Technology is advancing quickly these days. If you’re a facility manager, it can pay to keep up. There are a lot of tech tools out there that can save you time, reduce stress, and make your work more efficient.
Of course, not all technology is “one size fits all”. Because let’s face it, facility management is definitely not a one-size-fits-all field. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our “Meet the Facility Manager” series, it’s that the scope of responsibilities FMs tackle varies greatly from facility to facility.
Facility Manager Tech Tools
Still, it never hurts to be in the know. Here are a handful of different technology tools that you may want to check out.
1. Software to help facility managers organize and access information
There are many different software options out there than can aid FMs in organizing and streamlining their everyday tasks. This ranges from software designed to help manage all maintenance activities to logging and tracking facility visitors for security purposes.
There are also several comprehensive facility management software options available. One popular option in this area is NetFacilities, a web-based software that aims to centralize the many things FMs need to manage—from vendors and work orders to asset management and preventative maintenance—in one convenient place.
Other popular facility management software includes:
There’s also BIM (building information modeling) software—a technology that continues to be applied with new facility construction—which gives you the ability to view your facility as a 3D model and access important data about layouts, components, and maintenance throughout the building lifecycle.
2. Mobile apps for increased convenience and collaboration
Because a lot of what FMs do doesn’t take place at a desk, mobile applications can be incredibly valuable assets. As smartphone and tablet technology surges forward, apps are becoming more customized and powerful.
So what are some popular apps with facility managers? Many FMs recommend the suite of mobile apps that comes with iOffice’s facility management software. Along with software-specific apps, there are also apps that can allow you to access and control lighting, HVAC, security, and other building systems.
Messaging apps can also be a valuable resource for FMs who are constantly connecting and collaborating with a number of different team members on different projects. Some current popular business messaging apps include Slack, Azendoo, HipChat, and Avaamo.
3. Other cool tech tools to move your facility into the future
Beyond the day-to-day, technology is continually providing new tools to make facility management smarter, safer, and more automated. Here are a few examples of tech tools being used today that could play a larger role for facility managers in the future.
Sensors can be used throughout a facility in a number of different ways to provide valuable data that tells you what’s happening and even trigger a reaction. For example, motion sensors can be used to determine when a specific space is being used and shut off lights to conserve energy when it’s not. Sensors can also be used to pinpoint maintenance problems.
Thermal imaging tools provide a non-invasive way for FMs to see what’s happening inside a building—whether checking on structural problems, looking for temperature changes or heat loss, or examining electrical/mechanical equipment. Thermal imaging is also a helpful tool for preventative maintenance.
Drones are the talk of the tech world these with companies like Amazon hoping to put them to work in the near future. For FMs, drones can give you access to hard-to-reach areas. So, for example, drones give you a safer way to get a look at a crack that may need to be repaired in a high ceiling or on the roof of a high-rise building.
Robots offer perhaps the most sci-fi vision for what the future of facility management could look like. In the near future, robots may be used for tasks such as cleaning building windows or mowing lawns. And it may not be long before they are greeting and directing visitors, and performing complex maintenance tasks. The future is coming quick.
What facility management tech tools would you recommend to other FMs out there?