Digital Transformation in Facility Management: When Automation Is Inevitable

Digital Transformation in Facility Management: When Automation Is Inevitable

Digital transformation in facility management keeps evolving. This disruption is two-fold. It automates manual tasks connected with business processes. And it introduces a range of data systems. In this way, people, processes, and technology create a new environment with improved service quality, productivity, and performance. And facility management software takes on the role of a backbone of technological aspects. 

The numbers predict the growth of facility services management from $39.5 billion in 2020 to $65.5 billion by 2025. Sounds like worth investing, right?

Why are so many organizations reluctant to invest in workforce management software or facility management systems? No one wants to reinvent the wheel. But businesses challenge themselves to get better. They want to understand the full picture. They think twice before jumping into the facility management mobile app development.

Internal Operations and Processes Automation

What is
facility management (aka FM)? It manages properties and includes many associated services. Those services encompass the functionality, comfort, safety, and efficiency of buildings and infrastructure. FM also integrates people, place, process, and technology.

What does the digital transformation of facility management bring? It brings process automation, optimizes operations, and embraces people too. Technology efficiency, process transparency, data performance analysis, workplace productivity and sustainability come along. As a result:

  • the systems operate efficiently and daily operations and schedules automated
  • end-users interact with buildings, control their experience, and give and receive feedback
  • adopting of data collecting and data quality management
  • employees adapt and personalize their experience in various ways
  • control systems and equipment
  • FM managers get a quick overview via a dedicated portal

Facility management digital transformation brings new patterns around how we work and live. It enhances the building performance by automating processes and reduces environmental impact.

The internal operations get reshaped and improve:

  • information sharing across the processes, end-users and buildings
  • processes and performance to keep up to the set standards
  • transparency across the company

The process automation changes the linear processes. And the adoption of machine learning, IoT, and AI optimizes the performance of complex systems. So you reduce the time you spend on mechanical, uninteresting work and focus on what’s important. 

How to Enhance Operational Cost Management

Facility management takes a large part of company investments. It impacts the bottom line, too. Why? FM includes the cost of lighting, heating and cooling, maintenance, utilities, real estate.

How to optimize your FM holistically across all functionality of your environment? Few ideas for you to start:

  • Digital transformation in facility management services comes as long term planning. Technologies that automate processes and optimize operations are forward-looking but time-consuming. For instance, IoT sensors detecting and reporting malfunctions may speed up processes at your facility.
  • Optimizing the workspace with cloud-based facilities opens new opportunities. Start with detecting the replicable processes. Then create a standard workflow and remove the unnecessary ones. So you reshape the workplace into more attractive and flexible for end-users.
  • Sustainability. Let’s say you have detected complex usage patterns or manual processes. You can adapt them to specific needs and employees. Once energy efficiency is reached, the burden of costs is cut down.
  • Data management. It is already here in our personal and business lives. Turn your attention to how it can optimize your facility management. For example: your company implements various software for CRM, ERP, or help desks. They all collect data but store it in different places. Think about getting it consolidated in one place. That way, your data will be valuable for analysis, predicting, and decision-making processes.
  • Adopt facility management software. The FM sector doesn’t suffer from software shortage. You can adopt a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or computer-aided design (CAD) software, or geographic information systems (GIS). Building automation system (BAS) delivers more efficiency and transparency to indoor and outdoor environments and overall business performance.

5 Trends to Watch in Facility Management Software

The fact: technologies impact facility management. Some do that heavily, some more lightly. But the FM sector and workplace get sophisticated. Here rises the question: What technology trends will reshape the facility management software this year?

  • Improving HVAC technology

It’s no secret that nearly 60% of total energy consumption goes on heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC). That brings a quite round number in a bill. So cutting down the energy consumption efficiency from a financial and environmental point.

The AI and IoT-powered HVAC equipment keep growing in popularity. The incorporation of these technologies gives the option of remote control and interaction. It also delivers repair notifications and self-regulation, that optimize energy usage. In rough numbers, you can save up to 20% on energy expenses.

  • IoT

The Internet of Things has entered almost all industries. As intuitive and innovative technologies, IoT gets more popular these days. In facility management, these solutions come with three-fold benefit: 

  • improve resource efficiency (i.e., automate tasks, smart environmental monitoring, sensor-enabled space usage, activity monitoring, etc.)
  • reduce energy consumption and energy bills
  • makes the workplace more flexible and safe
  • Data and Decision-Making

Data analytics takes over a critical role in addressing costs and performance. With the digital transformation in facility management, you get enhanced data access, sharing, and updating. This way you can eliminate the downtime and speed up the checks on places to repair.

Besides, the gathered data from IoT and FM software show

  • how the und-users work and where their workplace functions can be improved
  • how to drive improvements for the energy usage, inner and outer environment usage
  • the trends impacting performance and where you  can affect the change
  • Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance delivers a set of solutions. These tools identify the signs of possible breakdowns, failures, and unplanned outages. Often predictive maintenance turns to excessive or unproductive work. The result: wasted material and time resources, and assets longevity is cut.

The combination of predictive maintenance, analytics, and IoT promises to raise sustainability and decrease resource wasting. Let’s say you collect real-time data of how your physical assets are used. After analyzing and getting insights, you can create usage patterns. The next step is to identify the spots for optimizing the performance of each asset.

  • Integrated Facility Management

Integrated facility management takes one point of control over the advisory and transaction services, asset management, and project services. Basically, you analyze how different workspace aspects affect each other. On the one hand: it delivers process transparency, consistency and simplifies decision-making. On the other, the analytical insights address strategic goals and boost business efficiency.

Often, the adoption of IWMS software has a second aim. It expected to deal with systems and device integration. The Integrated Workplace Management System maintains a central database connected with the buildings and physical assets.

Also, the custom build work order management system has gained more attention. This software automates the process management of the employees and contractors who share one business environment. The platform and mobile workforce management app get bought in due to 

  • customizable workflows
  • flexible user role system
  • comprehensive API integration interface for input and output data
  • pre-written pattern library for auto-generated reports

Top 10 Features Driving Opportunities for Facility Services Management

Growth: it's what every business depends on, what shareholders and CEOs demand, and what the management team feels daily pressure to deliver. Facility management software is your ally in this goal. But what features should it be packed with to help move your business forward? This list will come in handy either you choose FM software or collecting features for building management systems.

  1. Asset management is good at differentiating equipment and inventory. Its tags can hold detailed information about the asset. From location tracking, condition reports, and recording relevant data, service schedules, technical specifications, to parts inventories, manual, and other relevant files. 

  2. Inventory management handles a real-time tracking of materials. In a very clear way, it gives visibility into details or how often a specific piece of inventory is used. 

  3. Maintenance management covers maintenance operations planning, creating, and tracking work orders.

  4. Administrative management keeps track of renewals, vendor contracts, financial data, and performance. It helps organize leases, portfolios, purchases, and billings.

  5. Human resources management holds personnel profiles, tracks performance, and keeps certifications and documents updated. Often, it has a built-in time-tracking system and invoice processing.

  6. Vendor management is more in step with tracking and storing vendor-related data. (Such as contacts and services, assigned work order, invoices, track time, and the like).

  7. Work order management covers creating and tracking the orders to completion in real-time. The synchronization across company devices allows doing a quick status check.

  8. Preventive maintenance helps to endure the equipment longevity, and avoid breakdown or unplanned downtime. It automatically schedules service tasks and generates the necessary work orders.

  9. Space management deals with the control and supervision of physical space in buildings.

  10. Reporting deals with audit results in various forms (statistical data, visual charts, or text content). It gives a general feel for the data and identifies any patterns or trends over time.

User Roles: Everything You Need to Know about User Roles

Facility management software supports a whole host of new features and functionality. But not all its users are equal. The level of access defines what data and functions a user can have. That also impacts the accuracy of data and task performance.

Let’s analyze in a little more depth who should have access to facility management software.


Short description

FM User Role

Maintenance manager

A maintenance manager has a core role. This personnel takes part in choosing, adapting, and optimizing processes. Moreover, the maintenance manager works with the facility management platform on a daily basis.

Super Admin

Facility or operation manager

Maintenance affects a facility function so facility and operation managers need access. These users require maintenance data, schedules, and performance details across all facilities. So they work on boosting efficiency, determining budgets, preparing for audits, and the like.

Site Accounting

Reliability engineer or TPM manager

These managers need administrative rights as they work with business assets. They access the necessary data to get insights and make decisions. And this personnel employ such options as creating processes and running reports for reducing downtime and expenses.

Site Accounting

Inventory manager

Another role that strives for admin access. Inventory managers submit and view data, define the quantities, and send purchase requests. Properly done, this helps to improve inventory tracking, buying the right amount of the right parts at the right time. As a result, you get coordinated collaboration between departments and accurate information logs.

Portfolio Manager

Health and security department

Don't underestimate the importance of compliance to the standards and reducing accidents. The health and security personnel needs admin rights to provide all necessary information like certifications, policies, checklists, and audit results. This way you keep your organization safe and compliant with the requirements.

Corporate Services


For effective performance, these users need access to work orders, receive notifications, update the information to asset profiles, and run repair and inspection processes.

Technical Lead

Production team

Employees work with the equipment every day. They should receive notifications about potential malfunctions or breakdown occurrences. As FM users, they submit requests, add information to work orders, and get assigned basic maintenance tasks.

Site Manager


Contractors have no direct affiliation with your business and aren’t always on-site. So they can get a kind of guest access: see work orders, tasks, and resources, as well as close tasks and add notes.

Client View Only

C-level leadership

Data-driven, informed decisions depend on the executives and leaders. C-level uses the facility management software to get the insights. They don’t need admin access, but executives need all information on the maintenance operations, key achievements, challenges, and KPIs.

Account Director

IT department

These people handle the digital infrastructure of your organization, including FM software. The IT team needs access to manage integrations, software updates, and data storage and security tasks.

Corporate Services

Note: every organization and facility has different users with different access rights.


Despite the industry you work in, digital transformation is going to be a daunting and trying passage. However, facility management software helps organizations to meet the high demands of today’s competition and tech-savvy customers.

If you think that FM software and operations and processes automation is just hype, think twice. It’s already here and many organizations already benefit from it. Want to optimize performance, cut on expenses, and offer a personalized workplace? Then you need facility management software. Get in touch with the Apiko team and we’ll help you to scale up your business.