Four Benefits to Using Software to Manage Facilities Management in Small Businesses

Jan 11, 2017 2:25:28 PM / by Heather Lancaster

In a small business, employees might think of Facilities Management as just the “maintenance man” that changes smoke detector batteries or HVAC filters. But, the reality is, Facilities Management goes way beyond these superficial items into a full integration of people, places, and processes with the appropriate technology to manage a host of requests and processes.[1] As a facilities manager, even if you’re the only person, it’s your responsibility to stay on top of everything involving buildings and office spaces, as well as the safety and security of the employees you support.

Balancing a diverse workload

As facilities manager, you’re constantly juggling multiple responsibilities. In addition to fixing broken equipment, there’s always preventative maintenance and ongoing updates that need to be taken into consideration. Employee turnover and company growth consistently impact your responsibilities.

The day to day may involve more mundane items like painting, basic plumbing, or electrical items. You probably work with outside vendors to handle more complicated items like broken HVAC systems. You may have to order and assemble new furniture for employees. Additionally, you may help the IT team with managing equipment such as phones, printers, or computers.

More than likely, you’ll be involved with any employee onboarding or offboardng processes, making sure workspaces are set up or broken down as needed. When employees change positions, they may change workplace locations, so getting all their equipment moved may fall under your jurisdiction.

Security controls are also within your domain. Addressing security parameters may involve making sure the right people have the right access cards or codes, and deactivating or changing them when someone leaves. You may work with an outside security company for monitoring or simply have a series of cameras installed that you monitor.

You probably also supervise cleaning operations and make sure all health and safety standards are upheld. This is another area where vendors come into play. Are you getting the best value for the price? How often are there complaints about the service from your employees?

The question becomes, with so many variables in tasks thrown at you on a daily basis, how do you manage your workload?

Do your coworkers grab you in the hallway to report issues? Do you have processes that cross over into other departments? How do you communicate back and forth with employees about their issues? How do you manage outside vendors?

Software benefits

If you’re like a lot of facility managers, you might manage your daily workload using spreadsheets, or even post-it notes plastered all over your workspace. There are benefits to finding a software package to help manage everything that comes your way.

  1. Prioritize and report on workloadWith issues coming in from employees, and possibly from external vendors, a software package would be able to capture all the requests coming in, so nothing gets lost. You can also then group items together so that more urgent priority items don’t get missed or delayed. Being able to report on your activity and determine trends can also go a long way in potentially justifying additional manpower, or equipment needs.
  2. Track processes across departmentsIf you are involved in any workflow processes, such as employee onboarding, you interact with other departments. It’s possible that they may have a software to track their processes, if not, any software you use should be able to be handle input from users across departments. Any other processes or “how to” items could be captured to make it easy to remember or train new staff.
  3. Schedule preventative maintenanceOne of the most important things as a facilities manager is to make your equipment last as long as possible. You can’t constantly be buying new items, so from a cost perspective, keeping items running is critical.[2] Using a software package allows you to track when preventative maintenance was completed on any piece of equipment. It can even remind you when maintenance should be completed.

     

  4. Communicate with employees and outside vendorsEveryone wants to know the status of their request. Outside vendors need to be notified of work, or of variances to an ongoing engagement. A good software will let you capture entire threads of communication back and forth about the request. Keeping information about phone calls or emails stored in one place increases everyone’s accountability and knowledge.

Ultimately, all of these benefits give you a more streamlined workday and easier access to pull information for updates when your management requests it. Getting rid of the sea of post-it notes swamping your workstation, or the spreadsheet that hasn’t been updated since you caught a breath three weeks ago, makes it much easier to know what tasks you have ahead of you and what you’ve already completed.

To get a personalized tour showing how Issuetrak can help organize all your facilities management needs, talk to one to one of our product experts today.

[1] https://www.ifma.org/about/what-is-facility-management

[2] http://www.espace.cool/top-5-facility-management-challenges/

 

Topics: Issue Tracking

Heather Lancaster

Written by Heather Lancaster