Having conducted research across the UK and Ireland in conjunction with online news provider, i-FM, Service Works has looked at the position of the FM market place, how technology is used in facilities management, and identified FM software trends. To conclude the series, this blog will refer back to the original research goal: how is technology affecting facilities management? For a summary of the key findings, please see our infographic below.
- FM software has been deemed a priority purchase
68% of respondents stated that one of the most important challenges they face this year is budgetary pressure. In an industry that is increasingly fighting its way towards the board room, being able to justify spend and ensure that ROI is gained (in terms of monetary value but also productivity and staff retention, for example) is a challenge. Despite this, however, the percentage of people who reported using CAFM software systems has increased since last year – from 36% to 43%. This shows that although there is an initial investment required in implementing software, the industry has growing confidence in the benefits of a computerised FM management system. In addition to improved management of deadlines, data and workforce, using an FM software application ultimately pays for itself through the ability to make better-informed management decisions, employ more efficient working practices and enable increased productivity.
- Transparency and information management is key
Managing large areas of space, assets and buildings, the many requests of a diverse workforce, contract SLAs and KPIs and keeping within budget is a demanding daily challenge for the FM team. Our results show many respondents are finding improved access and manipulation of high quality data essential for their role. 80% stated that enhanced reporting was the biggest benefit gained through their FM software and 76% experienced improved auditability, which aids transparency and trust across their operation. Paper-based systems are still in use among those surveyed (14%), which as well as posing data security and access problems, are not able to offer transparency or auditability benefits. However, of those who stated that they were reviewing the market, 42% use a paper-based system, which shows the trend for computerisation of the industry continues to be adopted.
- Mobile is the most significant software trend
Despite BIM (Building Information Modelling) now being a mandatory requirement in the UK for all government funded projects, and the widely publicised benefits for projects across all sectors, only 43% of respondents saw BIM as a significant trend this year. The most prominent trend identified was around mobile apps and technology (70%), which has also seen a dramatic rise in usage by almost a third since 2015. New mobile development now has increased functionality, such as the ability to scan a QR code on an asset to access pertinent information, uploading and attaching a video to an allocated job, and harnessing GPS technology for locating both assets and engineers for workload management. This, coupled with the falling cost of mobile devices and the fact that some FM software providers (such as Service Works’ QFM Mobile) have optimised their system to enable usage across all platforms (iOS, Windows and Android), means that phones and tablet devices have more value and usability than ever as a work tool.
- Most Popular FM Software Provider
According to the results of the survey, QFM by Service Works is the most used FM software tool from any UK provider, followed by FSI and Condeco. Service Works prides itself in developing software functionality that addresses the needs of today’s facilities manager, working closely with customers and industry bodies to create invaluable partnerships. QFM software can be used to address all of the trends and challenges raised through the research, from mobile and self-service, to integration with BIM and space management. For more information about QFM and how it can help improve the management of your facilities, contact us on 020 8877 4080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.