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By Dave Clifton
Enterprise means more than “big.” It means complex and nuanced, and demanding of robust solutions to meet multifaceted challenges. One of the biggest challenges of any enterprise company is how to scale the physical business. Especially in a time of global commerce and the shift to flex work, large companies need a way to make sure their physical workplace is productive, cost-efficient, and exactly what employees need it to be. Enterprise facility management software can help.
What is enterprise facilities management?
As the name implies, “enterprise” facility management involves overseeing workplace operations at a complex level. This usually means a high volume of employees, diverse workspaces, multiple facilities, and tiered levels of access, among other variables. Together, the complexities of these variables create an enterprise-level need for facilities management tools.
Managing hundreds or thousands of workstations is magnitudes more complex than managing even a couple dozen. Likewise, it’s next to impossible to direct traffic in workstations across a campus without an enterprise software component. These often-unique challenges demand resources that allow companies to build their own solution, rather than accepting the parameters of software made for simpler scenarios.
In short, enterprise facility management is the act of identifying and coordinating the complex and varied activities of robust facilities.
Consider your growing company
How do you know if you’ve reached a level that requires enterprise facilities management solutions? It depends on the demands of your facilities and workforce. There is no set number of employees or scope of workspaces that signals the need for enterprise facility management. Instead, it’s worth asking a few important questions:
- Do you have the means of tracking core workplace metrics right now?
- Is there a system in place for managing workstations and utilization?
- Can you currently quantify the workplace to accurately determine costs?
- Are there integration options that would allow you to augment the workplace?
- What unrealized opportunities are there for facilities management?
As facility managers question their ability to oversee and manage facilities, the need for an enterprise solution becomes apparent. For example, simple freemium products aren’t going to have the integration capabilities to be truly effective. Likewise, simple solutions only built for scale might not come with the robust reporting tools you need to optimize a complex workplace.
Explore enterprise facility management options
As with all enterprise-level software solutions, there are options for enterprise facility management software. It’s vital for companies to explore them and the features they offer, to better-address the challenges of a growing, multifaceted facility. It’s also important to realize that businesses in different industries will have different desking challenges. The ability of software to meet these needs with customizable solutions is paramount.
There are still challenges, even after you determine the best software solution. Be mindful of the effort that comes in selling stakeholders on it, getting it up and running, training staff, and integrating it into an established ecosystem of products. Have a plan for conquering these challenges and you’ll reap the benefits of facility management software at an enterprise level.
Do you need an enterprise solution?
How do you currently manage and coordinate facilities? If you’re using multiple programs and tools, an enterprise product might eliminate the need to cobble together a solution. Likewise, if there are gaps in your understanding of facilities, more robust management software could cast a light on them. It’s all about evaluating need. Consider the factors an enterprise solution can address:
- Floor plans and stack planning
- Hoteling, hot desks and agile desking
- Support ticketing and demand maintenance
- Live data and workplace analytics
- Wayfinding and desk booking
An enterprise solution does more than deliver these capabilities to facility managers. It also works to de-silo facilities management and provide a more holistic field of view. At an enterprise level, this translates to facility efficiency and cost savings, as well as better portfolio management.
For many companies, the question isn’t if they need enterprise facility management software—it’s a question of finding the right enterprise solution.
Invest in software that generates solutions
From a stakeholder perspective, facility management software needs to generate clear ROI. The good news is, at an enterprise level, there are many opportunities to do this. It could take the form of bottom-line savings or new top-line growth enabled by facilities. It might show up in the form of better culture and employee sentiment. Whatever the ROI of better-managed facilities, enterprise software is likely to be a core driver of the changes that herald them.
Keep reading: Selecting the Right Facility Management Software