Collaboration Across Cloud-Based Facilities Management Resources: How to do More with Less

Facility managers continue to leverage computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to streamline operations for their clients, but the greatest potential lies in the use of a CMMS within the cloud. Advances in technology have led to the advent of cloud-based FM resources, which ensure that organizations can manage their facilities more efficiently and effectively with limitless scalability, superior collaboration, unmatched visibility, and increased security. Facilities managers need to know a few things about how such resources can help them do more with less and better manage multi-site portfolios without sacrificing quality.

Challenges With Traditional Facilities Management Strategies

Back in the day, facilities management strategies relied heavily on spreadsheets and CAD printouts. Keeping track of facilities, assets, and people was a difficult task with such resources at your disposal. Frequent human errors meant that business owners incurred losses without their knowledge. Working with traditional facilities management strategies was also a time-consuming affair.

While traditional strategies got the job done, facility managers didn’t have total control over maintenance practices and physical assets. Unexpected disasters like fires often led to loss of crucial company data meaning that clients would have to start all over again. Data recovery was not any better, given that the backup systems were not as efficient as companies desired. Besides compromised data safety, traditional strategies also meant less productive collaborations between departments.

Why Cloud-Based Facilities Management Resources Enable Savings

When working with cloud-based FM resources, business owners rent the services rather than buying them. As a result, they don't incur infrastructure and installation costs. The service providers handle the server maintenance and security updates, saving your firm's overhead costs. As today's workforce becomes increasingly mobile and dynamic, cloud-based FM resources also let you access a centralized database. This feature makes it easy for a company to make sense of their data resources and work across multiple locations to save resources. As Aanchal Singh of FM Link explained:

"The idea is to create a structured way to collect, process, and analyze a set of data to better performance and increase the functional capabilities of the facility."

That functionality resides within the cloud, and since anyone can access it—given the appropriate pre-authorization credentials, that data can be used to improve the maintenance schedule, make repair-or-replace decisions, revisit your facilities management emergency plans, and much more. Additionally, cloud-based software secures your data from loss thanks to the latest security updates. These systems place your organization’s facility management plans in a centralized location. Your facility manager will have a more straightforward time working with other team players and enforcing a collaborative management approach. 

Best Practices to Improve Operations Through Cloud-Based FM Resources

Facility managers should keep these best keep in mind when applying cloud-based FM resources:

  1. Leverage the application of analytics to experience continuous improvement in facility management and prove value of investment into such platforms.
  2. Assess different service providers thoroughly before selecting a field vendor—reducing risk and keeping costs under control.
  3. Apply business intelligence dashboards to save time and reduce the hassle of managing facilities.
  4. Use automated alerts and integrated systems to dispatch field service vendor requests, handle payment processing, and validate work performed.
  5. Implement proactive planning and preventive maintenance programs to mitigate risks and improve budgeting practices, reducing the volume and cost of reactive maintenance.
  6. Train all team members on the use of the cloud-based systems to ensure that everyone can access their accounts with ease and add value.

Improve Facility Management with Tailor-Made FM Resources

Cloud-based FM resources continue to revolutionize facility management as we know it. With remote access, facility managers can keep track of your firm’s daily activities without stepping into the office. Before you choose the best cloud-based software for your business, consider how it will improve overall productivity, reduce expenses, and benefit your building occupants. Remember that cloud-based technologies are the new normal, and if your organization still relies on manual, paper-based, or terminal-based facilities processes, it is time to evolve. 

J Glasglow, MCR

J Glasglow, MCR

As Senior Vice President of Solutions Development for Cushman & Wakefield Global Occupier Services, J Glasgow partners with corporate occupiers of real estate to develop integrated real estate, facility, project and operational management programs designed to improve processes, manage risk while significantly reducing total cost of occupancy. J’s background includes more than 20 years of experience in diverse commercial and corporate real estate disciplines such as, account leadership, and management, facility and operational planning, project management and strategic portfolio optimization. J has advised global clients from a broad range of market sectors encompassing financial, insurance, healthcare, bio-science, engineering, and consumer goods companies that encompass, office, industrial and manufacturing portfolios. With a diverse background in corporate real estate planning, facility management and project management, J has leveraged savings for his clients of over $313 million dollars while aligning with their overall business strategy and mission.