Effective management of your commercial facilities can have a big impact on your bottom line, including more efficient processes, lower costs, and a more productive working environment. With a wide range of great facility management software solutions available today, you can easily coordinate your facility’s operations with software that helps you manage everything from space allocation to preventative maintenance. In this article, we’ll explore how to better manage your commercial facilities and the important role facility management software can play in the management of your facilities.
What Is Facility Maintenance?
A facility refers to the building or group of buildings where your organization’s work is carried out. This includes factories, offices, schools, jails, hospitals, hotels, retail establishments, and other commercial places of business. In a simple definition, facility maintenance is the process of maintaining these buildings so work can be carried out in a good, efficient manner.
Facility maintenance is much more than this, however. In 2009, the International Facility Management Association identified eleven core competencies of facility management. They include all of the following.
- Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity
- Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
- Finance and Business
- Human Factors
- Leadership and Strategy
- Operations and Maintenance
- Project Management
- Real Estate and Property Management
It is here where we see the broad spectrum of facility maintenance. Because facility maintenance touches upon every aspect of a successful business, it is crucial to get a well-managed facility maintenance plan in place. This is made simpler with the use of facility management software.
Improving Commercial Facility Management – 3 Ways CAFM Can Help
Facility maintenance software is also known as CAFM, or Computer-Aided Facilities Management. The software is meant to keep track of spaces, people and physical assets within the facility. It is a bird’s eye view that lets you know where everything is at a given point in time, and how people, assets and spaces interact together in the course of a workday.
CAFM can help improve the management of your commercial facilities in a number of ways including the following three prime examples.
Efficient Use of Space
CAFM includes a computerized model of all your facility spaces. This could be a single floor in one building, multiple floors in one building, or even multiple spaces in multiple buildings. It allows you to view your facility at the organizational level to assess how things are working.
Does the layout of your spaces make sense? Is it optimized or are you wasting space? Are people and departments who work together gathered in optimal positions to facilitate their collaboration? Does the position of machinery, desks, computers and other assets make work flow easier? CAFM can help you analyze your space so you can make better use of it.
Preventing Unplanned Downtime
Keeping your equipment up and running is important for any commercial facility, no matter what equipment is used. Factory equipment, computers, and copy machines are all vital pieces of equipment that keep the facility running properly. They all also require periodic maintenance to keep them performing at their best. Without proper maintenance, your equipment could break down, creating unplanned downtime that slows the productivity of your facility.
CAFM software can help you prevent unplanned downtime by helping you create a preventative maintenance program. Routine maintenance is identified ahead of time and scheduled at optimal times to not interrupt the flow of work. This regular upkeep of your valuable equipment will help prevent unplanned downtime.
Preparing for Emergencies
Emergency preparedness is one of the most important aspects of facilities maintenance, but it’s also one you hope you don’t actually have to enact. While most commercial facilities will never have to deal with emergencies such as fires, earthquakes, intruders, threats and attacks, it’s crucial to have an emergency plan in place just in case.
Emergency preparedness is another aspect of CAFM that can really benefit your commercial facility. This includes a range of things from the proper maintenance of smoke detectors and fire alarms, to understanding escape routes, to providing accurate floor plan information for emergency responders.
As you can see, facility management software can help with a range of facility functions. Space allocation, equipment maintenance, and emergency preparedness just skim the surface of what CAFM is capable of doing for your commercial facility. This is why better overall management of your commercial facility should always start with facility management software.