Facility managers are vested with the critical mission of building operations and management and maintaining their pristine condition, along with ensuring that day to day facility operations run smoothly. To successfully accomplish this task, they can often rely heavily on state-of-the-art building and facility management software. It’s been around for decades but has only recently gained popularity, as more organisations realise the value of using this software to improve their building operational processes.
Facility managers can use building management software to track and improve the efficiency of their facilities.
For example, a facility manager for an apartment complex or hotel can use the software to track how much energy is being used in each unit or room. This will help them determine if any units are using more energy than others and allow them to adjust the energy usage accordingly. Facility managers can also use the software to track how much water is being used in each unit. This will help them determine if there are any leaks or other problems with their plumbing and allow them to take steps to fix them.The benefits of facility management software include improved productivity and data collection as well as increased collaboration across departments, which helps reduce costs. But it can be tough for facilities managers to overcome common challenges when it comes to adopting and implementing this software. .
In this article, we will explore the challenges facility managers face in facility management software adoption and adherence, and what could be done about these challenges.
Challenges faced by facility managers in building maintenance
The challenges faced by facility managers in building maintenance have a lot to do with information sharing between facilities and operations. Some of the common issues can include:
- Lack of integration between systems, which makes it difficult to manage multiple buildings from one platform.
- No consolidated system that manages and records building activity, making it impossible to access a centralised database for all the building’s operations.
- The lack of a ‘single source of truth’ when it comes to building operations leading to duplication of data.
- No single system that manages all buildings’ operations, making it hard to keep track of what’s happening across the facility manager’s portfolio.
- Paper-based records make it difficult and time-consuming to track progress, as well as identify opportunities to optimise the value chain.
- Inability to collect data related to energy usage that could be used in optimising the building operations.
While facility management software can be a huge boon for facility managers and management alike, on-ground realities can sometimes stand in the way of leveraging the strengths of technology in building operations.
For management, the adoption of operations software is often driven by a desire to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. The problem is that these goals aren’t necessarily always aligned with those of building operators. Operators’ primary objective is typically to keep their buildings running safely and smoothly, which may not always align with the objectives of a facility manager who wants to cut costs or improve efficiency.
This conflict between objectives can result in one or more of the following:
- A lack of trust between building operators and facility managers
- A failure to achieve desired savings or efficiencies due to resistance from building operators
To avoid this scenario, both parties must understand each other’s motivations and expectations around the use of operations software.
What’s in it for the operators?
Facility management software is one of the best ways to improve facilities’ efficiency and operations. It can help facility managers save time and money while helping them provide better service to their customers. But then, the success of facility management software depends on the adoption by maintenance personnel who will have to use the tool for their daily operations. While management has a clear idea of why they are implementing facility management software, many times ground personnel are not clear about the tangible benefits and this affects facility management software adoption and adherence.
When it comes to adopting new technologies, it’s important to build a strong benefit-value narrative among the users of the tool. In this case, facility managers and operators need to focus on how adopting and adhering to the facility management software can improve the overall team work efficiency, such as:
- Less time spent searching documents for field trips (e.g., inspection reports).
- Reduced miscommunication on-field and thereby reducing the number of unwanted trips to the field for operators.
- Decreased manual tasks for operators using the facility management software.
- Easier access to key information related to worker safety and fire risk hazard prevention procedures.
Best practices while implementing facility management software
- Create a communication plan: This can help ensure that members of the team are well-informed about the new systems and expectations during the transition.
- Set up a pilot program: A trial or pilot implementation period will allow facility managers to test out the system and make sure it is meeting all of the needs, before moving forward with full rollout.
- Build an operator’s narrative: Narrating the facility management software benefits from the operator’s perspective with examples so that everyone on the team understands how these systems can benefit their work efficiency. .
- Establish a support system: Make sure operators have the right support in place so they feel confident using this new system. Following up with operators after initial training sessions is one way for managers to ensure that everyone has what they need (whether it’s additional training sessions or assistance setting up reports) before turning over day-to-day operations to staff members.
- Get operators on board: Everyone in the building maintenance team needs to be on board with the change and understand why the organisation is making it, as well as what they hope to achieve by implementing it. The team members may have their ideas about how best to implement this new software in their areas or roles, so everyone must be engaged through choosing the system, implementation, and adoption.
- Establish a training routine: Create a training plan for all staff members who will be using the software for the first time, whether they are brand new hires or seasoned veterans at the company. Make sure that everyone has access to training materials before they start using any aspect of the system.
Ultimately, facility managers who are considering taking advantage of building operations software should be aware of the potential challenges they may face in the transition. However, these challenges can be effectively managed with a well-defined strategy and steady implementation of building management best practices. By understanding the common issues that facility managers face when adopting building operations software, organisations can avoid costly mistakes and ensure they are able to reap the benefits of building management software.
This article has outlined some common challenges faced by facility managers as they implement or upgrade to new building operations software. We’ve also given you practical tips on how you can overcome these hurdles so that your facility management software investment delivers maximum value for your organisation.
With proper preparation and planning, facility managers can ensure a successful transition to building operations software, allowing them to streamline building management processes and improve building performance.