By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
Consultants are a staple in the business world. They help companies boost performance or clue them into ways to improve. There are efficiency advisors and sales strategists, technology consultants and resource planning experts, and countless others. Add Computer-Aided Facility Management solutions consultant for facilities management to that list.
What is a CAFM solutions consultant? In an advisory role, this expert focuses on understanding the needs of facilities managers and matching functionality within capable software. Like any consultant, they focus on doing one thing well: improving facility management strategy. CAFM consultants help companies digitize tasks and broaden the level of oversight for managers. Their goal? Turn facilities into a vehicle for business success.
Evaluating facility management demands
The foremost concern of CAFM consultants is developing an understanding of each facility’s unique demands. They’ll set a baseline for how things operate before implementing solutions. This means observing crucial facility management practices, looking at processes, reviewing records, and shadowing the facility manager.
This immerses the consultant in the “how” of current practices. From the “how” comes the “why” and the “what.” Specifically, why are things done this way and what do or don’t they account for? The final evaluative measure is the most important: figuring out what’s missing.
- What don’t current practices account for?
- What facility demands aren’t being met?
- Where are there inefficiencies within current processes?
- What extraneous costs exist?
For a CAFM consultant, the evaluation ends by finding the right software to answer these questions.
Vetting CAFM solutions
Just like a consultant immerses themselves in current facility processes, they’ll apply this same rigorous evaluation technique to different CAFM solutions. Different software solutions offer different benefits. It’s the job of a consultant to connect the dots, pairing demand with solution. For example:
A consultant may find gaps in a company’s real estate forecasting models. The business has a history of growth, but it’s unsuccessful in scaling facilities to accommodate it. The consultant will look for CAFM software with specific real estate growth planning tools, including projects, lease management, cap-ex budgeting, and portfolio analytics. These tools will help the company anticipate facility demands.
It’s likely the business will have more than one specific siloed need. It’s up to the CAFM solutions consultant to vet software with diverse functions. Ultimately, while different aspects of facilities may need attention, part of a CAFM consultant’s job is to ease the transition to holistic workplace management. To do that, they’ll work to find a highly integrative solution.
After finding CAFM platforms applicable to a business’ needs, the consultant presents them to company stakeholders. They qualify facility problems and show how each platform addresses them. The consultant also provides a cost-benefit analysis to show the expected return on investment from CAFM software. From there, it’s up to stakeholders to make the investment.
Implementing CAFM software
If a business decides to move forward with a new CAFM system, the consultant will likely oversee its integration. The system rollout is usually a multi-phase, step-by-step process.
- Buy licenses and set up an enterprise account
- Configure software and integrate it into the business’ software ecosystem
- Train facility managers and other employees on platform use
- Structure processes and automations to address facilities management deficiencies
- Integrate new technologies to supplement the CAFM platform (example: sensors)
- Phase out antiquated processes and actions
Depending on the size of the company, rollout can take weeks to months. Having a CAFM consultant along for the ride ensures this new system of governance is grounded and properly configured. Working alongside the consultant is also beneficial for facility managers, who will broaden their understanding of facility challenges and how to address them using a CAFM platform.
Bringing new control to facilities management
CAFM solutions consultants can broaden the scope of what’s possible for facility management. Whether it’s migrating antiquated practices to a digital platform or evaluating software solutions for an expanding company, their consultancy focuses on bringing more control to the workplace. CAFM consultants identify dire facility management needs, then suggest software solutions to meet them. Like any consultant, they bring value to a business struggling to capitalize on facilities as a competitive advantage.
Keep reading: What is a CAFM Specialist?