Facilities Maintenance in the Information Era

In a world of constant evolution, one of the most important things to do as a corporate entity, business or entrepreneur is to keep up with the latest trends. Twelve years ago there were no smartphones. Today we are as reliant on them as we are on food and water. Drones were once considered expensive toys for hobbyists. Today they are implemented in a range of professional arenas, from agriculture to deep sea diving.

The simple fact is that the modern world is constantly looking for places to implement technology, and harness the information it gathers, to improve efficiencies and cut down on human error. This is as true for facilities maintenance as it is for any other industry. With computer aided facility management (CAFM) software becoming more advanced and more widely used, the industry is supported in its move from being largely reactive, to being more proactive, insightful and data-driven.

What is CAFM?

In simple terms, computer aided facility management is the implementation of automated systems which are designed to assist facilities managers with all elements of their work. By instituting software in the facility, managers can track all real estate utilisation and asset movement, schedule repairs and preventive maintenance, adhere to compliance standards and monitor work orders. Effectively, CAFM puts the facility manager’s or the FM service provider’s duties into one system, where they, and the client, can track what is happening on the premises.

Why is CAFM suddenly becoming important?

This is a good question. Why change a system that has been working without this type of technology for so long? The issue comes down to manual efficiency in a digital age. Modern technology has opened up an entire world of automated systems that manage a building.

For example; think of a lighting system in a massive building. Which sounds more convenient: getting a person to travel to each floor flicking off the lights, or having all of the lights connected to one system where they can be switched off from a single computer?

Other areas of business have embraced this step forward into the modern age, but facility maintenance has often been overlooked. There is still far too much paper logging, too many phone calls, printed routines and schedules which simply belong in an age that is fast being forgotten. Even a simple break down requires an engineer to carry out a survey before it can be repaired.

To put it simply, this is a waste. A waste of time, and a waste of the information that could be gathered. By utilising a central system which tracks assets, resources and operations, facilities managers can run a far more efficient ship.

In business terms, effective facilities maintenance means more value for money, less monetary waste and more efficient use of assets. It saves more money while making more money. It’s a no-brainer.

So what does CAFM actually do?

1.) Proactive maintenance

Facilities maintenance has a tendency to run reactively. This means that nothing is done until something fails. Only then are repairs scheduled. CAFM software, however, allows FMs to manage their facility proactively. It heightens communication and allows for real-time tracking of all services, assets and inspections.

Productivity is boosted exponentially as maintenance personnel can use a mobile app to go about their routines, allowing for real-time handling of all issues – while in constant communication with the FM. Using the app also means that maintenance is logged ‘on-the-go’ rather than entered in manually later. This allows for far more reliable data collection.

3D models can also be viewed within the CAFM, which can quickly identify problems areas without the need for manual observation. The early detection of problems becomes an advantage with modern data analysis – allowing FMs to deal with problems before they spiral out of control.

CAFM also optimises maintenance intervals, as repair callouts and asset usage are monitored in real time, increasing asset longevity. This relates to cost effectiveness as the need for small repairs or replacements can be tracked consistently.

2.) Better performance insights

Managing multiple streams of data on one platform gives many data analysis opportunities. Using a live sensor data from different parts of the facility, like workstations and check-ins, provides plenty of information which can improve the work environment and help inform upper management in decision making. CAFM systems are able to learn, sort and parse data more intelligently, finding trends that human observers might miss.

Aside from real-time assistance, consistent analyses of the data will allow for the anticipation of future trends and future problems so that optimal resource usage can be decided on ahead of time.

At the moment, the common manner in which facilities are managed is through separate data sources with private contractors keeping their own records. CAFM offers a single solution for all parties. This offers one reliable source of all necessary information.

What can CAFM help with?

1) Asset Management and Lifecycles – Reduces asset downtime and improves asset performance

2) Bookings Management and Self-Service – Manage visitor bookings, catering, rooms and more

3) Health and Safety – In order to ensure statutory compliance, CAFM can automate inspection management

4) Help Desk and Reactive Maintenance – CAFM centralises maintenance and service requests and tracks job progression from start to finish

5) Linear Asset Management – Manage complex infrastructures that have changing characteristics and conditions

6) Medical Device Management – Manage medical devices and making sure there is statutory compliance to improve the standards of healthcare

7) Mobile Work Management – Applications which run on Android and iOS devices, so that staff are always linked to the system

8) Planned maintenance – CAFM schedules maintenance activities to save money, improve asset performance and improve asset lifespans

9) Reporting – Consistent real-time reports for any system or service in the facility, fully automated and configurable

10) Resource scheduling and management – Creates informed and automated allocation of resources based on skills and availability

11) Contract management – Monitors service delivery levels and makes recommendations to improve performance

12) Stock management – Tracks and manages stock levels in real time

So why do I need CAFM from Voltix Services?

Voltix Services utilises CAFM software and can thereby offer clients a range of benefits. Firstly, CAFM software is cost-efficient. By enabling management of just about everything from one system, you will find a reduced need for hiring third parties, increasing staff size or having to train new people.

CAFM is mobile friendly. Facility managers will be able to connect to their system wherever they are, as well as any other stakeholders who need to be in the know. In a world that is increasingly reliant on a mobile-first workforce, applying CAFM will enable your business to remain relevant in the modern world.

Finally, being able to measure key performance indicators more efficiently will save you time, money and reduce the risk of problems occurring throughout the facility. Built-in KPI measuring tools enable facility managers to measure their team’s productivity like never before.

Get in touch with Voltix Services to take your business, and your facility, to a new level of efficiency and productivity with computer assisted facilities management.

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