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Boost Productivity and Efficiency in Facilities Management With Automation Trends

4 min read

During 2023, real estate proprietors, managers, and facilities maintenance crews faced many challenges. From elevated interest rates, continued sustainability initiatives, and a renewed push for returning to office spaces, all of these factors changed the landscape of building management.

The facilities management market is expected to reach a valuation of $201.63 billion by 2024. Looking at the coming year, corporate facilities management teams will encounter five emerging trends aimed at guiding them through uncertainty, facilitating informed decisions, and optimizing return on investment from the workplace.

In 2024, automation is revolutionizing facilities management by streamlining operations and enhancing productivity. With a facilities management software, repetitive and manual tasks can be automated. Facilities managers can allocate resources more efficiently and focus on strategic initiatives.

For instance, the use of automated scheduling software can optimize staff deployment, ensuring the right people are assigned to the right tasks at the right time. IoT-enabled sensors can detect and report maintenance issues automatically, triggering work orders without human intervention.

Let’s delve into automation trends that are shaping the future of facilities management industry while boosting productivity and efficiency.

Trends of Automation in Facilities Management Industry


Traditional methods of managing facilities often involve excessive use of paper, leading to inefficiencies and environmental impacts. However, by embracing technology, facilities managers can streamline processes, improve data accuracy, and reduce the environmental footprint.

Facilities management companies traditionally use paperwork for tasks like maintenance requests, work orders, inspections, and inventory management for commercial properties. Here’s how they can digitize these processes:

Maintenance Requests- Traditionally, tenants or employees submit maintenance requests via paper forms or emails. These requests are then manually processed, assigned to technicians, and tracked on physical documents.

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By using facility management software, tenants can submit maintenance requests directly through the app. The software allows managers to generate work orders and assign them to appropriate technicians based on skills and availability, and provide real-time updates to both tenants and management.

Work Orders- Using manual methods, workers receive printed work orders detailing the tasks and relevant information such as location, priority, and equipment details. They often need to return completed work orders to the office after completion.

With a mobile app, workers can access work orders on their smartphones or tablets. They can update the status of tasks, add notes, and attach photos directly within the app. Completed work orders are automatically synced with the central system, providing real-time updates to supervisors and clients.

Inspection- Traditionally, routine inspections of facilities have been done using paper checklists or forms. They manually record observations, take notes, and document any issues discovered during the property inspection.

By implementing a digital platform, field inspections forms can be accessed using a tablet or smartphone. Customizable digital checklists or mobile forms can be created for different types of inspections, streamlining the process and ensuring consistency. Inspectors can take photos, annotate them, and flag issues directly within the app. Inspection reports are automatically generated and stored electronically, reducing paperwork and simplifying record-keeping.

Inventory Management- Inventory management involves maintaining records of equipment, supplies, and spare parts using manual spreadsheets or paper-based logs. Inventory levels need to be updated manually, and procurement processes often require paperwork for approvals.

An inventory management software allows for real-time tracking of inventory levels, automatic reordering based on predefined thresholds, and digital procurement workflows. Barcode or QR code technology can be used to streamline inventory tracking, making it easy to locate items and update inventory records using mobile devices. Digital approval workflows can replace traditional paperwork, speeding up the procurement process and reducing administrative overhead.

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By digitizing these key functions, a facilities management company can significantly improve efficiency, accuracy, and transparency while reducing reliance on paper-based processes. This transition to a paperless system not only saves time and resources but also enhances communication, collaboration, and customer satisfaction.

From reactive to Proactive: Evolving Trends in Facilities Management 

Historical Reactive Approach: Historically, facilities management has been mainly reactive, addressing issues as they arise. This approach often leads to increased downtime, higher maintenance costs, and suboptimal performance of assets.

The Shift Towards Proactive Management: The future of facilities management lies in a proactive approach. By leveraging data analytics and predictive maintenance technologies, facilities managers can detect and resolve potential problems before they escalate. This shift enables them to optimize maintenance schedules, minimize downtime, and extend the lifespan of critical assets.

Continuous Monitoring and Analysis: Through continuous monitoring and analysis of data, facilities managers can identify patterns and trends. This enables them to anticipate maintenance needs, prioritize tasks, and allocate resources more effectively. By proactively addressing issues, facilities can improve efficiency and reduce costs. For instance, employee summary reports give you visualized data about hours worked, jobs completed, time spent on break, travel and mileage details etc. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the future of facilities management is marked by a proactive approach driven by technological advancements and evolving workplace trends. Embracing innovations such as IoT enables real-time data analysis, facilitating informed decision-making and sustainable operations.

Moreover, adapting to hybrid work environments ensures that facilities meet the diverse needs of employees, fostering productivity and satisfaction. By staying ahead of these trends, facilities managers can unlock opportunities for increased efficiency, productivity, and sustainability, paving the way for business success.

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