The use of integrated facilities management offers an opportunity for Facilities Managers to bring balance to their operations and lower facilities spend. As technology evolves, modern platforms, including smart building solutions, replace legacy platforms and open the door to new savings, and in fact, the rise of mobile devices in facilities management represents one such opportunity. According to Greg Zimmerman of FacilitiesNet, a recent survey of mobile devices found most companies use both smartphones and tablets in their mobile ventures. However, challenges to implementation remain. Instead of waiting for technology to outpace your organization, Facilities Managers need to understand these challenges, the benefits of mobile devices in making decisions and a few tips to ensure their success.
Challenges of Implementing Mobile Devices in Facilities Management
The challenges of implementation mirror the challenges of change management. Change is hard, and as explained by FacilitiesNet, critical challenges to the use of mobile technology in the facilities management space include:
- Resistance to change among employees.
- Complex mobile systems lead to pushback.
- Slow, limited app connections or challenges in implementing Wi-Fi.
- Inappropriate design for field environments.
- Encouraging the adoption of mobile devices among staff.
Benefits of Mobile Facilities Management
The benefits of mobile technology appear as imagined, giving more freedom, flexibility, and agility to management, and it holds additional value for creating proactive and real-time responsiveness in the organization. Leading benefits of deployed mobile technology in facilities management include:
- Access to a broader portfolio helps portfolio managers oversee multiple locations and keep shareholders informed of what is happening.
- Real-time access to reports and data can further help on-site staff understand needs within a facility, and depending on the size of the facility, such as a hospital or college campus, access to real-time data can save lives.
- Technology integration that relies on variables to self-optimize systems, which reduces demand on workers and effectively helps a company do more with less.
- Increased site safety by using mobile devices to verify personnel, grant access to secure areas and eliminate risk.
- Centralized storage of communications reduces risk and streamlines collaboration, which has additional implications for maintaining compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
- Track energy, repairs, and other data to make better planning decisions, and as companies begin to feel pressure to enhance sustainable practices, given the recent G7 Summit, mobile tracking will grow in value.
- Reduced disruption by ensuring everyone knows what to expect, and this is applicable to all needs, ranging from emergency preparedness to renovation project management, notes FacilitiesNet.
Best Practices to Increase Use and Value of Mobile Technology in Facilities Management
Of course, implementing mobile technology is not as simple as downloading an app, or is it? Consider these best practices:
- Utilize a solution with advanced cybersecurity measures in place, such as penetration testing and off-site data storage.
- Incorporate, i.e., retrofit, facility assets with wireless, IoT-enabled sensors to track energy use, occupancy, utilization and more.
- Automate alerts and notifications to keep everyone involved.
- Deploy a mobile-optimized computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to increase time to resolution for needs.
- Use analytics to understand gain versus investment—a key component of effective energy management too.
- Consider bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs that lower investment costs and offer the benefit of downloadable apps, such as ENTOUCH Mobile.
- Incentivize adoption of mobile devices in facilities management with rewards for employees that use mobile systems to complete reports or handle requests.
Take Advantage of Mobile Technology and Smart Building Solutions Now
The world of facilities management continues to benefit from the innovation and infusion of technology, and mobile devices in facilities management represent only one opportunity for optimization and maximized ROI. Facilities Managers need to start thinking about bringing their operations into the next century with the use of a mobile-optimized system, including native apps and easy-to-access portals, such as those offered by ENTOUCH. Visit ENTOUCH online or call 1-800-820-3511 to get started.