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FM Technology SWG at the Facilities Show

FM professionals from across the UK took part in our FM Software Survey earlier this year, launched in partnership with facilities management journal, FMJ. Those taking part represented a cross section of the industry, including maintenance, compliance, property and space, and their views have created a fascinating snapshot of the FM landscape today.

As expected, the survey found that technology is increasingly underpinning facilities management strategy, with 77% of respondents reporting using software from either a key industry provider or developed in-house by their employer. The most common terms used for the software in the UK were computer aided facilities management or CAFM (37%) or FM software (31%). Interestingly, the use of software to manage facilities has increased by a staggering one third since our survey in 2016, demonstrating a significant increase in the industry’s requirement for accurate, clear and secure data in order remain competitive and professional. In fact, respondents stated their highest priorities when it came to the software were generating reports more efficiently (80%) and improving performance (76%).

This week’s Facilities Show is proving to be an inspiration for FMs looking for new ways to achieve both efficiency and cost savings, and Service Works Global is showcasing some of its newest software development at stand P750.

Improving response time

Two thirds of FMs are now using self-service functionality to allow both operatives and building users to log jobs and make requests directly to the system without needing to go through the (often overloaded) help desk. The simplicity of this system, utilising images and drop-down boxes, increases the number of faults reported in a facility, which in turn improves rectification times to provide a more pleasant environment for its users. While some CAFM systems require a help desk operative to manually allocate work to technicians which could lead to a build up of work during busy periods, QFM’s auto allocation functionality performs this task automatically. Each request is assigned by the system to the appropriate person, taking into account the required skill set, their availability (i.e. shift pattern or other allocated workload) and the urgency of the work. This is then pushed through to the selected operative’s mobile device, removing the need for paper job sheets or returning to the office to collect more work.

Improving first time fixes

Mobile has been the biggest growth area of technology in FM over the last few years, with usage rocketing from 45% in 2015 to 70% this year. With app design becoming more sophisticated and the falling cost of devices, increased communication combined with heightened accuracy has become a winning formula. CAFM apps allow engineers in the field access to real time data like details of work requests or asset history, preventing jobs being abandoned due to inadequate information. Operatives can close off jobs in real time, which is particularly important in performance-based contracts where service delivery is measured against contractual obligations.

Improving service delivery

Improving service delivery is key to gaining and maintaining customers in a competitive environment, and Service Works has developed a Dynamic Forms module to compliment the QFM app. Bespoke forms or checklists can be created and attached for work orders in order to gather information, such as customer feedback or an asset inspection, or provide alerts to ensure compliance, for example  a health and safety form that must be completed before a job can be accepted. When a survey is completed the results are stored against the job for auditability, and are automatically published to a report to increase transparency and communication.

For more information on these CAFM modules, or to learn how QFM can increase productivity and cut costs in your organization, see us at stand P750 at Facilities Show, 19 – 21 June at ExCeL London or email info@swg.com.

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