Facilities managers have traditionally relied on manual checks and monitoring to get an overview of a facility’s status and to identify areas requiring maintenance. However, with recent developments in wireless monitoring and digital workforce management technologies and real estate software, working smarter, not harder, is becoming easier than ever. Smart technology can bring a range of benefits, but the industry has to be ready to leverage it: unfortunately, the facilities management industry tends to move slowly when it comes to adopting new technologies, a recent survey reveals.

Last year, another study looking at the key facilities management trends, identified the use of technology as the most important challenge the industry would face. With modern buildings likely to be increasingly reliant on smart technology, it is crucial that facilities managers are up to date with what’s available and the benefits that the right tools can deliver across the management spectrum.

Here are a few key areas where digital technology can make a difference and help managers optimise their time:

1. Monitoring workforce and portfolio

Keeping track of a wide property portfolio can be a challenge, especially if each facility has separate teams looking after maintenance, cleaning and other tasks on the ground. Instead of the traditional siloed approach of monitoring each facility separately, modern facilities management software, supported by digital work management tools, can help pool crucial information to help streamline the management of multiple sites and reduce the time spent on monitoring non-crucial tasks.

2. Compliance. 

Digital checklist technology and wireless monitoring can help ensure that all facilities meet the required health and safety and hygiene standards at all times. The cloud-based records form a tamper-proof trail to demonstrate that the facility has been maintained according to regulations, which is crucial in case any incidents occur on site.

3. Accessibility

For facilities managers in charge of large teams of workers, introducing a system that facilitates universal accessibility can make a big difference. When personnel on all sites, including remote staff and field-based contractors, can be briefed and monitored from the same system, the overall management workload can be significantly reduced.

4. Reporting

Manual reports can take hours to maintain and analyse. Configurable software can help improve efficiency by enabling automatic reporting and trend analysis, and can help identify new areas for development.

By reviewing their operational models and identifying key areas for development, facilities managers can locate the areas where technology can have the most significant impact to operation.