Businesses are always looking for new ways to stay competitive, reduce costs and optimize the use of available resources, including space. Managing facilities efficiently and effectively allows businesses, especially large enterprises to reduce costs and do more with the available resources.
The concept of Integrated Facilities Management gained popularity as more businesses started to out-source non-core business activities. This allowed them to focus more on their core operations and worry less about things like managing facilities spread over the globe.
Facilities are more than just being physical buildings as they are also the center of activities. Facility management encompasses a wide range of services ranging from IT management to cleaning services.
Managing each service separately can prove to be a hassle for large businesses and that’s where Integrated Facilities Management can make the difference. IFM consolidates all or most of these services under one management team or contract, which helps streamline operations and communication.
Single vs. Integrated Services Management
According to a report by Frost & Sullivan, the Integrated Facilities Management aka IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management Solution) market is expected to grow at a rate of 6.4% between 2013-19. Hiring and dealing with different services such as security or catering can quickly become a time-consuming endeavor.
On the other hand, an integrated facility services provider takes the responsibility of managing service functions off the shoulders of employees, allowing them to focus more on business growth and core activities. The provider is responsible for managing service deliveries, training, administration and integration and providing strategic support.
While small businesses might need only one or two service providers, large businesses have to deal with a number of providers to cover the entire range of services. This makes integrated facilities management model a better option for reducing costs and improving efficiency.
IoT and Integrated Facilities Management
With an increasing number of enterprises embracing new technologies like the Internet of Things, businesses are making their facilities smarter and more efficient. IoT is transforming facilities management and has become one of the hottest industry trends.
However, making new technologies and facility management services work together harmoniously can become a challenge, especially when different providers are involved. Integrated Facilities Management services are more likely to achieve operational efficiency when used with new technologies such as IoT.
IFM vs. CMMS vs. EAM Software
While there are differences (at a functional level) between IFM, CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems) and EAM (Enterprise Asset management), they are sometimes used interchangeably. A CMMS software focuses more on the maintenance part and related activities, while EAM is more focused on managing enterprise assets throughout their life cycle.
Integrated Facility Management software has a broader scope and is a complete solution for managing facilities. It’s a singular system that supports all aspects of facility management. These software/systems are available for different platforms such as mobile solutions, cloud-based solutions, on-premises solutions as well as hybrid solutions.
Consumers want simplicity and want everything immediately and at one place. The right technology is essential in delivering great integrated facilities management as it simplifies operations, reduces cost and improves efficiency. IFM not only improves the quality-of-life at the workplace, it also ensures the well-being of employees. The key to the success of an IFM system is to find the right partner that takes care of integrated facility services and lets managers and employees focus on what matter the most.