Using a CMMS to Manage Facilities While Under Work-From-Home Orders

Change remains a constant variable in modern facilities management. As organizations embraced technology, using a CMMS to manage facilities maintenance, particularly preventive maintenance, grew in value. Companies thought they had everything under control. But then, a new disruption appeared on the horizon. As illustrated by Matthew Ganser of Facility Executive:

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has put an unprecedented strain on global health networks and local and nationwide municipalities — not to mention the global market. But as businesses embrace the new remote norm, what happens to the buildings they leave behind, and those responsible for running those buildings? How are on-site facility teams managing the operations of these newly empty properties, much less doing so remotely? Are there any opportunities now that tenant experience is no longer a top priority?

The current outbreak is highlighting where technology, and associated operations, are falling short in the built environment. Commercial real estate (CRE) has lagged in adopting the necessary infrastructure for remote building management, further compounded by the current remote work mandates.”

What do the success stories of the COVID-19 outbreak’s impact on facilities have in common? Centralization—and your company needs to know why.

The Challenges of Managing Facilities While Under Work-From-Home Orders

Most Americans are now under work-from-home orders. The orders are not a recommendation. They are a necessity and enforceable by jail time and financial, not to mention societal, penalty. Companies that do not intervene to make work-from-home capabilities a reality will see a decline in both customers and profitability. Unfortunately, working from home is not as simple as turning on an email server, or is it?

That is where the challenges of managing facilities while under work-from-home orders exist. Without a centralized, accessible platform, how do companies know what essential needs exist? How do they prioritize needs based on the demands of each facility? Even if a company is essential, what activities within facilities management fall under the purview of nonessential work? It’s a complexity no one saw coming, but it is possible to avoid the issues and overcome the challenges with the right technology. 

Using a CMMS to Manage Facilities Is an Industry-Leading Best Practice

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is the system of record for handling all work orders within a facility. While usually attributed to maintenance needs, such platforms have a natural value in usability across all facility management requirements. Complaints, problems, and needs reside in the system, and through analytics-powered algorithms, managers receive ongoing prioritization of needs. The benefits are quite extensive as well, further building the value of using a CMMS to manage facilities during times of disruption.

Benefits of Using a CMMS Go Well Beyond Remote Management

The strong benefits of using a CMMS goes beyond remote management, explains FM Link, and include:

  • Access to the latest information and insights into asset performance from essential workers. 
  • Ability to gauge the health of the facility, quite literally for health facilities, to understand needs. 
  • Improved resource management from supply procurement through prioritization of needs. 
  • Increased accountability and visibility into facilities management, which feed data back into analytics for further insights.
  • Centralized communications to keep everyone on the same page. 

It is important to note that the benefits are limited only by the scalability of using a CMMS to manage facilities as well. Thus, cloud systems that offer limitless scalability can add more value than even the most advanced and customized on-premise solutions.

Reap the Value of Remote Management by Using a CMMS to Manage Facilities Now and Forevermore

There is not a clear standard for managing facilities remotely. If there were, it would include the use of an advanced CMMS. However, the current disruption is the mother of all Black Swans in facilities management, and those that embrace a digital approach have the advantage. That much is simple and essential to survival.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb