facilities management tools

5 Essential Tools for Facilities Managers

Facilities managers have a lot of responsibilities. They need to ensure that their company’s major physical assets are in peak working condition and optimize company infrastructure to best serve employees.

To meet that goal, facility managers typically have to juggle work orders, keep track of the tools and inventory available for repairs, remember to maintain equipment and other assets on schedule, among any number of other tasks daily.

The best facility managers work to stay ahead of all potential pitfalls — and they can do that more easily with the help of the following modern tools.

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Asset Management Systems

First things first: Good facility managers need to keep a firm grasp on physical assets they’re responsible for within their workplace, from company vehicles to copiers to something as simple as the parking lot.

These days, facility managers have plenty of choice for modern software programs built specifically to help them track physical assets and keep them in peak working order.

Asset management systems, otherwise called Enterprise Asset Management programs (EAM) or “equipment maintenance software” help managers track the following:

  • Equipment/asset locations within the facility
  • Parts required (or parts on hand) for each piece of equipment
  • Equipment maintenance schedules
  • Equipment manuals and manufacturing information
  • Maintenance records, including breakdown history for each asset
  • Standardized repair and operation processes
  • Operator histories
  • Financial and accounting information, like budgets and profitability info, for each asset

Making this information easily accessible for technicians, contractors, and equipment managers helps the team to keep equipment up and running. Managers can also use an EAM to view data about equipment use and reliability throughout the facility. Those reports then yield helpful insights into opportunities for improvements and cost-savings.

Maintenance Management Systems

The next biggest task for facility managers, after tracking facility equipment details, is maintaining a company’s infrastructure consistently.

Maintenance management tasks include accepting, prioritizing, and assigning work orders and repair requests related to facility infrastructure and equipment.

Software tools dedicated to these tasks are generally called Computerized Maintenance Management Systems, or CMMS.

These programs typically take on the following tasks:

  • Organize facility equipment by priority and operational necessity
  • Create custom maintenance routines for certain pieces of equipment, groups of equipment, or equipment in certain locations
  • Automatically generate forms and keep records related to equipment maintenance
  • Solicit and accept online maintenance requests easily, and automatically create work orders for those tasks
  • Keep customers/employees posted on the status of their service requests (this is sometimes called a “request for service” system)
  • Monitor which tools are available for work orders
  • Track which types of activities are worked on each day (for example, which work was related to breakdowns vs standard maintenance) and view reports on those trends over time
  • Show managers at a glance which assets throughout the facility are in working order or down for maintenance

Inventory/Parts Management Systems

In addition to tracking equipment details and managing work orders, facility managers must keep track of supplies necessary to keep equipment and assets in their optimal condition.

Inventory tools often come packaged inside a singular maintenance management program or an asset management program, and they handle tasks like:

  • Taking a quick count of items on hand with the help of barcodes
  • Attaching supplies to specific work orders so managers can see how tools are used over time and which tools are available at each moment
  • Identifying the exact locations of stocked inventory, which facilitates finding supplies for work orders
  • Allowing managers to analyze how frequently certain items are used

Understanding how parts are used not only helps to make repairs and maintenance easier, it can also help companies save money on unnecessary parts and save valuable storage space by eliminating duplicate or excess inventory.

Building Automation Systems

More energy efficiency yields more cost savings and better environmental benefits. The best facility managers spend time on keeping operations running as efficiently as possible.

This job is a lot easier for modern facility managers thanks to building automation systems. New tech tools allow facility managers to access and control things like the building’s lights, HVAC systems, water use, security cameras, emergency systems, and even the door’s locks remotely via the internet.

“Smart” devices can communicate with each other and building management software via a network, so managers can see how utilities are being used and where there are opportunities for greater efficiency. For example, facility managers can ensure lights are turned off and doors are locked when the building is closed, even if they’re not on-site, or monitor factors like room temperature in real-time.

For more on the trend toward smart buildings, check out our articles on Industry 4.0 and the “Internet of Things.”

Access Management Tools

Facility managers are often responsible for not just a company’s physical assets, but the people coming through the doors. It’s up to them to monitor and manage the ebb and flow of visitors and employees throughout each facility, making sure all visitors are authorized and that everyone is safe.

Facility managers are often responsible for not just of a company’s physical assets, but the people coming through the doors. Share on X

Some facility management and maintenance programs come with features that make this job easier.

For example, some software comes with a key management feature, which can help with access-related tasks like:

  • Managing keys and keycards
  • Organizing keys into types, groups, and systems
  • Tracking key assignments and key holders
  • Tracking the locations of door locks and cylinders

Visitor management software is another modern tool that helps to manage the flow of people through facilities. Here are just a few features that these systems offer:

  • Visitors can check themselves in on tablets, which are more secure and efficient than traditional paper logs
  • Workplaces can build streamlined electronic check-in processes, including safety and security protocols like training videos for each type of visitor
  • Visitor hosts are notified automatically upon visitor check-in
  • Visitor badges are printed out as a seamless part of each visitor’s check-in process
  • Legal agreements such as waivers or non-disclosure agreements are signed electronically and stored securely

With visitor management programs like The Receptionist, administrators can even manage visitor procedures and data for multiple buildings, entrances, and locations from a single portal.

If you’re looking for a simple way to make a big improvement to your facility operations, head over to our site to learn more about The Receptionist visitor management system. Our visitor check-in app is top-ranked on sites like Capterra and G2, and we offer a free 14-day trial (with no credit card requried) for new users.

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