By Devon Maresco
At its core, managing government facilities is very similar to managing commercial facilities. While there are differences across the various aspects of facility function and expectations, the core areas of focus are largely the same. It’s why more and more municipal building managers have turned to government facility management software as a way of overseeing facility operations.
In the same way commercial facilities management software provides a top-down look at buildings and everything they touch, government FM software does the same. Facility management software for government agencies provides insight into the core areas of focus for running a building that’s efficient, welcoming, sustainable, and cost-conscious.
Here’s a look at the five pillars of municipal facility management, and how government facilities management solutions help direct them.
1. Space management
Government buildings vary tremendously. Consider the simplicity of a suburban police station vs. the complexity of a federal courthouse in a major city. Despite the broad difference in size and complexity, these spaces all demand the same astute oversight. Facility management software helps level the playing field.
For smaller, less complex buildings, it’s about making the most of limited space. For larger, more diverse buildings, the focus is on accommodating many different people, needs, and expectations. Space management software assists on both fronts and bridges all gaps between—from emergency preparedness planning to room booking and space reservations.
2. Energy management (sustainability)
As we push into a greener future, governments need to lead the charge. From new LEED Certified government complexes to old buildings with sustainability initiatives in place, facility management software provides a top-down view for managing building sustainability. And, combined with BIM data, there’s ample opportunity to turn government facilities into stewards of environmental sustainability.
In this realm, facility software can help monitor energy usage and costs, deliver insights on green improvement projects, monitor sustainable benchmarks, and more. The most important thing to remember is that it quantifies this data, which allows government facility managers to contextualize and report on these figures in a public way.
3. Maintenance management
According to research conducted in 2018, the average age of federal government buildings in the United States is 60 years old—and growing older with each passing year. Upkeep is paramount, alongside modernization and improvements. To identify and undertake cost-efficient, necessary projects like these, facility managers need digital tools. Facility management software is key in facilitating internal upkeep, managing contracted services, and planning future refurbishments.
Some of the crucial features available to municipal building facility managers include service and support ticketing, digital twins for asset management, vendor management tools, and more. Digital insights allow for more specific reporting of building maintenance needs, which informed everything from better budgeting to bidding and capital expense planning.
4. Capital project management
Speaking of capital projects, facility software is instrumental in overseeing these value-add initiatives. Whether it’s building improvements, sustainable projects, or a transition to new operational practices, capital projects demand critical oversight. Specifically, managers need data and phase planning capabilities to facilitate and report on them.
Software consolidates the most important aspects of capital project management into a single resource. FMs can manage the design, funding, bidding, procurement, resource management, and reporting of projects through a system designed to deliver insights against benchmarks for budget, timeline, ROI, and more.
5. Real estate management
Government-operated facilities span a broad scope. It’s vital to see each and every property under a municipal umbrella as its own cost center. Management software provides the high-level figures for each facility, so local and federal entities can accurately budget, report, and make decisions about how to occupy and manage various buildings.
Because real estate and leasing costs are taxpayer funded, it’s critical to have transparent data about each facility. Using this data, portfolio managers and other decision-makers have the insights necessary to act accordingly—whether that means improving utilization of certain facilities or divesting others that may be too heavily subsidized.
Great software makes it easy to manage each pillar
While distinct, each pillar of government facilities management plays an important role in the function of the building at a high level. The best government facility management software makes it easy for FMs to focus on each individual pillar, while still understanding how it contributes to the whole of the building.
For municipal buildings especially, there’s emphasis on cohesion. Constituents expect governments to run a tight ship, and to make use of government facilities in a cost-efficient, sustainable way. Facility management software isn’t just key in providing these results—it’s imperative in proving them.
Keep reading: Government IWMS Software: 10 Must-Have Features