By Dan Teare
Technology has brought significant changes to the modern-day workplace. The need to capture, consolidate, analyse and share accurate data is critical to today’s key business decision-makers. Managing daily tasks, internal and external workforces, and providing clarity to clients is paramount – and made all the more difficult during a pandemic and now so many people work from home.
The introduction of innovative digital transformation technologies such as mobile job scheduling, IoT enabled sensors, automatic reporting and intelligent business insights with customer and management dashboards eliminates inefficient processes, and are technologies that facilities management businesses should consider adopting to stay ahead.
The problem with paperwork
Firstly, to explain the benefits of FM software, let’s quickly touch on the drawbacks of the alternative. Completing paperwork is a tedious task, transporting it strenuous and storing it limiting and risky. It can be misplaced or difficult to locate within complicated, manual filing systems. Even a simple proof of works or your employees’ proof of presence can be a difficult thing to evidence.
Additionally, it is difficult to compile information to a central source across multiple disciplines of cleaning, security, maintenance and compliance, and therefore onerous to gauge staff performance from a client’s perspective. After all, often these services come as a package – and are paid for together – so you need to analyse the interactions between operations and their impact overall.
When each discipline uses a one-point solution, the lack of visibility between different operations of the same project or business and the inflexibility this causes can limit their capability to adapt and conform to the needs of the business and its clients.
Whether you’re an in-house facilities management department or a facilities contractor, all kinds of FM services should implement this digital transformation to see the following benefits:
1. Digitising enables dynamic processing
Digital job workflows are a dynamic, intelligent and digitised adaptation of your spreadsheets and/or paper forms. These workflows can enforce questions, automatically calculate scoring, capture photos/signatures, log timestamps and GPS location and so much more, rather than relying on users for completion. Most importantly, they can direct users down different question paths based on their responses – automating the task assignment process. Ultimately, this ensures work is done well and on time.
2. Easily configurable
One of the main benefits of mobile workforce management software is that it’s not a single point solution, and can be easily adaptable to work across any team, and any task. This means it is a cost-effective future-proofing of your business – as you know it will be relevant whichever project tomorrow brings.
3. Improved visibility
A facilities management contract often involves managing large teams of staff spread across multiple locations. Ensuring that your employees are completing tasks efficiently and proactively can be difficult, particularly when managing off-site. Cloud-based software provides greater control and visibility for managers, as they can see exactly which tasks staff have carried out in real-time.
This, in turn, means you can have a more accurate grasp on Service Level Agreements so you can be proactive rather than reactive with your contracts and business decisions. Furthermore, any opportunity for improvements or any unproductive patterns can be easily spotted – minimising lost revenue and allowing you to spot opportunities for growth.
4. Improved productivity
Using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors is one way to reduce costs. When the monitoring data is captured, it is instantly sent to managers, eliminating time-consuming manual checks. It also allows for the more effective deployment of staff – as they can react to real-time events, such as a bathroom door opening a certain number of times rather than a fixed, unreactive schedule.
5. Digital transformation snowballs
Facilities management companies need to embrace technology and change how they work to improve operations, as they can deliver enormous improvements to service and productivity. Achieving this is much easier when equipping managers with cloud-based software that delivers comprehensive information in real-time.
Furthermore, the adoption of technology is worth more than the sum of its’ parts as it snowballs; the more tech you use, the easier you will find it to adopt and implement the latest innovations.