statuses (in real time). This builds a better relationship.
Efficiency Gains in all areas
FM processes can be much more efficient with this technology. These processes include cleaning, maintenance, repairs, audits and quality compliance. This is not to mention asset management and time & attendance reporting, site surveys and security patrolling.
All kinds of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ FM services can undergo this digital transformation, fast. Managing the following can be so much quicker and easier:
- Health and safety
- Vehicle and many more.
In summary, FM companies can save and money by cutting manual data entry, email sends and report generation. They can also implement Service Level Agreements and give customers real time data access. Finally, they can unlock key business insights and process improvements by big data collection and analysis.