Facility Management, Your Commercial HVAC System and the Most Effective Choice You’ll Make All Week
Last Updated on
Last Updated on April 30, 2019
If you could delegate half of your job, which half would it be? If you manage a large enterprise facility, it’s probably the hours you spend on the phone scheduling service calls, ordering parts, and handling stacks of invoices.
Believe it or not, you can delegate this half of your job while also saving your company money and improving the performance and lifespan of your equipment. But how? Hiring someone is out of the question, and unfortunately cloning yourself is not possible quite yet.
This is a job for a facilities management software system.
What is facilities management software, and what does it do?
In a nutshell, facilities management systems (also known as Computerized Maintenance Management Systems or CMMS) save your company money and make your job easier by automating tasks, giving you easy access to information, and helping you make better decisions. These software systems provide tools that automate and streamline the various components of managing an enterprise facility. Here are just a few of the functions they can provide:
- Maintenance Management
- Asset Management
- Space Planning
- Capital Project & Program Management
- Lease Administration
- Environmental Sustainability & Energy Performance Analysis
Some systems can be customized to include only the modules you need, and can be implemented in stages to grow with your business. The technology can also be customized to work with existing systems, policies, and limitations. Maintenance management is a good place to start, because you can quickly and easily improve your service efficiency and see a rapid return on your investment.
The upside for your business.
Besides saving you time so you can go home and see your family once in a while, how can using a facilities management system save your company money?
- Easy tracking and scheduling of preventative service ensures attentive maintenance for your equipment, which prevents costly failures and lowers repair costs.
- Properly maintained equipment also enjoys a longer lifespan and a lower overall cost of ownership.
- Procurement modules also provide quick and easy access to lower-cost parts suppliers.
- Energy costs are reduced when your HVAC system is properly maintained and running efficiently. You can also monitor energy usage and identify operational inefficiencies.
- Your staff members are more productive when they can focus on the jobs you hired them to do, rather than spending time on service issues. Automated work orders and invoicing means no phone calls and less paperwork.
What’s in it for your service providers?
To take advantage of all the cost-saving and efficiency benefits that facilities management systems have to offer, your service providers need to be on board as well. The question is, will your service contractors be willing to participate with and learn a new system? The smart ones will, and the smartest ones are already using facilities management systems. Here’s why:
- They spend less time on the phone and more time devoted to customers.
- The computerized work order process saves them time and reduces costly errors.
- Access to detailed information about customer systems makes it easy to send the right technician to a job with the right parts and equipment.
- The streamlined proposal process makes it easy for customers to take action, leading to increased sales.
- Automated invoicing, including integration with customers’ procurement and payment systems, means getting paid faster and reducing receivables.
You’re in this together.
You rely on your service providers to keep your mission-critical systems running at optimal efficiency. When facilities systems are down, business is interrupted and revenue is lost. Smart facilities managers realize the importance of maintaining good relationships with service providers.
On the flip side, your service providers depend on you for business. When you both implement a system that ensures faster, more accurate communication, easy access to information, and cost savings for both parties, it’s a win for everybody.
Choosing the right software.
With the dozens of facilities management systems on the market, selecting the right one for your business can be the tricky part. Fortunately there are resources available to help you choose the one that best meets the needs of your business, both now and in the future.
Get started by evaluating your requirements. What made you consider looking for a system? What problems do you need to solve? What process improvements are you looking to make? How are you doing now with tasks like work order tracking, keeping equipment service records, and performing preventative maintenance? Are you able to report on service provider response times, problem trends, and the status of pending repair jobs?
Once you understand what your requirements are, it’s time to narrow down the options. The best way to begin is to consult one or more industry experts online, who provide reviews of the features and benefits of the top rated systems. You can see which systems are best suited for your industry and for the size of your company. The following web sites can help:
- Novosolutions Blog: Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Facilities Management Software
- Capterra: Top Facility Management Software Products
- Software Advice: Compare Facilities Management Software
Once you’ve narrowed it down to about three options, consider implementing demo versions to test their features and ease of use. Before you make your final selection, don’t forget to discuss the implementation plan with each vendor. You’ll also need to integrate your new system with your third-party service contractors.
Using the right service providers.
Once you’ve made a decision, you’ll need to consult with your service contactors. Are they participating with the software you’ve chosen? Are they willing to learn and implement it?
The most qualified service providers are already using facilities management systems, which eliminates hand-holding on your part. Some industry leaders have over a decade of experience with facilities management systems, and may even be able to provide guidance to you as you implement and expand your new system.
Arista has been partnering with ServiceChannel, since its inception 1999, and several other CMMS and our staff has considerable expertise in using these systems to provide best in class service for HVAC systems.
Considering a service agreement with a provider? A contractor’s participation with a facilities management system isn’t the only determining factor. To learn more about key considerations for choosing a preventative maintenance contract download our guide: HVAC Preventative Maintenance Contracts: Choosing the Right One for Your Infrastructure.