Avoid the Hit by a Truck Scenario: Why You Need Facility Management Software, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of our series on Why You Need Facility Management Software.  You can see the first 2 segments on our BLOG page

In summary, we have established common language for this discussion and explored the first 2 most obvious reasons for using facility management software. (Be intentional and Central Data Base/Repository).

Now, let’s expand that list and look at a number of other factors in making the right decision for your organization:

1. Hit by a truck: What would happen to all of your data, plans, procedures, systems, process, etc…if your key person at the organization was (heaven forbid) hit by a truck?  Would you lose all of the data that is squirreled away in their head?  Would you find yourself starting from scratch?  What things might go undone or undetected until something major broke-down? Would you know where all of the files were stored and what vendors had contracts with your organization or what promises had been made?  I have met dozens of great facility managers.  They know their facilities like the back of their hands and they are invaluable.  But…what if suddenly they were gone?  Would you be prepared?

2. Long Term Capital Improvement Planning: We have been pretty surprised by how many facility owners do not have an active “sinking fund” or some form of capital improvements process.  When we ask them about their planning process for major capital expenses (i.e. replacing flooring, replacing HVAC equipment, resurfacing parking, etc), the oh too common answer is…”we wait until it breaks and then replace it.”  OUCH…does not sound like planning. It is ironic that we generally do a tremendous job when we plan for a building expansion or new construction project.  We set aside money in a building fund…evaluate the costs…and plan accordingly.  However, we find it more common than not that this level of proactive planning dies when an organization moves into the building.  Having a proactive means to project and plan for future capital expenditures is a key factor in using facility management software


3. Prioritize work: Does the “urgent” take precedence over the important?  Does that last e-mail or call take you off-task? Ever walk into the office…knowing you have a  million things to to…but don’t know where to start? Do you feel like you have a mountain of work…e-mails…projects…emergencies?  Well…you are not alone.  Frankly, I feel exactly like that as I am typing this.  I have a fence to repair, bills to pay, accounting to update, a building inspection and so much more.   Well…the use of software solutions can be a tremendous asset to staying on point and keep work prioritized.  If it was not for Outlook, I would forget where I am to be, everyone’s phone numbers and even when to take certain meds (I know…I am a mess).  If it was not for my Highrise and Basecamp accounts, I would not be able to stay on task with the people I need to follow up with or what tasks are needed to be accomplished related to a project.  Facility Management software can do the same thing for your facility team.  It can set the priority of the work, set an ETA for the work to be complete and send e-mail alerts and reminders.  Trying to keep all of this in your head or on a legal pad will only increase the stock value for Advil.

4. Manage Vendors: Who is approved to work on your site? How do you track their names, address, e-mails, phone numbers, etc?  How do you dispatch work to the vendors? Fax?  Phone?  Smoke signals?  Most good facility management software solutions will at the very least provide a section to list all of the pertinent data about your vendors and subs.  This is a necessity at the very least.  The better systems will also provide a means for assigning work orders to vendors and dispatch the work orders via an automated system through e-mail, text messages or some similar method.

Well…that is it for this week…there are several more factors that need to be discussed…but they will have to wait until next time.