Technology, software, mobile applications, artificial intelligence, metaverse, cybersecurity… These are some of the terms we see in almost every content, and they are part of our lives in the workplace, education, entertainment, health, shopping, financial management… We are in the digital transformation era, which leverages the shift from traditional methods to digital processes. How does this impact facilities management and our workplace?

We all reached the point that several digital “systems” became the inevitable part of streamlining and optimizing various aspects of managing facilities, spaces, and resources within an organization. Different systems cater to specific needs, but most of these systems have effective interoperability. In other words, they can operate in a coordinated way and transfer data via networks. Let’s see what are these systems with their application areas:

Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)

CMMS software helps manage and schedule maintenance activities, track equipment, and monitor work orders. It ensures that facilities and equipment are properly maintained. The primary goal of a CMMS is to streamline maintenance processes, improve efficiency, and extend the lifespan of equipment by facilitating preventive and predictive maintenance strategies.

Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)

IWMS integrates various functions such as space management, lease administration, maintenance, and resource allocation. It provides a holistic view of the entire workplace. IWMS is particularly valuable for large organizations with complex real estate portfolios and facilities. It offers a systems-level approach to managing the entire workplace environment, from strategic planning and resource allocation to day-to-day operational activities.

Building Automation System (BAM), Building Management System (BMS), Building Controls

These systems provide a centralized control system that monitors, manages, and controls various building services and systems such as HVAC, electrical, electronic, lighting, security, access, fire and safety, water management, and occupancy. They optimize the performance of building operations, enhance energy efficiency, and improve overall occupant comfort and safety.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM is an information management system that is widely utilized in the design and construction stages and has recently received significant attention in the operations phase. It provides a digital representation of the assets with semantically rich information. Specifications, material details, cost estimates, and performance data could be integrated into the model, supporting the whole life-cycle management.

Space, Visitor, and Reservation Management Systems

Space management systems help organize optimizing the workspace efficiently managing office layouts, tracking space utilization, and planning for future space needs. Visitor management systems streamline the check-in process, enhance security, and track visitor data. They are often used in office lobbies and reception areas. Reservation management tools enable users to book meeting rooms, desks, and other facilities efficiently. They often integrate with calendar systems and provide real-time availability information.

These systems are essential for creating optimal, safe, and efficient environments that support organizational goals, employee well-being, and overall operational effectiveness. They contribute to the strategic success of an organization by aligning physical spaces with business objectives and industry standards.

Which one is the best for you? It depends on the specific needs and preferences of your organization. The size and function of your facilities, the complexity of your operations, and the features that are most critical for your needs are critical in the selection of these systems. In addition, scalability, integration capabilities, user interface, and customer support are critical when deciding on a system. It may also be helpful to request demonstrations or trials to evaluate how well the software aligns with your organization’s goals.

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Learn more about our Author: Dr. Deniz Besiktepe is a trained architect and currently an assistant professor at the Purdue University School of Construction Management Technology (SCMT). She holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering and Management from Colorado State University. She has 13 years of industry experience in construction and facilities management areas prior to joining academia. She is the recipient of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation Academic Contributor of the Year Award 2022 and currently serves on the IFMA Foundation’s scholarship and fundraiser committees. Dr. Besiktepe’s FM research focuses on building maintenance, condition assessment, decision-making models, fuzzy applications, and implementing data-driven techniques in the FM area. In addition, she is currently teaching a graduate-level facilities management course at Purdue SCMT.

*Disclaimer: This post was not generated by A.I. It is indeed written by a real life human. A pretty cool human in fact.