By Jennifer Goforth Gregory
Technological improvements in facilities management can save money, boost productivity and just make your job easier. Think about the daily hiccups you encounter on the job: Is your staff having issues communicating and collaborating? Do you struggle to quickly gather all the information you need to make decisions? Are you able to easily spot waste and inefficiencies?
New facilities management technology can alleviate those types of problems and provide a tangible return on investment. Here are a few essential types of facilities management technologies to consider using at your facility:
Facilities Management Software
Many facilities managers still rely on email, phone calls and manual-entry spreadsheets to communicate and make decisions. Instead of using different tools for different functions, facilities management software can help manage maintenance requests and personnel, track repair histories, provide inventory management features and much more. Aside from streamlining day-to-day operations, this type of software can help you make better cost comparisons — for instance, you can more easily assess whether a piece of equipment should be repaired, or whether it would be more cost-effective to replace it outright.
Finding the right software for your business, getting it in place, and training your employees to use it effectively is a big undertaking. But adopting this type of system can be a true game-changer for your entire operation. Research the options out there and carefully vet them through hands-on demonstrations and third-party reviews.
Making sure the restrooms are stocked at all times can be time-consuming. By using automated dispensers for soap, paper towels and toilet paper, you can ensure employees have what they need without spending hours checking the status of each restroom. These devices use sensors to detect when the stock is low and the machine needs to be refilled. Some models even send mobile notifications when attention is needed.
These dispensers also reduce wasteful overuse of these supplies. While installing dispensers requires an up-front cost, the long-term savings through waste reduction can quickly offset those initial expenses.
Making sure all the lights are appropriately turned off and on is both an important safety and financial concern. With smart lighting devices, you can program lights to turn on at specific times, and the devices can even learn your office patterns.
Smart lighting is skyrocketing in popularity because they can significantly reduce energy costs — the number of smart lighting devices is predicted to grow from 46 million units in 2015 to 2.5 billion in 2020, according to research organization Gartner. According to Gartner, getting the most benefit from smart lighting requires implementing sensors and controls to automate the system, and ensuring they are internet-connected so you can gather information about usage and make good decisions to trim costs.
By taking the time to carefully match the technology to your specific needs, you can make your facility run more smoothly with the press of a button. Think about which areas of your job take the most time, and whether some advanced technology could solve the problem.