Workplace Technology Assessment
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By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
Employees depend on their workplace to provide them with everything they need to succeed at their work. This happens in both direct and indirect capacities, across hundreds of variables. They need internet access (direct) to email clients, as well as clean, forced air (indirect) to keep them comfortable. With such a broad gamut of variables that define the employee experience, it’s vital to rely on a smart CAFM to manage them all.
Control over workplace variables is only one element of facilities management. Facility managers also need to preempt problems and optimize the workplace to create a consistently positive experience for employees. To do that, they’re relying more and more on smart office tech. As employee experience falls on the performance of these tech tools, smarter CAFM software becomes a must-have.
What is smart CAFM software?
The rise in smart CAFM software is due in large part to the emergence of smart buildings. As the office IoT expands, facility managers are able to learn more about the nuances of the building they manage and how individual facets impact employee experience. This has led to broader demand for facilities management—beyond a traditional scope of work.
Smart CAFM software is what facilities managers turn to as a centralized platform to aggregate broad data about facilities into a decision-making engine. What’s more, a smart CAFM doesn’t only provide insights, it enables action.
For example, a smart light fixture might send a signal to the CAFM that the bulb is burnt out. The CAFM automatically generates a support ticket and sends it to the facility repair department, including pertinent details. All this happens at the point of incident, so the problem gets fixed before employees become frustrated by something as simple as a burnt-out lightbulb. Extrapolate this simple example out in dozens of ways, covering hundreds of workplace variables, and it’s easy to see why a smart CAFM is so important in managing today’s smarter workplaces.
Common features of a smart CAFM
Smart CAFM software is complex, with features that enable a high level of assistance to facility managers. Smart software leverages AI, machine learning, data integration, and prescriptive and predictive analytics, channeled through conveniences like the following:
- Asset management: Asset management is all about ROI, and ROI stems from good maintenance. Smart CAFM systems leverage tools like digital twins to track high-value assets and recommend maintenance and care tasks before they weigh heavily on these investments. Money spent on proactive maintenance is money saved on repairs or new investments.
- Automated ticketing: Similar to the above example, automated support ticketing identifies and resolves minor workplace problems before they impact employees. Automated ticketing sends maintenance requests in a timely manner, to the right place, with the right details, without human intervention. It equates to swift resolutions that maintain a high standard of workplace excellence.
- Accessibility: Is your building governed by access control. A smart CAFM system can control permissions and grant access at various levels—and is even smart enough to assign permissions to employees based on available data. If you assign Jenny to a fifth-floor workspace, a smart CAFM can automatically change her badge permissions to make the fifth floor available, for example.
As with all smart software, the idea is to maintain a high standard of effective management, while alleviating the burden of work on the person managing. In this case, facilities managers can use smart CAFM software to do more, without putting in tremendous effort or expanding the team.
How CAFM contributes to employee experience
The capabilities of a smart CAFM system are great, but it’s the rippling benefits that make using one essential. It all relates back to employee experience. Well-managed facilities accommodate workers and improve their ability to work effectively. A system that promotes better facilities oversight is a system that directly improves the employee experience.
If a smart CAFM system can eliminate minor problems before they emerge, employees aren’t affected. If that same system understands the needs of capital assets, it can help maintain them, thereby maintaining the standard of quality for employees. In short, a smart CAFM system gives facilities managers the insights, tools, and resources to make life in the workplace the best it can possibly be for employees. It takes those infinite variables that affect the workplace and it consolidates them for simplified oversight. Managers direct their attention to the things that matter most, when they need attention. It all happens behind the scenes and all employees see is a workplace that wholly supports them.
Smart buildings require a smarter CAFM
Today’s facilities have untold variables to manage, spanning physical and digital elements: forced air to shared amenities, enterprise software to IoT sensors. How companies manage these elements has a direct impact on employee experience. Clean bathrooms equal happy employees; spotty Wi-Fi dampens morale. Facilities managers can’t possibly oversee each variable every second of the day, so they rely on CAFM software to do it for them.
The smarter the workplace, the smarter CAFM software needs to be—and, the more opportunities for synergy it offers. If your CAFM platform can use IoT triggers to push alerts about maintenance to the right people in a timely manner, problems get solved before they become hindrances. Consider the power of proactive problem-solving on the employee experience.
Keep reading: The Importance of CAFM System Training