Facilities management is a complex and time-consuming endeavor. It often requires manual labor and multiple teams to complete.
To streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance customer service, many organizations have turned to using specialized software.
Facilities management software does these things and more. It can automate tedious tasks and provide valuable insights into how facilities are working - or not working - daily.
In this blog post, we will explore what facilities management software is and its features to look for. We'll also review the benefits of using it, and compare popular options available on the market. This article will help you find the right facilities management software for your organization.
What is facilities management software?
It's commonly agreed upon that the term facilities management started being used more regularly in the 1970s. But in the 1970s, software wasn't as widely adopted. So when the concept of facilities management became trendy, how were facilities being managed without software?
Simply put, with paper and pencil. Or pen. There were also probably lots of phone calls being made. Can you imagine how horrible that must have been?
But over the next few decades, leaders in facilities management realized that their jobs weren't just about maintaining the physical building they worked in. They started to look for ways to encompass other business concepts into facilities management; concepts like contracts and lease agreement management. They also started incorporating business operations functions like HR into facilities management.
With a growing list of incorporated functions, added to the need to modernize operations, facilities management software was born.
At its core, facilities management software is a computer program that provides visibility into the performance of an organization's physical assets. It gives managers insight into the condition of these assets so they can be tracked more closely and maintained better over time. It also helps staff track productivity across departments, providing clear metrics that allow them to identify areas where improvement is needed.
In addition to tracking physical assets and staff productivity, facilities management software can improve customer service by providing automated responses to inquiries or requests. By automating somewhat mundane tasks, this type of software can enable businesses to provide faster responses with fewer errors.
Overall, facilities management software is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses looking to gain greater visibility into their operations. Knowing this, let's take a deeper look at some of the most critical features within facilities management software.
Features to look for in facilities management software
Finding the ideal facility management software can be a daunting task.
Luckily, great companies have been leading the way in this space and have developed great products. To guarantee success, there are certain features that should be considered when evaluating potential solutions. Let's highlight a few.
Asset tracking might be the most popular feature in facilities management software. Just think of all of the various assets that need to be tracked to manage facilities.
- Maintenance materials
- Utility components
Asset tracking, similar to inventory tracking, helps you know what you have to do the job. If you can't keep track of numerous assets across multiple properties, you won't be able to keep them running.
This one sounds weird, and might even be able to fit in with asset tracking. But there are additional functions here that could make this it's own category.
Depending on how large your organization is, you might need to keep track of a larger team. But don't misunderstand. We don't advocate tracking everyone on your team so you know exactly where they are every hour of the day.
Our advocacy here centers on being able to assign work and complete jobs on time. The easiest way to do that is to have a high-level view of your team at all times. Want to know when your plumber completes his current task so you know when to schedule the next one? Looking to balance plumbing work between multiple people that can get the job done?
Your facilities management software ought to give you the best picture of what's next on the plates of your team. This way, you can schedule the work and worry less.
Operations management helps locate areas for improvement and streamline processes. In many ways, it pulls together the assets and people to efficiently do the job. With an operations management feature set, you can keep your team productive on the jobs that matter most.
When data is shared between departments, it enables smoother transitions and improved collaboration. Real-time reporting allows organizations to track performance and quickly identify any mistakes to make timely corrections. Security measures such as encryption and authentication protect customer data while a user-friendly interface makes the adoption process easier for new users.
A final major feature we'll highlight is vendor management. Any facilities management software that doesn't allow the ability to manage your vendors should not be considered.
Because the ability to manage inventory is vital, being able to manage vendors within your system is also important. Tracking costs and communications with vendors should all be located within your facilities management software. Even the ability to send documents within the software is a priceless feature to have.
Now that we've touched on some of the most important features of facilities management software, let's review the best companies serving the industry.
We're getting all of our information from SelectHub. SelectHub is a great resource for reviewing software solutions for countless situations. Use this link to review all facilities management software solutions from SelectHub.
Now, let's dig in.
Comparing popular facilities management software options
Choosing the right facilities management software solution can be a complex process. Fortunately, there is an array of options available that offer a range of features to suit different requirements.
Here, we'll look at 3 different solutions providers. We're presenting them in no particular order. However, these 3 are being highlighted because they have ratings of Excellent regarding User Sentiment on the SelectHub website.
One of the top reasons to use UpKeep as a facilities management software solution is because it's mobile-based. Mobile-friendly solutions are critical for modern businesses, and UpKeep answers the call.
Another great feature of UpKeep is the price. UpKeep has 4 tiers of pricing to make their product for businesses of all sizes. You can start using their product for just $20/month per user. For a smaller team of only 5 people, that's quite affordable.
Touted as mainly a work-order management system, UpKeep lets you create and manage an unlimited number of work orders on their Lite plan. They also allow unlimited recurring work orders, as well as unlimited requesters.
Bumping up to their Professional plan gives you access to advanced analytics, signature capture, and a requests portal. This comes in addition to everything included in the Lite and Starter plans. With so many critical features wrapped in a great interface, UpKeep is on our short list of best facilities management software.
eMaint is an award-winning cloud-based tool that provides visibility into asset performance in real-time with their mobile app feature, which makes it easier to schedule preventive maintenance tasks quickly and easily.
One main feature eMaint highlights is their ability to increase productivity by streamlining tech activities. Repairs and work requests, along with work order management and maintenance plans are key components of eMaint.
Pricing is a significant difference between eMaint and UpKeep. The eMaint pricing page shows plans starting at $69/month per user. This price is only for 3 users, where UpKeep's pricing was for 5 users.
The other big benefit to eMaint is it's user-friendly interface. If you're considering upgrading your facilities management software, find something that can be adopted easily. You don't want your team struggling to use software when they should be focusing on managing your facilities.
FMX is making our list because of the extensive number of features they offer. Granted, a lot of these features are considered add-on features. But the list is impressive. Their list of base features include:
- Maintenance requests
- Preventative maintenance
- Equipment maintenance
- Inventory management
- Purchase order management
- Schedule requests
- Trip requests
- Technology requests
- 1-to-1 asset manager
Their list of add-on features is too long to list them all here. But, here are a few of them:
- Interactive mapping
- Satisfaction surveys
- Utility tracking
- Cleaning requests
- Fleet maintenance requests
- Guest and visitor registration
With all of these features, it's easy to see why FMX is considered a practical option for facilities management software.
One downside with FMX, though, is their lack of pricing transparency. While their website has a pricing page, pricing isn't listed at all. Not even a range to give someone an idea of how much the software costs. There's only a form you can fill out to get a quote. This means you won't be able to do much of your own research without having to talk to someone from their sales team.
When selecting a facilities management software solution, comparison shopping is essential for finding the best option tailored towards current needs and future objectives.. Careful research is needed to determine which system best meets present needs. You'll also want to consider future objectives. Having access to these solutions will prove invaluable when it comes down to making sure operations run smoothly without any hiccups along the way.
Topics: Facilities Management