By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
Integrated Workplace Management System, also called IWMS software, is part of a next-generation of solutions to Facility Management (FM) responsibilities in the workplace. Though facility management, itself, is not a new component of business management, the real estate infrastructure, maximizing real estate portfolio management, accounting firms, and physical asset management business processes, IWMS software is a somewhat new development in the field. With IWMS software, corporate real estate management software, maintenance management (or lifecycle management) and lower-level employees in a variety of different departments can take charge of real estate expenditure and cost savings. They can also plan for future moves, analyze current space utility data and even perform basic administrative tasks, such as assigning desks to new employees or locating coworkers within a large office space. Move management and seating scenario planning for future premises are also on offer with well-designed IWMS programs like SpaceIQ. Let’s explore what IWMS programs can do for you and why SpaceIQ is the right choice for your growth, cost savings, and management needs.
Breaking Down IWMS: Who, What, When, Where, and Why
To understand exactly what IWMS software is and how it can make itself useful in your organization, it may be best to break it all down into minute detail. When you understand the basic elements of who uses IWMS software, what it does, when it is useful, where it works, why you should use it, and how you can implement it the value of IWMS software will become quite clear.
Some businesses even employ specialist computer-aided facility management (CAFM) professionals whose jobs are dedicated to the use, administration and deployment of IWMS programs like SpaceIQ. However, if your organization isn’t large enough to include a dedicated CAFM or facility management staff member, you can still use an IWMS program. In fact, SpaceIQ is designed specifically for use by a wide range of employees within a given organization. From office managers to department heads and even part-time, junior-level employees, team members in a wide range of departments and roles will make use of SpaceIQ’s IWMS functions such as seating scenario planning, employee finder tools, Slack integration, and scenario analysis. These functions are all part of the work of managing and planning the physical space in an office, and the use of software to complete these tasks makes life easier for everyone involved.
IWMS software can also be useful to individuals in your office space who aren’t necessarily part of your team. For example, if your company hosts a startup as part of an incubator or if you share your facilities with another organization, you can use IWMS software to keep physical boundaries clean and clear without conflict or awkwardness. It can even be useful for maintenance and janitorial staff to get plugged into an IWMS system to plan their activities around the business function needs of your core team.
Other people that can benefit from IWMS software include corporate and real estate managers and directors, and environmental energy and sustainability directors. The reports gained from IWMS software allows the business to make better and more informed decisions regarding maintenance operations, space utilization, and energy efficiency analytics.
What will these individuals do with IWMS software? There are so many different ways to answer that question and, in truth, the way an IWMS program gets used may vary quite dramatically from business to business and even user to user. For example, a multinational manufacturing business can use IWMS software to maintain a central database relating to all their different real estate and physical assets across different continents. That way, facility management professionals and other high-level managers in the home office can stay abreast of how space is getting used without having to physically visit the office or get a regular report from employees on the ground. Main office facility management staff and managers in this situation can track when desks in foreign satellites are getting too full and interface with managers in those locations to find out whether their employees are still comfortable in the current facility and discuss the idea of potentially expanding out into a bigger space.
IWMS software is also useful for tracking expenditures and utility usage as part of an effort to lower operating costs. If you have current management systems in place for keeping track of this kind of data, you may want to see how much better it is to integrate your approach with an IWMS software program. The IWMS software program has the power to bring all your data points together for a synthesized analytical approach that makes the pursuit of efficiency more efficient.
There are several special event points at which the use of an IWMS software program becomes something of a requirement. Moving is never a fun undertaking, but it’s an especially big job when the moving you’re doing involves hundreds of employees, thousands of expensive pieces of tech, and a whole lot of new furniture coming in via delivery to your new location. Luckily, SpaceIQ’s IWMS functionality includes move management features that make it much easier to keep all these balls in the air as you make the big step from a small old office to a more spacious new facility.
However, you shouldn’t just stop using your IWMS software once the move is over. If your business is growing rapidly, you will need to keep track of how the office space gets used so you can tell when the time is right to expand or make another move entirely. These days, it’s not unheard of for rapidly growing companies to uproot and find new office space every few years. This is especially true for startup businesses that find funding, skyrocket in popularity and then either succeed through IPO or acquisition.
There are other day-to-day benefits to using IWMS software. When an organization is successful enough to occupy a large warehouse space or a multi-story building, it becomes more difficult for employees in different departments to find and interact with each other in person. SpaceIQ uses Slack integration to allow for convenient use whenever your employees need it.
The fact that IWMS programs are completely digitized means they can be used just about anywhere, at any time. If you have your IWMS software loaded up on your laptop, you can even check in with the office while you’re away. This locational flexibility means that move management is simpler than ever before. You don’t need to be physically inside your new office space to get a view of what floorplan layouts are like. It’s even possible to use an IWMS system to plan seating charts and furniture layout design without physically moving the pieces into place.
SpaceIQ’s locational functionality is even more flexible thanks to the inclusion of mobile app connection. A worker who mostly telecommutes but occasionally comes into the office can use their SpaceIQ mobile features to check up on their coworkers as they’re on the train into the city, so they know exactly where to go for meetings or quick chats before getting down to work at a workspace checked out on the go.
So, why do all this? There are several practical benefits, including the digitization of your physical and space assets for superior inventory control and analysis. SpaceIQ is a particularly employee-focused IWMS program as well, making it possible for your organization to include team members in major space-related decisions and get input on where certain teams would work best in relation to other within the office. You can use SpaceIQ to quickly allocate, assign, and analyze your available space and plan for the future. This is an especially smart move when you have new employees coming in; SpaceIQ can make the workspace-related elements of the onboarding process much quicker and smoother, giving you the ability to impress your new employees and show them how smoothly your business runs from day one.
Though IWMS systems like SpaceIQ offer a benefit to everyone in your organization, ultimately, these programs make life so much easier for facility management staff, office managers, and other administrators who concern themselves with how your office environment functions. IWMS software makes it easy to track issues, and with SpaceIQ’s one-click portfolio reporting and analysis, your FM and admin staff can turn their attention to other job functions rather than spending in inordinate amount of their time collecting, organizing, and analyzing data.
SpaceIQ’s Reach and Utility
Clearly, IWMS software programs, in general, have something to offer for a wide variety of industries and employees but SpaceIQ, in particular, is a versatile tool that can be made useful across a variety of different industries and office setup scenarios. While many IWMS systems focus on specific industries or enterprise applications at a very large scale, SpaceIQ can be tailored to work in organizations that are as small as a startup. Getting on board with IWMS software early in your business’ life cycle can help establish a culture of responsibility, planning, and financial caution that will serve you well as you move on and up through each step of the ladder. If you have enough employees or enough of an agile work culture that it’s not always clear where people are in your office, SpaceIQ is likely the right IWMS software solution for your organization.
Still, though we can be useful to the new kids on the block, SpaceIQ is a powerful, useful tool for large businesses to use as well. After all, facility management problems don’t diminish with growth. Problems with space allocation, resource utilization and employee satisfaction can only multiply as a business grows. With SpaceIQ on your side, you’ll have a more effective way to tackle these issues without resorting to old-school techniques or sacrificing any of your style and efficient finesse.
Uses of IWMS Software
Real Estate and Lease Management is one practical use of IWMS software. The software is used to help manage the real estate assets of the company and includes elements such as leasing agreements, planning, and proposals, property management, and tax management.
IWMS software can also help facilitate an organization’s space management optimization.
IWMS Software allows a business to maximize all of their resources and assets by way of an integrated software platform in which information can be shared. IWMS Software is designed to help save a business money and time in order to increase efficiency and productivity.
Environmental sustainability is one benefit linked to the use of IWMS Software, and it allows a business to measure their energy usage and track other energy-related costs to identify areas in which they experience more waste. The environmental sustainability application can be integrated with the buildings management systems so that the facility gains the control over the systems like the air conditioning, lighting, and ventilation. Benchmarks can be established using this information to analyze the energy consumption of the business.
Analayzing the energy consumption can help a business determine in which areas they need to provide additional maintenance or attention to ensure that their energy costs are reduced, and all planned preventative maintenance is being done as it should be.
Green energy is becoming increasing popular among businesses because green energy is derived from renewable sources and does not negatively impact the environment. When integrated with a Computer Aided Facility Management System, the IWMS can collect all web-based facility management solutions (read more on how to select the best facility management software for your organization) regarding energy and sustainability for the complete lifecycle of the facility, rather than just during the construction phase of the property. The information can help a business effectively plan and manage their portfolios and building operations to reduce their carbon footprint and see reduced energy costs.
Capital Project Management
Capital Project Management helps maintain and improve assets management and the infrastructure of the business. Capital project management is typically reserved for newly constructed facilities, expansions, renovations, or replacement facilities. The biggest advantage with an IWMS concerning capital project management is the fact that all of the tools are maintained within the same platform and have all of the same data accessibility. All activities are coordinated when it comes to the planning and execution of projects, document management, and financial accounting.
Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Implementing IWMS Software can also be beneficial in gaining awareness and increased productivity within the workplace. All the systems within a facility work in conjunction and interact with each other, and the IWMS Software allows the business to make better decisions using the data that the IWMS software provides.
The industrial elements of a business are taken into consideration, and the operations and facilities management professionals will be able to visually assess these elements to see how compatible they are so that more informed decisions can be made regarding the space and asset management of the facility.
If the business cannot utilize IWMS Software then the reports, forecasting, and benchmarks may be inaccurate or may show outdated information which can negatively impact the efficiency and productivity within the workplace. IWMS solutions allow businesses to replace the traditional methods used in generating these reports. There is no longer the need to enter any information manually. The information will be more accurate and become accessible to the right people. When the information is able to be shared among the people that need it, it cuts down on the time the users spend trying to locate the information they need and instead they can view real-time data conveniently and easily.
With IWMS, users can also schedule maintenance during the times that won’t pose an inconvenience for the business or workplace. Being able to schedule maintenance at the best times for the business means causing fewer distractions for the employees which in turn increases workplace productivity.
Space utilization and management is another significant benefit that can be gained from IWMS Software. It can sometimes be difficult for a facilities manager to determine how well the space in the facility is being used. The IWMS Software gives these facility managers the ability to identify new and existing opportunities and solutions to increase the efficiency within the workplace environment. The IWMS Software provides real-time data regarding space utilization for the facility
When a facility implements successful IWMS Software, then the business has the chance to see increased workplace productivity and efficiency.
Integrated IWMS Software is a strategy a business should also employ for the planning and management of their real estate portfolio and assets. IWMS Software implementation can provide effective organization concerning all of a businesses resources which can help maximize the lifecycle of their resource management while also finding effective ways to reduce the total cost of occupancy or TCO.
The total cost of occupancy or ownership is the financial estimate that helps buyers determine all of the costs that are associated with a product or system. It is management accounting that can be applied with full cost accounting. Integrated IWMS systems are beneficial because they can adapt to the changing needs of a business which is important when you consider data that is relevant for facility management, project management, and real estate management. Standard IWMS solutions can help to reduce the costs of TCO and provides flexibility. The integrated software will also ensure compatibility with newer software versions.
Lifecycle management is a flexible approach that was designed to draw on the elements of principle life cycle thinking to help businesses. Application lifecycle management involves the development and maintenance of computer programs and includes all aspects of the programs including the software maintenance, continuous integration, and project management.
Implementation Planning of IWMS Software
The implementation planning of IWMS Software should include a defined direction and strategic goal of the business. The planning phase should also include an objective analysis of the current methods and systems of the facility and the required resources that are needed to achieve the best results from IWMS Software.
The plan is beneficial in providing a clear understanding of the project management and systems and their overall goals. It can also help the business steer clear of repeating responsibilities and tasks and provides the foundation for a focused implementation strategy. The implementation planning of the IWMS software will ultimately increase the functionality of the system being used and process productivity.
Phase 1 of the planning process includes a preliminary assessment and analysis of the resources that will be needed. Resources include data requirements, training requirements that will be needed for the new software, and the data access and flow. Next, a system design and standards system will be developed, and then the software installation and data development, integration, and report production will begin followed by training for the users that will be utilizing and managing the IWMS software.
Finally, a technical support team should be set in place for review and evaluation of the IWMS software and maintain system enhancements while following through on any additional training that may be needed to increase the effectiveness of the integrated workplace management system software.
Another benefit of the planning process is the chance to determine priorities concerning the level of information system and data that will be needed. All of the facilities’ current systems and data sources should be reviewed so that additional areas that will benefit from improvement with the IWMS software can be located and integrated with the management system. Users will need training on the functionality of the new management system, and end-users may require additional training on these services.
IWMS Opportunity Assessment
The IWMS Opportunity Assessment takes into consideration the Needs Analysis Assessment. It also involves cross-departmental data flow and will help determine which departments are going to require access to the system. Integration of the systems also provides a more efficient way to share information and quickly locate the information each department will need.
The opportunity assessment will also offer the business the chance to analyze the existing workflow and systems to best determine and identify all risks and benefits that will be associated with the IWMS software. It will analyze all individual processes as well as all the operating processes and functions.
Opportunity assessments are beneficial when determining which functions need to be merged and which asset management functions should be more defined in order to achieve optimal performance, ease of use and functionality, and improved and managed productivity.
Magic Quadrant is simply the series of market research reports that provide quantitative analysis into a specific market. Several analyzed markets are broken down into magic quadrants. Some of these markets include application performance management, business process analysis tools, data integration tools, IWMS software, and IT service management.
With the Magic Quadrant for IWMS, quantitative and qualitative criteria were analyzed for vision, strategy, organization, products, services and performance. It also analyzes sustainability as a core functional area concerning IWMS software.
Management of a facilities life cycle is one of the biggest expenses that a business can face. It requires strategy and functionality in order to achieve optimum performance within an IWMS system. According to the magic quadrant, and IWMS system is comprised of five of the core competencies. These competencies include capital project management, real estate management, space and facilities managemen, and sustainability and compliance.
When all of the core competencies are addressed, and all data is correct, the IWMS software can help employ strategic solutions for any problems and increase workflow and productivity so that the business can make informed and knowledgeable decisions concerning space utilization, management and lease administration, and facility optimization.
Implementing IWMS software in your business is an overall good decision that will help alleviate future problems, ensure that all the information is up to date and accurately portrayed, and it will help offer ways in which the business can improve productivity and increase workplace satisfaction.
CAFM Software Versus IWMS Software
CAFM is more of a space planning tool that can monitor space utilization and asset management within a facility. IWMS software supports all of the elements of facilities management. If your business is just looking to find ways to optimize space and plan and execute the use of the space and track preventative maintenance, then CAFM software may be sufficient enough.
However, if you are looking for software management that will cover a variety of other platforms and enable the facility to monitor everything with just one system, then IWMS software is the ideal solution. IWMS software offers the facility space management features as well as the technology and tools to monitor every other aspect of the facility including energy, construction, management, lease management, and project management.
An IWMS software solution is a convenient and straightforward way to track and manage every element of the facility and business with the use of a single facility management system and is easy to use and flexible enough to adapt to the growing and changing needs of the business. While there is nothing wrong with computer aided facilities management software, your business may require a bit more which is where IWMS software steps in to offer a way to track and manage workplace management more effectively.
Keep reading: What is CAFM?