Being able to manage and maximise the ROI of their facilities has been a major challenge for facilities managers for the longest time. Over the decades, Facilities Management Systems have evolved from the very basics of facility maintenance, to encompass almost every facet of a building’s lifecycle.
With Internet and Intranet technologies advancing rapidly on a daily basis, modern Facilities Management Systems are now able to extend beyond physical and geographical boundaries. They are now capable of including all departments access an organisation and extend outwards to include outsource vendors and consultants globally.
The benefits of a well-implemented Facilities Management System for property owners and operators include significant reductions in time and money in the management of their facilities. This is achieved through more effective use and management of internal and external resources as well as significant improvements to internal procedures. These software solutions enable property owners and operators to have sustainable business operations for their clients, stimulating business growth.
Real estate professionals, property owners and operators, today have several ways to adopt or acquire these solutions. Several professional companies offer Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) systems and Integrated Workplace Management Solutions (IWMS) to customers.
Space Management Systems is another feature that modern Facilities Management solutions offer as part of a complete system, allowing users to view and assess available space within a building to better plan and allocate usable space. Some offer scenario planning in which ‘what-if’ scenarios can be mapped out for proposal to management teams. Some have Sustainability Modules that allow users to assess a building’s performance relating to energy usage against global benchmarks.
With the current trends using Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the improvements in BIM technologies, modern Facilities Management Systems are able to integrate with these platforms, using intelligent data from the BIM model and incorporating the same into an FM asset register. This FM+BIM integration allows highly-accurate floor plans, fixture and fitting data to be published into these Facilities Management systems, allowing for greater efficiency in ensuring that site and floor plan data are up to date.
This ability to integrate with BIM technology also means that building owners and operators can now work with architects and construction teams, to plan the management of their facilities alongside the design and construction stages. Oftentimes, building owners are delivered the design and plans of their buildings at project handover, but are left with a void in how they are to manage their facilities for the life of the building. In what is referred to as Building Lifecycle Management (BLM), building owners and operators plan the management of their facilities alongside the design and construction teams. This process allows owners and operators to ensure accuracy and currency of all facility and asset data as the project progresses, allowing them to manage their facilities almost immediately after project handover.
Facilities Management solutions providers strive hard to fulfil the requirements of their customers by providing effective technical solutions. Many offer tools like Building Design Suite that combine tools for designing, planning and managing efficient infrastructure. With this, real estate professionals and operators can manage and plan building design and operate more efficiently.
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