Just under 10% of the UK labour workforce is employed by facilities management (FM) organisations. Across the world, FM organisations are being asked to do more with less due to pressures created by changing customer expectations in the modern, digital world. Improving the productivity, profitability, and performance of technicians is therefore central to their goals. We will look at these three areas (AKA ‘the three Ps of CAFM’), offering advice on how organisations can improve the way they approach each by leveraging computer aided facilities management (CAFM) software.
The conversation around productivity in facilities management really hinges on intelligent scheduling. The goal is to get your technicians completing more jobs per day, whilst improving fix time fix scores. To do this, facilities management organisations need to send the right technician to the right place at the right time with the skills and knowledge they require. Easy, in theory. But the constantly-changing nature of the industry makes it much harder in practice. An IT solution that enables real-time access to the latest customer and employee info is key to improving scheduling.
The team member in charge of the schedule board needs to be able to monitor which technician is working on what, their availability and their location. This way, for instance, when they see that a particular technician is finished with a task earlier than originally scheduled, they can assign them another, and aid another customer more quickly.
Skills, training, certification
Matching the right skills to the right job is also essential. If the job is to fix a boiler, you need the technician to be gas-registered. If it’s electrical work, you need to have the right qualifications. The same can be said for training, certification and security clearance. For instance, you might have a job that is in a building that requires a standard health and safety induction. FM organisations need an IT solution to help quickly identify what is required from the job and to organise and deploy the right technicians.
- Know what the job is
- Knowing where the job is
- Knowing what skills are required
- Knowing what work is required
- Knowing how long it should take
- Knowing what certifications/clearances are required
- Knowing what your people are doing
- Knowing how busy they are
- Knowing their location – includes lone working (Health & Safety)
- Knowing what skills/certifications/clearances they have
All this knowledge needs to be considered to boost productivity. You need a technology solution that offers access to real-time information, that breaks down information silos, and that connects to employees out in the field. This is how to send the right person at the right time to the right job, at the first attempt.
Another key goal is to improve the performance of technicians out in the field through computer aided facilities management software. Central to this is mobility; ensuring wherever they are, they all have the tools and information to get the job done. The latest cloud-based IT solutions for FM can be used by technicians on the go – anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Customers have come to expect higher-quality service and customer experience has become a powerful differentiator in the modern world. Across all industries, digital technology has enabled forward-thinking companies to be truly disruptive, changing the level of play for companies of all sizes. With everything powered by the cloud, customers expect more and they expect it quicker.
Communication and access to customer information should be seamless. But a key, often overlooked, factor to success here is the ability to manage the job through both online and offline mobile communication. Offline functionality is just as important, because technicians will often find themselves in places where there is no internet connection, like the basement of a building.
When technicians have everything they need at their fingertips to do the best job possible, they can do the job right the first time – leading to high customer satisfaction.
The third P of CAFM is all about job costing: how to make the work that you do more profitable. There’s no point doing work if you’re making a loss. This might seem obvious, but it can be lost in the grand scheme of things. A lot of companies today do not know what individual jobs cost. They send a technician out, who might use brand new parts to replace broken ones, or might use a wide range of consumables, but records of what is used up can be inconsistent. If the precise cost is not recorded every time on every job, it can be almost impossible for organisations to realistically know how much a job costs.
For example: Organisations might charge a customer £100 for a callout, but don’t know if it is costing them £80 or £200 to carry out the work. You need to track the cost at a granular level. Computer aided facilities management software will help you track all this information, offering the opportunity for technicians to report costs as and when they occur on the job. This system can automatically store crucial information in the right place, so that it can be accessed for expense reports, labour costs, task duration, etc., and job costing can be carried out quickly and easily.
How to achieve more with computer aided facilities management
With facilities management organisations having to do more work with less, it’s more essential than ever to improve productivity, performance and profitability. The right IT solution will make a big difference.
For more information about computer aided facilities management software or if you’re looking to improve productivity, performance and profitability at your organisation, do get in touch, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.