3 trends in facility management

And how to deal with them

In the past years, developments in facility management have shown a strong tendency of professionalization and clustering of services. This has brought both challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, clustering of services requires seamless communication between all stakeholders involved, while on the other, it offers the possibility to take facility management to the next level.

We’ve identified three major trends that need to be taken into account to meet these challenges and boost user experience, better align services and enhance employee productivity. If data is leveraged to improve services and building management, preferably with a platform such as ServiceNow, total facility management is within reach.

1. The hospitality journey
Facility departments are quickly improving and evolving into shared service centers, working towards total facility management. A major focus of this development is improving the experience of the physical workspace. Continuous information sharing between services and customers and/or their visitors is key to achieve this. A digital platform such as ServiceNow is ideally suited to support this development, as it allows for easy sharing of information and is extremely flexible when it comes to offering new services.

Processes such as case management, request management and other user-facing facility operations can be streamlined to become more efficient. With the help of a digital portal as one-stop shop, users or customers can ask questions or create requests. Regardless which service should handle the request, the platform will ensure it is handled correctly. The facility manager still is in control, but now has a comprehensive overview thanks to smart dashboards fuelled by data gathered by the platform - resulting in better services for employees and guests.

2. Smart buildings
Smart buildings bring new opportunities to facility departments. When done right, new controls help manage the building and gain key insights in usage of utilities such as electricity, heating, waste disposal or water. In addition, it offers the possibility to tweak maintenance schedules, as data is gathered from installations with sensors that can spot anomalies, indicating an installation may need maintenance to prevent it from malfunctioning.

As metrics such as energy usage are made available, insights become grounded in hard data which is actionable. This contributes towards company goals regarding sustainability, and in process enables the organization to cut costs.

3. Work and wellness
A major trend in facility management is worker wellness. Most organizations are heavily dependent on the knowledge, skills and motivation of employees to achieve company goals. As the war on talent intensifies, worker wellness becomes more important. Employees may want to have flexible hours, work remotely or expect certain facilities within the office such as healthy food, sufficient options for relaxation and an optimal work space.

Whatever the particular wishes of employees are, in order to meet them, it is important the facility department is able to focus on happiness and comfort as well as enhancing productivity and efficiency. Again, the benefits of a single platform as a source of information and to handle all service requests is hard to overstate. Employees will love the fact that the information they need is easily accessible and they can quickly and efficiently get what they need to do their job.

Bringing it all together
We’ve already mentioned ServiceNow a few times, but we haven’t explained yet how ServiceNow and the 4Facility suite we have developed for the platform can help. ServiceNow is ideal as a single platform to work with for multiple departments that all need to communicate with each other, while 4Facility as a suite based on the ServiceNow platform offers a wide range of functionality, which can be tailored to the organization’s needs. For example, with 4Facility, employees can book rooms, reserve parking space or company vehicles, maintenance can monitor critical installations (central heating, water) and new assets such as a laptop are easily requested and provisioned.

What makes 4Facility truly stand out is that all data, whether it is input from employees, facility management or a supplier, is collected and aggregated in a uniform way. This data can be made actionable in surprising ways. For example, 4Facility has extensive reporting functionality that provides insights into how buildings are used, which deviations occur regularly, which type of service requests have a relatively long resolution time and much, much more. All these insights help to improve facility management and employee satisfaction.

We believe facility management can be a lot more efficient and even contribute to company goals, if the trends described in this article are taken into account and if data is used in the right way to do so. Want to know more about our take on facility management and the 4Facility suite? Contact us! Send an email to info@app4mation.com or request a demo.