5 benefits of building management software
Building management software is a version of computerized maintenance management software designed for facility managers; you’re planning tasks from cleaning the windows to maintaining the HVAC system instead of changing out the oil in industrial equipment. Here are five benefits of building management software over the current way you’re managing your facilities and personnel.
Maintain Your Maintenance Schedule
Building management software, sometimes called building maintenance software, allows you to schedule maintenance. If you plan routine tasks like boiler checks and air filter replacements, they aren’t forgotten. If repairs come up, you can shift lower priority work in the schedule instead of forgetting about it and failing to do it later. You can also plan workloads based on staff availability. Plan maintenance to occur before or after major events, when your key personnel are in the building and most of your clients are not.
Identify Problems Early On
Building maintenance software is similar to computerized maintenance management systems for industrial facilities. You can track when work is done and by whom. This data is invaluable for identifying trends. For example, you may hear the complaint, “Oh, darn, the X is acting up again.” But how often is it acting up? Is it acting up again in the same way, suggesting that only temporary fixes are being used? Or is it failing in different ways, suggesting that the unit is at the end of its life and needs to be replaced before it has a catastrophic and unplanned failure? By reviewing the data, you can determine when something is breaking faster than expected and plan for major repairs or overhauls instead of being surprised.
Better Financial Planning
If you have building management software, you can see your minimum workload, ideal workload and worst case workload. You can determine the minimum number of people you need on staff at any time to do what needs to be done as well as slack in their schedules to handle issues when they arise. Better allocation and the planning of maintenance work means you won’t need to rely on overtime to get things done. If people are consistently working full schedules and overtime, you’ll have the hard data showing you need to bring in new people.
You can also look at work schedules and determine potential roadblocks to productivity. Would it be better to bring in a contractor to fix an AC instead of having your one HVAC trained tech driving between different facilities? Are people left idle waiting for parts or for assignments? A facility management system allows you to have a list of quick tasks someone can do when waiting for someone else to complete a critical task or the hours it takes for a replacement part to arrive. Building maintenance systems by design assign priorities to tasks so that you don’t have critical personnel working on low value tasks over critical ones, too.
Gain Legally Accepted Records
Did you inspect the stairs for loose steps and the fire extinguishers at regular intervals? If there is an accident, someone could argue that the paperwork was filled in later to show that it was. If other paperwork is missing or lacks critical information, your lack of records may be treated as evidence the work wasn’t done. If you use a building management system to track all of your work, you have a database showing what was done and by whom. If the system is backed up to the cloud or backup servers, you won’t lose your records in case of flooding or fire. You now have a legally accepted set of records showing what work was done and when that may make the difference between winning and losing a negligence case.
In the case of residential buildings, building management software collects data related to when they may need to charge residents or evict them. For example, if someone is continually breaking rules and clogging toilets or breaking appliances, the building management system provides the reliable record of what happened and when. You also have the information as to the standard repair rate that you can use if necessary. You can provide the resident with a list of repairs that they themselves are responsible for and demand payment or withhold these costs from their deposit when they move out without arguing that specific events were the landlord’s responsibility. If someone is continually breaking windows and doors due to disputes, you have the logs that show how often it was happening and can use this information to evict someone instead of relying on he-said-she-said arguments in front of a judge.
Know the Status of Tasks and Talent
One of the frustrations landlords and facilities managers face is customer calls demanding to know when the work will be done. Real time data from building management systems provides answers to these questions. “Ma’am, he’s up on the roof now.” “The initial diagnosis was done yesterday, and the replacement part will be here tomorrow.” “We sent someone in last week to check it out and they found nothing wrong.” “The annual maintenance was done last month, so we don’t need to send someone now.” A building management software also ensures that work orders aren’t lost in the rush to meet the demands of higher priority work.
Personnel management itself becomes more efficient when you have building management software. If new high priority work assignments come in, they can receive the information via an email or instant message on their mobile device instead of having to come into the office.
Another benefit of building management systems is the plain data as to the productivity of various staff. You can compare workloads of various employees and identify your best talent in need of a raise. You’ll also know who either needs further training or replacement. You can also compare apples to apples, since you’ll see who completed one or two large jobs per day compared to someone who took care of half a dozen minor issues.
Building management software allows you to maintain your maintenance schedule despite disruptions and distractions. You’ll have the data you need to identify problems before they escalate and answer client questions. You’ll be able to track the productivity of employees and avoid penalizing those who do the hard work in favor of those who close out a lot of little issues. The building management system allows you to better manage employees, estimate labor costs for necessary maintenance work and organize schedules to minimize costly overtime.