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The 5 Facility Management Tools You Need Today
Feb 21 2022
Companies everywhere are in the midst of a global workplace transformation. Facility managers and leadership teams are working overtime to ensure they are creating a workplace that is supportive of all their employees and their newly flexible workplace preferences. For some, this means redesigning the office to increase accessibility across the board. For others, they are taking this moment in time as an opportunity to refocus their sustainability initiatives. Meanwhile, everyone is investing in smart office technology to ease transitions in and out of the office for hybrid employees, and make flexible work possible.
Regardless of how your office is transforming, leveraging spatial intelligence will allow you to make data-informed workplace strategy decisions that effectively improve the employee experience. Analyzing spatial intelligence data allows facility managers and business leaders to make workplace transformation decisions based on employee behavior patterns and preferences. By leveraging facility management tools alongside spatial intelligence data, CRE owners are able to optimize the workplace and improve office utilization.
Using Facility Management Tools to Optimize Office Space
It’s not only the traditional office spaces themselves that are outdated in 2022, but the practices we use to transform and optimize them. As the employee workplace expectations continue to evolve, it is the responsibility of property managers to evolve the office alongside them. In many cases, this requires facility managers to invest in new tools and best practices.
Facility management tools, such as a workplace analytics platform and building automation systems, take the guesswork out of workplace optimization by leveraging spatial intelligence.
For example, opposed to relying on inefficient practices to determine how space is actually being used — such as conducting regularly scheduled walk-throughs of the office — smart facility management tools allow users to more accurately visualize and understand how their space is being used on a day to day and moment by moment basis. With automation and integrations, employee behavior data can direct temperature control and other environmental conditions without manual programming. Spatial intelligence allows business leaders to take their understanding of physical space to a deeper level.
Employees across industries and countries continue to relish in the newfound freedom of having increased personal choice in their professional lives. To support this natural global workforce-wide transition, business leaders and facility managers must invest in connected monitors and environmental sensors, and use employee-centric best practices to sustainably provide their employees with an ideal work environment.
Facility Management Best Practices
To ensure you are providing your employees with the support they deserve, abide by these facility management best practices:
- Create a centralized facility management system by utilizing integrated software.
- Collect continuous space utilization data to ensure all parties are consistently operating off of up-to-date workplace usage information and that your real estate portfolio and space management is optimized for current needs.
- Monitor employee behavior trends and patterns before making workplace transformation decisions.
- Ensure all of your decisions are data-driven by always leveraging workplace analytics.
- Automate any and all facility processes that you can to reduce the possibility for manual human error.
- Remember that facility management is not a one-size fits-all process, remain flexible in your approach and adoption of policies.
Top Facility Management Tools for 2022
Facility management software allows CRE strategists, business leaders, and facility managers to tailor their workplace to the employee experience, instead of forcing employees to adapt to an unsuitable work environment. To evolve your office into an accessible and supportive workplace for all employees, consider utilizing these top facility management tools.
1. Workplace Analytics Platform
Workplace analytics software allows businesses to leverage data from workplace sensors and integrate it into cloud-based workplace technology solutions like meeting room platforms. Depending on the specific needs of your workplace, you may use a workplace analytics platform to identify patterns in employee movement, collaboration, and productivity.
Comprehensive workplace analytics tools, such as the VergeSense workplace analytics platform, provide CRE leaders and facility managers with the real-time workplace usage data they need to effectively optimize their facilities.
2. Task Management Software
Task management software (also known as project management software) consists of tools that allow users to organize and manage their internal responsibilities. Such software can be used by team leaders to delegate tasks, CRE managers to track project progress, and business leaders to set and oversee deadlines. Facility managers can use project management tools to strategically plan workplace transition projects, ongoing monitoring and assessment of building or portfolio efficiency, or to manage a team of facility operations employees.
By using cloud-based task management software, such as Asana, entire organizations can streamline their project management efforts through a shared, centralized platform. The ideal task management software leads to transparent project management efforts and improved hybrid collaboration.
3. Inventory Management System
Inventory management systems are the processes used by business leaders and facility managers to track and control their stock through the entirety of the supply chain. By overseeing your supply chain cycle from initial purchase to final sale, inventory management system users are able to garner a more comprehensive understanding of how their inventory budget is being allocated, and identify where they can improve efficiency.
As the workplace continues to evolve, the materials and products employees need to function in them will continue to change. Top inventory management systems, such as Fishbowl for small and midsize companies or NetSuite for enterprises, allow users to accurately track and manage their inventory needs in order to ensure their business is never under or overstocked.
4. Asset Management System
Asset management software is the latest in workplace automation technology. Manual asset management systems — including everything from inventory management to document management — allow for a greater opportunity for human error and avoidable mistakes. A smart asset management system gives up to the moment insights on any and all workplace inefficiencies you may encounter.
Asset management systems serve as a centralized location to store internal or building-specific information. The most effective systems allow for the streamlined management of all assets that affect the day to day goings on of your facility. Top asset management software, such as ManageEngine Asset Explorer, offer support for physical and virtual assets, and require collaboration between facility management, IT, and leadership teams.
5. Building Automation System
As investments in ESG continue to rise and corporate sustainability continues to be at the forefront of CRE leaders’ minds, more and more business owners are integrating building automation systems into their workplace strategy. Building automation systems allow users to virtually oversee and control building systems including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, energy management, and access control, and be alerted when something isn’t working correctly or is nearing an issue.
Building automation systems can be as comprehensive as you need them to be. Depending on your workplace strategy and transformation goals, you may decide to automate the entirety of your facilities or specific workspaces throughout. Top building automation systems include Siemens AG and Honeywell International Inc.
What software do facility managers use?
Depending on the specific needs of your the space a facility manager is overseeing, their software needs may include:
- A computerized maintenance management system
- Computer-aided facility management software
- An integrated workplace management system
- Enterprise asset management software
Facility management tools will continue to be a necessity for CRE owners and business leaders in the years to come. To begin preparing your workspace for the future, here’s how to implement data-driven office planning.
Optimizing office building management is key to reaching ESG goals and improving employee experience. Here is how to conduct an audit for building management efficiency.
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