Facility Management Software – The Art of Organizing the Future

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08/07/2019 |

Facility Management Software – The Art of Organizing the Future

Learn how one university made oversight of
facility management activities much easier.

person walking on concrete road beside brown concrete house near green high trees under white sky during daytime

Facility management (FM for short) is a business management discipline that is still in its infancy and which entails enormous organizational effort. This work has always been part of overseeing a building’s usage, but today a wide variety of tasks are pulled together under the new collective term known as facility management. The role of facility managers, as well as how an organization can be more successful by using facility management software, is explained below.

Facility Management Is a Little Different Than Most People Think

Wrongly, the term facility management is often taken to mean classic janitorial activities. But what is really behind the phrase? Let’s start with a classic facility management definition: According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the discipline is responsible for ensuring that buildings and systems used within these buildings optimally support the people, processes and place within the environment. The aim of facility management is to improve the existing operating functions of a building, reduce costs and thus keep the property modern and fully-functional.

The responsibility of a facility manager spans the entire life cycle of a building. Building lifecycle management includes six phases:

 

  • Planning
  • Building construction
  • Facility usage
  • Building maintenance
  • Repairs and improvements
  • Optimizations

 

The tasks of a facility manager can be subdivided into commercial, technical and infrastructure building management . The commercial part includes activities such as operating cost accounting or budgeting. In the technical area, a facility manager takes care of tasks like energy management or security technology. The infrastructure area of responsibility can include waste management, various maintenance services or building cleaning services.

The already mentioned IMFA is a guiding body for those in the FM field. Founded in 1980, decision-makers in FM can network and exchange ideas. The organization has more than 24,000 members in more than 10 countries.

Facility management is much more than simple janitorial activities.

Staying on Track? Quite Easy with Facility Management Software!

As you can see, facility management is much more than simple janitorial activities. So how do facility managers handle all of these tasks?

Take a higher education institution as an example. It has a total of 180 buildings to manage; depending on the university, these can be on a single campus or spread throughout the city. For one person alone, maintenance and repair on this scale is not feasible.

For this reason, a university often employs several craftsmen from different disciplines who are responsible for repairs throughout the school. This involves a great deal of organizational effort. However, structuring and coordinating all employees and activities becomes incredibly easy with facility management software. Such software bundles all To Dos in one place thereby ensuring that no task is ever missed, the correct personnel are assigned to each task and documentation of task progress is recorded.

In this case, the university began using OTRS as its facility management software. The university used OTRS to efficiently manage its activities in the form of processes and reporting. Initially, the incoming work orders were received in the customer’s workshop via OTRS, categorized and assigned to the responsible employees. All orders were then printed out and handed over to each employee. Pretty cumbersome and not so modern, yes? Exactly. In addition, it meant that employees always had to go back to the workshop if there were any uncertainties about the assignment.

Since OTRS can also be used via smartphones and tablets, and its operation is extremely simple, workers now access OTRS via smartphones while in the field.

To combat this, our consultants sat down with the master craftsmen, foremen, journeymen and apprentices of the university to conduct a Conception and Process Design Workshop and then compiled a solution that was custom-fit for the customer. Since OTRS can also be used via smartphones and tablets, and its operation is extremely simple, workers now access OTRS via smartphones while in the field.

The beauty of the solution is that each employee received a business mobile phone which is  used to accept digital work orders and document their status. This means no more extra miles to the workshop, no more time-consuming printing and the environment is also protected thanks to saving paper.

The Advantage Is in the Support

OTRS as a solution in facility management can be perfectly tailored to the needs of your operation in order to ensure successful work processes. Optimally configuring the software down to the smallest detail in cooperation with the OTRS consultants is profitable for your business – contact our OTRS team today.

Text:
Photos: Victoria Heath on Unsplash

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