Automating Company Facility Management With a Custom Work Order Management System

Facility management is an overwhelming load of work for a modern company. Unless you have innovative technological solutions to help you out, that is. In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about automated facility management systems. Learn what a custom facility management app can do for your business now.

Facility management industry challenges

The prospect of increasing profit is inspiring, but it comes at a price. As a company grows and expands, its management faces bigger challenges. They include spending more time and resources on office maintenance, equipment and space in general.

These facility management challenges are similar for different industries, and here are the top ten of them:

  • Facility maintenance management

  • Precise cost control

  • Resources lifespan prolongation

  • Accurate record-keeping

  • Space use facilitation

  • Workplace technology management

  • Meeting rooms management

  • Doing more with fewer resources

  • Office expansion and moving planning

  • Employee workplace navigation facilitation

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And along with these significant challenges, there are tons of smaller ones that also need attention. This poses a question: how does a company handle facility management issues and prevent them from emerging again? Sometimes, even hiring a qualified facility manager is not enough.

Main challenges of modern facility managers

Today’s facility managers have a lot on their plates, especially when they’re working in a growing company while the economy changes and the technology advances. Almost every facility manager is expected to get the most out of the least resource in the shortest time possible. And they are expected to do it every day.

Sourcing vendors, reviewing their work and managing them continuously are some of the biggest challenges of a modern facility manager. And then there are highest-priority tasks a facility manager needs to devote all their time and attention to. At this point, it’s time to turn to the latest technology for help and see what it can offer.

Online facility management tools

The first place a manager usually turns to for help is the Internet. It’s easy to find a lot of online facility management resources or fantastic professional blogs for a productivity boost. There are also free and paid facility management courses you can join to master your skills and even get certified.

And don’t forget about web-based management tools. Such systems can be accessed from anywhere, do not need any special hardware or technical expertise, allow you to lower upfront costs and pay only for the services you are using.

Yet, there are gaps in ready online facility management tools not all businesses can put up with:

  • Most enterprises are reluctant to store their sensitive data on a software provider’s server.

  • You can lose your data in case the provider goes out of business or sells the company.

  • Checking the security of the chosen service without being able to investigate it thoroughly is problematic.

  • A web-based facility management tool subscription can turn into a significant expenditure line over time.

  • A ready online facility management solution could be not as flexible as your business needs.

Ready facility management solutions

Of course, there are also ready facility management solutions you can purchase and use. The top five modern facility management software products of 2019 are Hippo CMMS, FMX, Quick Base, ServiceNow Facility Management and iLab Core Facility Management. All these products are meant to keep a company’s workspace and equipment in excellent condition.

Using a ready solution that has proven to be successful on the market lets you:

  • Save time on developing a custom solution

  • Save money in the short term (developing a custom product requires larger initial investments than a subscription for a ready solution)

  • Streamline work order processes

Yet, ready-made facility management solutions have their disadvantages:

  • Significant investments in the long run (as subscription costs grow and mount up)

  • Limited customization

  • Not enough control over the security of your data

  • The app may turn out to be not suitable for your business model or lack a feature you need most

Custom solutions for facility management

Despite the drawbacks of free and proprietary facility management tools, businesses still keep using them, unaware of other options. But here’s the good news: custom facility management tools are an excellent alternative to both of them. A custom app that’s right for your business can help you manage operations effectively and stay focused on strategic goals.

Custom facility management systems can help you with:

  • Work order management for tracking work orders, monitoring inventory levels and establishing maintenance schedules.

  • Visitor management for ensuring building security and a comfortable visitor experience.

  • Workforce management for improving communication between teams and tracking employee activity remotely.

  • Workplace management for enhancing productivity and making most of the workspace usage.

  • Information management for recording and accessing building information easily as well as improving operation experience within a workspace.

Using a single custom facility management system is much more convenient than having to maintain and synchronize five different tools. Switching between them to do different tasks can be quite annoying and time-robbing too. And when you have to compile a report that unites data from all the various tools you use, things can get hectic.

That is why it’s better to build an all-in-one solution that can help you deal with your business-specific facility management tasks. Work order management systems are usually the most versatile facility management tools you can get, so let’s take a closer look at them.

Custom work order management systems

A work order management system helps organizations enhance the performance of office facilities and assets by managing and tracking work orders.

Thanks to work order management systems, service providers can:

  • Store and manage work and payment information in one place

  • Find short and long-term work opportunities

  • Grow the contact base

Work order management systems also let companies:

  • Track work orders

  • Get in touch with facility management service providers and inform them about any issues or new tasks

  • Monitor company expenses and all company documentation in one place

As you can see, a work order management system can do a lot for a business. No wonder enterprises invest in custom work order management solutions. With the right system, companies of any size can boost productivity, control their finances and facilities better.

Benefits of custom work order apps

A сustom work order management appallows businesses to set up and fine-tune an effective and trouble-free facility management process. A well-tailored work order management app:

  • Is an all-in-one tool to control and automate all the paperwork

  • Increases the productivity of every team member

  • Cuts down meticulous low-yield work

  • Optimizes cooperation between a company and its suppliers

  • Improves the performance of equipment and assets

  • Can be customized perfectly for specific business needs

  • Gives you full control over data and its security

  • Is a long-term investment: no need to pay for third-party subscription services

Must-have features of custom work order apps

As with any piece of software, there are certain must-have features custom work order apps should have. They differ for organizations and service providers.

A work order app for an organization requires:

  • creating and managing work requests

  • managing finances

  • tracking work orders

  • issuing work requests to tenders

  • filling in requirements

  • managing contracts, projects and suppliers

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A work order app for a service provider requires:

  • setting online payments and pricing

  • working activity and time tracking

  • attaching invoices and images

  • setting work availability

  • tracking performed services

  • setting notifications and reminders

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The full set of features and the final version of the custom application will vary for a given business. So, let us give you an example of a custom work order app we built based on our client’s business model and needs.

Apiko’s experience in building custom work order apps

Apiko implemented our customer’s idea to build a сustom app for managing work orders. We created an internal work order application for company managers that allowed tracking work orders simply and effectively. The new system automated relations between the business and its suppliers.

Our tool allowed businesses to assign suppliers, view and manage the work order database and create detailed reports easily. We also built a work order mobile app for technicians that let its users create reports about the executed work and add images to the reports. On top of that, the app included a chatbot users could easily interact with.

As a result, our client received a fully customizable complex product that eliminated overwhelming paperwork and saved the company time and resources. What’s more, this system allowed the customer to find, hire and manage service providers more effectively. Service providers, in turn, received a chance to cooperate with larger organizations and promote their services.

And this is just one example showing that a well-designed work order management tool is a smart investment businesses will hardly regret.

What challenges do you think facility industry faces nowadays and how they can be solved? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below:)