The role of facilities manager has evolved in the last few decades. What started out as a menial position has now become a crucial role in keeping logistics and support services related to buildings and properties running smoothly. Facilities managers are no longer the people who simply fix things when they break, but they are now integral to the success of any organisation.
As the world changes, so too must the facilities management industry change to keep up. Here are five ways that facilities management will change in the near future:
Tracking asset conditions, organising maintenance records, and creating work orders have long been accomplished by paper and pen. However, paper-based processes are extremely inefficient. For one, entering data from physical documents to spreadsheets or databases is time-consuming and often results in errors. Disorganised record-keeping makes it difficult to fully assess the condition of assets and property. What’s more, paper records are easy to lose, not suitable for sharing between team members, and not eco-friendly.
Luckily, the facilities management industry is moving towards more paperless operations. With the advent of new technologies such as asset management software, it is now easier than ever to keep track of mountains of information. For example, field technicians can now use mobile apps to document the condition of an asset and automatically update the company database. This not only saves time, but it also reduces manual data entry and the errors associated with it. Plus, consolidating all data into a central platform enables companies to gain valuable insights into asset performance and maintenance scheduling requirements.
Automated scheduling processes
In the past, facilities managers had to rely on their team’s experience and knowledge to estimate when maintenance should be carried out. This led to a lot of guesswork and often resulted in over- or under servicing of assets.
Modern field service management software fixes these issues by using asset information, service histories, and manufacturer recommendations to set optimal maintenance schedules. If certain assets require monthly upkeep for preventive maintenance, for example, the software will automatically assign recurring work orders to qualified technicians. This ensures that no asset is overlooked and that all maintenance is carried out in a timely manner.
Reimagined office spaces
Due to the shift to hybrid working arrangements, many companies are evaluating how their office spaces can be used more efficiently. Office spaces were primarily designed for in-person work and collaboration, but there is now a need for more flexible, adaptable workspaces.
Facilities managers must be more creative in their approach to managing the assets within office spaces. For example, they may have to install additional power outlets to accommodate employees who need to bring in their own laptops and other devices. They may also need to consider how to manage the increased traffic flow within office buildings as employees come in and out for meetings. In the future, smart sensors will play a big role in helping facilities managers understand how office spaces are being used and identify areas for improvement.
Structured health and safety risk management
Facilities management is increasingly focused on mitigating health and safety risks. However, this is often performed in a haphazard way with little structure or oversight.
Forward-thinking facilities managers are taking a more systematic approach to health and safety risk management. Instead of keeping a mental checklist of potential risks during an inspection, they use technology. Site photos, qualitative reports, and asset data are fed into a central database, which can be used to identify problem areas. Facilities managers can even devise safe work method statement checklists that instruct field technicians on how to approach tasks safely.
Increased coordination between on-site and back-office teams
Mobile field service apps and integrated systems are narrowing the gap between administration and front-line field operations. For one, technicians can now receive work orders and push notifications on their mobile devices, while managers can track job statuses in real time. Secondly, technicians can easily consult with managers using direct web portals and communication tools. Managers can then use integrated accounting applications like Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB Online to instantly process invoices and payments.
Future-proofing your facilities management operations is all about getting the right tools, and WorkBuddy is one of them. Our field service management platform comes with asset management, automated scheduling, safety compliance, and integrated accounting features to set your business ahead. Book a free personalised demo today.