It can be challenging to keep up with routine demands as a facility manager. That’s why many professionals invest in a more efficient maintenance operation by deploying a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).
CMMS software helps facility managers to handle resources, workflows, and inventories better. It also allows them to apply a preventive maintenance plan based on the information stored. The system is standard in large industries (such as oil and gas, manufacturing, and construction) but can be helpful in other businesses.
An efficient facilities management software is highly adaptable and can be used in association with different apps, many of them free.
- Automation Apps
Each year, more companies invest in automated services to increase productivity and save on operating expenses. Process automation leaves less room for errors as automated tools ensure that things happen on time and when needed.
You can use automation apps to lock doors in a school building or re-ordering supplies from a specific vendor, for example. In case of any changes, the pre-programmed orders can be easily overridden without contacting workers.
Applications such as Comfy, Kisi, and Estimote allow facility managers or workers to remotely connect to the workplace, requesting changes in temperature, turn lighting on/off, etc. As many of these apps record data in real-time, facility managers can easily detect abuses or problems to intervene more quickly.
- Security Apps
Antiviruses are as old as computers and have evolved, now protecting even against cyber-attacks and malicious software (malware). If your facility has sensitive information, investing in a complete digital security system will never be in vain – after all, keeping company data safe goes far beyond virus protection.
Today some software monitors the entire system with password management, secure information backup, protection against data theft on malicious websites, webcam protection, and much more. In addition to protecting against viruses and malware, the best security apps can help you keep all your digital systems running smoothly.
- Increase Mobile Support
As efficient as your technicians are, at some point, they will need you in person. That can happen when you’re away on the weekend or even on vacation. Many CMMS software can be accessed via mobile devices, and you should make the most of this critical feature.
Mobility expands accessibility and allows you and your team to check the status of tasks or communicate from anywhere through laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Added integrations even let your team submit work orders via text and automatically integrate them into tracking operations.
A system that allows you to do all of this remotely is undoubtedly worth the investment: you’ll be able to maintain a networked team to react to those unexpected problems from wherever they are, avoiding delays and unforeseen events.
- Team Communication Apps
The world has become faster and important messages sent by email or SMS no longer fulfill the same purpose. Mobility allows you to create virtual team workspaces by using popular tools like Slack and Monday.
With a single space where the entire team can communicate (instead of one-on-one messages), the facility manager has the opportunity to track everyone’s tasks in a way that makes the workflow more efficient. You can assign tasks directly as soon as they come up, share data to illustrate your points, see the progress of each one’s work, and receive or give feedback.
Streamlining team communication is a way to save time and money, in addition to avoiding situations where someone claims they were not told or didn’t know about a task.
- Hours Tracking Apps
Time-tracking allows a worker to report how much time was spent on different projects. The facility manager can quickly analyze this data to track changes in employee performance. There are several free apps (like actiTIME, Timetag, and RescueTime) the serve different purposes.
Some are better for remote teams assessing how long it takes to complete a task; others are formatted specifically for the facility manager to control team productivity. There are also apps for self-employed and freelancers with different features and functionality.
You can integrate time-tracking apps into your team’s routine and encourage them to post this data directly via your CMMS software.
- Industry-Specific Apps
Different industries have different peculiarities and necessities, so that they may need their add-ons to CMMS software. The good news is that app developers have already thought about this, and now there are options for facility managers in all areas: sports, churches, schools, etc.
These custom apps have unique features based on the specifics of each facility and their different types of tasks. For example, there’s software for churches that allows you to track the work done by volunteers in the congregation’s service. In contrast, a sports game scheduling app allows you to keep up-to-date on the best times to maintain and clean community sports facilities before and after large events.
Increase Your Resources and Work Better
The definition of an add-on is the best argument on why these apps can be handy: a device designed to increase the capability of a computer system. The CMMS software your maintenance department has adopted may be excellent, but why not make it even more efficient with the help of these apps?
Given that you and your team already have smartphones, laptops, or tablets on hand for most of the day, apps can make a difference in your facility’s day-to-day operations. In addition to keeping everyone connected on the same platform, today, there are apps for everything: communication, automation, and time management.
The larger your facility, the more essential it is to use apps to help fill some gaps that a facilities management software might have. Joining forces and using CMMS with these different add-ons allows you to make the most of these features.