Data at your fingertips

The use of CAFM software and cellular devices is helping the facilities management industry better manage its armies of employees as Sam Fenwick discovers

Imagine the scene: It’s the World Cup semi-final, you’re responsible for the team preparing a major airport for opening, and half your workers have mysteriously fallen ill. Such travails are all part and parcel of being in the facilities management (FM) industry. The lack of barriers to entry and clients’ tendency to view the vital services it provides as just a cost and therefore best handled by the lowest bidder, make for a formidable level of competition and low profit margins. These traits combined with the logistical issues of coordinating so many cleaners, engineers, cooks and security guards, make for an unforgiving environment, as witnessed by the recent demise of Carillion.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given these logistical headaches and FM’s ubiquitous nature, an ecosystem of vendors offering computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) software has sprung up to help ease facility managers’ burdens and allow them to make decisions more easily. CAFM allows them to plan and track their operatives and assets, schedule repairs and preventative maintenance, monitor job-tickets and improve reporting.

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