6 Myths That Stop Companies Benefiting from Facilities Management Software
21/05/21 | Rebecca Drewett
While facilities management software has become the cornerstone for many FM teams worldwide, the persistence of several myths continues to prevent others from unlocking the benefits of these platforms.
For many organisations globally, facilities management software is the bedrock of their operations. Without the support of these platforms, they would be incapable of organising their facilities with the same degree of precision, efficiency and detail as this software allows them.
However, in spite of the powerful benefits that FM software offers, some still actively avoid introducing this software in favour of more traditional, manual processes. Not only does this limit the performance of your personnel, assets and business as a whole, but it also takes time away from your team that could be used to plan for the future.
Those yet to experience these benefits might be deterred by the myths that persist about FM software. These have emerged as a result of several factors:
The rapid development of this industry since the turn of the century
The highly competitive landscape among FM service providers
The development of ‘badged CAFM companies’ with notably reduced capabilities
The tendency of customers to look at immediate costs over long-term savings
At FSI, we want everyone to be able to separate the fact from fiction with facilities management software, so more organisations can unlock the benefits that others are enjoying right now and moving forward.
Read on as we bust 6 of the standout myths surrounding FM software.
Myth #1: Facilities management software is too expensive
Starting at the top, one of the biggest red flags for potential buyers of facilities management software is the belief it is too expensive for their means.
This is a misconception that persists the world over, especially in markets where this software is still relatively fresh and untapped. The natural inclination for purchasers is to look at the initial price of a CAFM platform, and this can create enough of a barrier from exploring the systems in greater detail.
If you do so, you will see why facilities management software should not be regarded as a purchase, but as an investment.
The FM industry as a whole has evolved greatly in the importance they place on managing buildings and supporting the people that use them in smart, sustainable, efficient ways. FM software enables companies to do this far more effectively than traditional approaches.
While these traditional or incomplete solutions might save you money at the outset, the drawbacks of this approach will actually result in costs climbing in the long term:
Your FM professionals will need to devote more hours to tasks that could be handled automatically, meaning they aren’t as productive as they could be
As your company develops, a less robust or sophisticated system is unlikely to evolve with it, limiting your possibilities for growth
You’ll likely end up investing more on makeshift fixes and additions over time than you would have spent initially on a comprehensive CAFM solution
As an industry, it is important that we continue to dispel the myth that FM software is an unnecessary expense. On the contrary – over time it can lead to substantial improvements in your processes that have a direct impact on your bottom-line:
Faster and more accurate asset classifications, automatically placed into PPM schedules
Assets that are useful for longer, saving you money or repairs and replacements
Engineers can respond to tasks with greater agility, making them more productive day-to-day
Greater organisation over purchase orders, sales invoicing and other financial matters
Enhanced energy efficiency throughout your facilities through the integration of IoT technology
If you are finding it difficult to encourage your company’s executives to look beyond the initial cost for FM software, check out our article on building a business case for CAFM software procurement.
Myth #2: All FM software is the same
Particularly in areas where CAFM is still viewed as a burgeoning technology, there is a prevailing belief that this is all painted with the same brush. That, at the core, facilities management software does the same thing whatever you choose.
This will naturally encourage companies to hone in on the cheaper, less in-depth examples of this technology. And, when this likely fails to fulfil everything they had hoped for from the platform, it will compel them to swear off this software altogether.
We are here to inform you that this assumption that FM software is essentially the same across the board couldn’t be further from the truth.
By looking beyond the surface and examining how far-reaching the capabilities of certain FM platforms can be, you’ll quickly understand that there is a lot of diversity in this landscape. Some solutions will be more honed into a specific industry or company, others will have the scope to complement the needs of any business environment.
Our advice would be to devote time to clarify exactly what you require from your facilities management software, and from this select a CAFM system and provider that meets those requirements.
Overall, more still needs to be done to emphasize the nuances that an all-encompassing CAFM solution like Concept Evolution can deliver against a less-complete version of this software.
Myth #3: FM software only covers asset management
Asset management is an essential element of facilities management as an industry. Getting the most value out of the assets across your buildings by maximising their lifecycles and handling maintenance on a proactive, as-needed basis can be a significant time and cost-saver for organisations, as well as ensure they comply with maintenance regulations.
However, this doesn’t mean that this is the single or core function of facilities management software. As noted in the previous section, a system like Concept Evolution offers solutions for all facets of this far-reaching industry, such as:
Perpetuating this myth that FM software is limited to asset management services allows less-refined providers to present their systems as a complete solution. Yet, even if it is exceptional at handling this strand of FM, this doesn’t mean it is a total building management platform in the same way Concept Evolution is.
As we continue to educate and highlight the wide-ranging advantages that truly comprehensive facilities management software can offer, this myth should continue to disappear.
Myth #4: A one-size-fits-all ERP does the same job as FM software
In a similar vein, there is a persistent myth that an ERP system can achieve the same results as a CAFM platform. This is because solutions such as SAP and Oracle are very effective at providing retrospective data, predominantly in the financial sector.
For instance, an ERP’s asset management tool will offer an indication of an asset’s overall value to a building based on its history of financial statements. While this can be helpful, it doesn’t match the capabilities of a robust FM software solution, which enables businesses to look forward as well as back.
In the example above, CAFM software would not simply stop at informing you of the value of an asset to your company there and then – it will provide further operational cost data for the future.
This information allows FMs to make informed decisions over how this asset is maintained and managed moving forward, in order to make significant time and cost savings. So, while ERPs are great for clarifying the past and present, FM software empowers your business to be more forward-thinking than ever before.
Myth #5: It will be too challenging to implement
A company may have understandable questions about how an FM software platform will be introduced into their existing structure:
Will it integrate with our pre-existing systems?
How long will it take to be operational?
How much will it inconvenience our business practices to introduce this?
Who will need to be involved in the implementation?
The implications of these questions may lead to perceptions that introducing this software will be more trouble than it is worth – particularly if they have had painful experiences with other providers in the past.
While we won’t pretend that implementation should always be a completely straightforward and pain-free experience, if you work with the right providers, it can become substantially more seamless for the purchasing company.
That is why we have devoted a lot of time and investment to make our project management service as reassuring as possible. Your dedicated Project Manager will oversee the implementation of your new FM systems, planning and allocating work streams with weekly reviews and updates.
By working with the right provider, and locating a system that can capably integrate with existing systems within your organisation, implementation can be far less challenging than you may expect on the surface.
Read more about the value of onboarding in forming the foundation for CAFM software success.
Myth #6: It will be too complicated to use
Finally, there is the myth that CAFM software is overly complex and cumbersome in relation to traditional approaches to FM management.
There are still pockets of FM teams that still cling to the use of spreadsheets and MS tools to handle their processes. This could be for a variety of reasons:
They are familiar with these tools and are reluctant to adopt something new
They don’t believe they have the skills to handle a more digital solution
They want to avoid the setup and licensing costs associated with a CAFM solution
They don’t want to spend time training to use a new platform
They don’t believe that other members of their team will adopt it
In reality, a high-quality CAFM system should actually make life simpler and more manageable for FM professionals than the approaches of bygone years. To automate previously manual processes. To provide a deeper understanding of the key data driving your company. To make engineers’ daily responsibilities clearer and easier to sign off.
Let’s take planned maintenance as an example. Using an Excel spreadsheet may allow you to list your assets and record when preventative maintenance takes place, but it can’t control these processes in the same way an automated, robust FM software solution can.
As well as making it infinitely faster to perform asset classifications and set the rules for maintenance, these systems can send immediate notifications to in-house engineers or subcontractors as to when tasks need to be completed and to what parameters. In addition, engineers can:
Access asset manuals, documentation and histories at the push of a button
Provide crucial data on asset conditions and recommendations for repairs
Instantly check off when a task is completed through a mobile device
Be alerted when work has not been conducted so they can carry it out promptly
This is just one example of how the right CAFM system can actually help to make the lives of FM professionals far easier and prevent anything from being overlooked, especially when compared to more manual approaches that widen the margin for human error.
Move Past The Myths and Embrace Facilities Management Software
We hope that this article has helped clear up any of the misconceptions you may have held about facilities management software. As these platforms become increasingly prevalent in the industry, we feel it is important that everyone is informed about the incredible benefits they offer, and are not discouraged by misinformation.
At FSI, we are developing FM software that saves money, increases efficiencies and takes customer experience to the next level. Organisations across the globe are empowering their teams to work smarter, overcome problems and become more agile than ever through our all-inclusive technologies.
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