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Maintenance Management Software for the Next Generation of FMs

Maintenance Management Software for the Next Generation of FMs

Are you still using spreadsheets and manual processes to manage work orders and facility data? Are you bogged down by menial tasks that could be automated? Are you tired of sifting through incomplete data?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of the above, you should know that there’s a better way.

The future of facilities management is upon us, and that means one thing: digital transformation. From automation to AI, there’s no shortage of solutions that can help simplify, streamline, and optimize maintenance management. But how do you know which maintenance management trends are right for your facility?

If you’re ready to leave outdated processes in the past and start planning for the future, we’re here to help. This guide examines actionable digital transformation strategies for facilities, the challenges of antiquated systems, and the benefits of implementing facility management software so you can take the right steps forward for your facility.

Digital Transformation: The Modernization of Maintenance Management

Digital transformation might sound like a buzzword, but the truth is, everything is digital in this day and age—including facility management.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: Taking the leap from manual processes to software, or even switching from one software to another, is incredibly overwhelming. It takes time to implement a new system and get buy-in from your team. Choosing not to upgrade, however, comes with its own set of challenges that should be considered. 

Challenges of Antiquated Systems

Ahh, the spreadsheet. This trusty method of tracking has long been used by FMs to track work orders and organize data. But this type of manual, outdated tracking is riddled with risks and challenges, including:  

  1. Lack of visibility in reporting: When working with a spreadsheet to track projects and data, finding an efficient way to report insights back to your team can be a nightmare. Manual tracking methods typically don’t include built-in reporting, leaving FMs out to dry when it comes to how they accurately share information with the rest of their team. This can create confusion within and between departments.
  1. Wasted time and money: Another caveat of outdated systems manifests as wasted resources—namely time and money. Manual tracking is time-consuming and robs FMs of the ability to focus on strategic objectives and their facility’s bottom line. Additionally, paper systems and spreadsheets do little to prepare you for unexpected issues. There is no way to completely mitigate emergency maintenance, but it can be reduced with an updated facility management system, saving your facility money and time.
  1. Prone to errors and delays: Because manual tracking is so antiquated and time-consuming, the door opens for human error and delays. Manual data entry must be precise, as even the smallest errors could lead to inaccuracies in the remaining data points. Like we mentioned before, this process is time-consuming. Any hiccups or mistakes that have to be corrected only lengthen the process as FMs scour paper trails and spreadsheets in search of inaccuracies.
  1. Limited scalability: For facilities focused on growth, an outdated system can hinder their ability to scale. Inefficiencies in data management and low visibility lead to constant backtracking as departments try to get on the same page and make informed decisions. Unless you’re a small, single-person facility (is there such a thing?), this simply won’t do.

Now, let’s say you already have a CMMS in place, but it’s not serving you well. You may run into additional issues, such as:

  • Constant emergency work
  • Poor documentation and tracking
  • Inconsistent data management
  • Departmental conflict
  • Senior management blindsides
  • Overall inefficiency

See more on the most common facility management roadblocks and how you can avoid them.

Benefits of Implementing FM Software

Those challenges can quickly become yesterday’s news when you adopt an effective FM software that can take your organization to the next level. The right maintenance management system can make processes seamless and your organization more nimble when it comes to adapting over time. 

As the built environment continues to expand and become more intricate with different technology integrations and human movement patterns, having a comprehensive software to best equip facility managers and their employees or vendors will be crucial to effectively maintaining all the moving parts within an organization. 

When conceptualized, a facility’s ecosystem can best be seen as an complex network with operational value - the more automated manual, tedious tasks are and more consolidated data is to make smarter business decisions, the higher a facility’s operational value is. Increasing the overall operational value and efficiency of your organization with a facility management software that has a singular, comprehensive view into all the moving parts is key to achieving success for both employees and end-users.

There are many specific benefits of upgrading, many of which you’ll notice almost immediately. Here’s more - 

  • Save time and money: Integrating a facility management platform with your organization is one of the most cost-effective ways to manage work orders and projects. With the right maintenance management system, you’ll be able to reduce administrative costs, improve time management, reduce downtime, and use data analysis to focus your budget. Rather than incurring unexpected costs and running into emergencies often, you’ll pay a fixed cost for your FM software and continuously reap the benefits—even as you scale.

  • Future-proof your organization: By implementing a facility management tool, you can effectively future-proof your organization. It’s important to be proactive when it comes to maintenance management so you’re not left in a pattern of reactive maintenance, needing to find solutions to challenges as they happen. Future-proofing can include testing new work processes, moving to a digital-first approach, outsourcing certain processes,  analyzing past events, and predicting future events.

  • Improve productivity: Upgrading your workflows with a new FM software will have an immense effect on your facility’s overall productivity. By reducing the burden of tedious administrative tasks and smoothing workflows for team members, you increase your capacity for more meaningful, productive work. Insightful reporting, greater team collaboration, and faster workflows are just a few of the ways you can increase the productivity and operational value of your facility.

  • Happier employees: While your facility’s bottom line is revenue, no operation can run smoothly if its team members are constantly stressed and, in some cases, overworked. Perhaps the best consequence of upgrading your facility with a new FM software is the reduced tension on FMs and other employees. Employees’ stress levels can be greatly reduced by incorporating tools like automatic reporting and other forms of autonomous maintenance.

After considering the benefits of implementing FM software, you’ll need to consider which type is right for your facility. 

 

Types of FM Software

There are quite a few acronyms to know when it comes to facility management software: CAFM, CMMS, EAM, and beyond. But, what’s far more important than what these acronyms stand for is what each of these systems does.

CAFM

Computer-Aided Facility Management software is a broad category that includes software solutions that help facility operators manage all aspects of the built environment. This is essentially the support of facility management through information technology. An effective CAFM software centralizes a facility’s systems, data, and tools in a single platform with the aim of accurately tracking data and processes to better serve the organization’s strategic business goals.

CMMS

A Computerized Maintenance Management System is software that helps facilities manage assets, track inventory, schedule maintenance, and monitor work orders. Incorporating a CMMS is one step you can take to modernize your facility’s maintenance repair operations, and we’d go as far as saying a solid CMMS is essential for facilities in industries where physical infrastructure is critical, such as manufacturing, power generation, construction, and transportation. Central to any CMMS is its database, which organizes information regarding assets, equipment, materials, and other resources that need to be tracked in order to ensure a smooth operation.

EAM

Enterprise Asset Management is a combination of software, systems, and services used to manage asset lifecycles. The main focus of EAMs is centralizing information to facilitate and automate maintenance management. EAM and CMMS are often confused, but they are not the same—a CMMS (like FlowPath) can be one aspect of an EAM. Enterprise asset management is important for organizations that have to manage a large number of assets, as it helps organizations track, assess, manage, and optimize asset quality.

When choosing a facility management software, you’ll want to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. Want to learn more about how to choose the right FM software? Check out our blog, Uncomplicating CAFM Software: How to Choose the Best FM Software.

The Future of Facility Management: Looking Forward with FlowPath 

When it comes to the future, there’s one software to rule them all: FlowPath! Our facility management software is unlike anything else on the market because it was designed with you—facility managers—in mind. 

The remarkable thing about FlowPath is that it eliminates the need for all of those confusing acronyms mentioned above. Our platform does it all—it’s like the operating system of FM software because it truly increases your facility’s operational value, encompassing everything from work order, equipment, and inventory management to maintenance schedules and automated reporting. And, as your facility continues to grow and evolve, our software can scale right along with you. Our ultimate purpose is to lighten your load so you have more time to focus on big-picture items without getting bogged down by the basics. 

What FlowPath Can Do

The better question might be, “What can’t FlowPath do?” Our versatile, comprehensive software was designed to make your life as a facility manager easier. Because when you increase operational efficiency, you create operational value—which includes more intangible benefits like increased team happiness, trust, transparency, and tenure throughout the organization. Call it a win-win-win. 

Here’s how FlowPath works to help you accomplish all of the above:

  • Seamless work order creation: It’s easy to misplace or forget about work orders if you’re manually tracking them in a spreadsheet. FlowPath allows users to quickly and easily create work orders quickly and efficiently that can then be submitted by call, text, email, or online through their desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. 
  • Improved communication: Don’t let miscommunications delay your process another second. With FlowPath, get the accountability you need to ensure that work orders are completed from beginning to end. You can view your pending, scheduled, and completed work orders in one place as well as assign individual work orders. 
  • Manage equipment, inventory, and purchase orders: Looking for a better way to manage your equipment, inventory, purchase orders, and projects? FlowPath has you covered with real-time updates that allow you to track progress and see when changes occur. What’s more, you can add costs per unit to keep track of expenses associated with inventory and equipment. Having this insight can help you extend the life of your assets, manage preventive maintenance, and so much more. 
  • Manage vendors and the work order lifecycle: Miscommunications don’t just happen internally. Minimize the potential for misunderstandings with FlowPath by easily communicating with external users such as vendors and stakeholders. Upload invoices instantly and see updates immediately. Yep, it’s that easy.  
  • Get operational insights and reporting: Operational insights are crucial for planning and future-proofing. FlowPath lets you easily track and measure key performance indicators, like use of materials and equipment trends. With so many metrics available, FMs can more easily justify necessary actions or changes that would improve overall team performance.
  • Own your data: Data is king in today’s digital world. Make the most of yours with software that provides a high-level view of real-time graphical data—along with the flexibility to instantly download reports. You can then share this information with management to justify the need for additional cost or labor.

While FlowPath’s features are certainly compelling, what really sets our software apart is the team behind it. Our founders set out to create “a facility management product hyper-focused on changing the way people were able to manage their facilities and operations, in turn making their work lives a whole lot better and more approachable.” And so FlowPath was born in January of 2020 to accomplish exactly that.  

Our team is incredibly passionate about innovation, and we’re dedicated to always improving, updating, and optimizing the FlowPath experience. This is one of the reasons why we prioritize customer service—and also why our customers love us. 

“The software is intuitive and very user-friendly. Customer service is top-notch. An absolute must for anyone who is looking for a Work Order Management system.” – Brooke V., Operations Manager Physical Plant, Education

We can’t predict the future of facility management, but we can help modernize your facility’s processes so you can work more efficiently. Take your facility to the next level today, tomorrow, and beyond with FlowPath. Schedule a demo today and see what FlowPath can do for you.

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