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You might be forgiven for thinking that the digital transformation occurring in modern society is directly leading to productive, profitable workplaces. Mobile apps for anything you could imagine, wearables a commonplace accessory, and greater connectivity than ever before – with 5G on the way. Employees (millennials and otherwise) often state they need technology to be productive, and sometimes this technology becomes the end goal instead. For example, a report by Ricoh found that 77% of their survey respondents have been given technology like laptops, mobile devices, or business software without knowing how these tools will benefit their role or how best to use them. That’s not to say that the technology has been erroneously purchased, but managers must invest in a culture of change management to ensure positive uptake and help realize gains.

In the context of integrated workplace management system (IWMS) software, there’s no doubt that this technology has the potential to bring significantly superior results than a paper or spreadsheet-based system. A good IWMS system is easy to use and intuitive, but without appropriate support from the end users, productivity gains will be low.

The 2019 Global Government Finance Summit, “Building Productivity, Sharpening Competitiveness”, looked at the impact of productivity in relation to the increased application of digital technologies. Although increasing, improvements have been slower than expected, but within every sector, some companies are much more productive than others. It is these companies that are thought to be making more use of new technologies and techniques – but also importantly, demonstrating the ability to change. Miguel Castro Coelho, Chief Economist at Portugal’s Office of the Finance Minister reflected on the important role of good management: one study, he recalled, suggested that if Portuguese businesses were managed as well as their US counterparts, the country’s productivity would rise by 30%.

As part of the feasibility study and requirements analysis stage of buying a IWMS, it is important to involve a group of the end users. These are the people who will use the system on a daily basis and will provide valuable input regarding what the system needs to achieve. The implementation project usually works best when a project team has been established, which may consist of:

  • An IT representative to advise on infrastructure
  • A project sponsor to sign off the selection and, if required, prepare the business case for final authorization
  • Someone who can contribute procurement advice if required in your organization
  • Someone with responsibility for data entry e.g. setting up assets, entering jobs, carrying out the work (perhaps using a mobile device)
  • A dedicated project lead, who can drive the project forward and act as a communication point for both the IWMS provider and internal user group.

Post implementation is the most crucial period, when new users may be reticent to change from their normal routine and may revert back to the old system, or develop bad habits in the new one. In addition to internal support created by the project team and end users, assistance should be given by the IWMS provider in the form of training and IT support. A focus on communication, feedback and support will mean staff will not only understand how to use the system, but also realize its benefits, for instance in making their job easier and more productive.

SWG has created an impartial guide to help organizations choose and implement the right IWMS software, including sample project plans, advice before going live and what to expect from the IWMS supplier. Click here to download the Best Practice Guide for Successful FM Software Integration.

For more information on SWG’s IWMS software, QFM, click here.