The growing infusion of cutting edge tools, combined with rising demand for smart platforms, have created a considerable demand for an Integrated Work Management Systems (IWMS), an evolution of Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM) platforms.
In very simple terms, CAFM software provides facilities managers with administrative real time overviews to track, manage, report and plan assets and facilities. CAFM has proved to be invaluable in easing asset management, planned maintenance, corrective maintenance and helping all stakeholders to make collaborative informed decisions. The ability to have real-time and accurate reporting on critical asset information; empowers asset owners, and FM managers to proactively spot and eliminate problem areas before they occur.
The CAFM platform consists of core areas including:
• Planned Maintenance
• Task Management
• Equipment & Assets
• Financial Analysis
• Resource Management
• Timesheet & Labor planning
• Asset Lifecycle management
• Dashboard & reports
EFS’ unique, in-house IWMS/ CAFM platform was crafted in response to the growing needs and requirements of our clients, to oversee and enhance Contract Management, Asset Management, transparency in SLA measurement and KPI reporting, centralized governance and compliance framework, Condition Audits, Task Management & helpdesks, Budget forecasting, Costs Analysis, Monitoring & control, as well as Performance Management. The Critical stages for successful CAFM implementation, should consider comprehensive strategic direction, in-depth planning, timely and perfect execution, and detailed breakdown and analysis of learning outcomes.
IWMS – The logical transformation of CAFM
IWMS takes the inherent advantages of CAFM platforms to the next level, by robustly linking technology driven CAFM with other departments such as finance, procurement, HRMS, energy management in a seamless manner. By embedding deeper functionality (such as sustainability and financial analytics) IWMS helps to provide an end user with holistic integrated platform to serve employees and clients with improved engagement. The benefits of IWMS range from increased transparency across all departments and processes, asset performance tracking and benchmarking, KPI measurements, historical data collection, real time reporting, forecasting and benchmarking of FM trends, which empower collaborative decision making.
Integrating Technology – a Core tool for Evolution
Globally, Top tier leadership, real estate owners, and asset managers are leveraging the advantages of IWMS platforms to manage the full life cycle of their facilities, which spans Capital Project management, Real Estate Portfolio management, Space Utilization, Maintenance Management, and Facility Optimization and Compliance.
Identifying the key roles and stakeholders in the IWMS/CAFM ecosystem is the foundation of the platform’s efficiency. From the creation of an overarching project charter, to detailed asset classification, considerable investment of time and resources are required from both the FM service provider, as well as the asset owner/manager, to work in conjunction. An efficient process map must involve robust analytics & Big Data, GIS based location monitoring, role based web portal development, real time monitoring and assessment dashboards, as well as interoperability between IWMS and enterprise systems.
The planning stage must incorporate the periodic findings from audits undertaken accompanied by timely analysis of system data and create a long term asset life cycle management plan based on budget forecasting and HSE planning. The HSEQ department plays a critical function by creating detailed instruction manuals for each core component, and real time updates for data are essential to achieve improved forecasting and predictive flagging of risk areas. Ensuring consistency and uniformity of data is vital to keep garbage data away from the system.
Execution of Service requests
EFS’ in-house developed FMPro solutions platform gives clients real time overview of their assets’ condition via modern mobile dashboards, which define SLA and KPIs on service requests. This enables transparent tracking of requests on a 24x7 basis, with insights into outstanding actions and escalations, as well as benchmarking of facility and contractor performance. Powered by a cutting-edge Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) platform, the IWMS/CAFM infrastructure ensures 24x7 availability with high scalability, information security, defined information architecture, and a unique business process engine for ease of use and rapid response times.
There are some initial investments that must be made to fully harness the benefits of these game changers. The technical nature of the platform requires in-depth functional knowledge of the various facets of facilities management, some amount of localization to make the platforms cater to specific local requirements, as well as continuous updates and enhancements to keep the platforms up to date with the changing dynamics of the industry.
In summary, IWMS/CAFM completely changes the rules of client engagement and satisfaction, by leveraging the power of technology and service delivery, to enhance costs rationalization, asset long term value, and transparent real time insights into service requests. As more clients realize the benefits of IWMS/CAFM platforms, (which demand considerable material and human resources for implementation), the mandate fo technology and skills will raise the existing standards and operational models in the regional industry and bring it on par with the leading standards of the global FM industry.
(The Author Shabeena Ansari is the General ManagerInformation Technology at EFS Facilities Services)